TOWSON, Md. - For a change of pace on Monday morning, the Tiger football team went through some team-building exercises conducted by Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeremy Pick.
Coach Pick assembled the Tigers on the lower practice field and took out a bag of cones and balls. He had all different sizes of balls - soccer balls, volleyballs, dodge balls and even smaller ones.
"This is something we usually do in the spring," explained Coach Pick. "Coach (Rob) Ambrose thought today would be a good day to try this.
"This was supposed to be a double-workout day," he added. "When the players found out we were having a team-building exercise like this, they were really excited. It seemed like a lot of fun. But, the longer we were out here, the less fun it became."
Coach Pick divided the players into two teams for the first exercise - offense and defense.
"The idea is to get them moving and throwing and catching," Pick added. "But the most important objective is to get them to communicate. Of course, when we divide them into offense and defense, it becomes more competitive."
The object of the first exercise was for one team to travel 55 yards with a ball. The rules were that nobody could take more than five steps with the ball and the ball couldn't touch the ground. In addition, nobody could throw the ball to anyone behind him. The winner was the first team to have everyone cover 55 yards and return.
The offense won that exercise.
The second exercise was a little more difficult. Each team had to run the 55 yards and back without dropping the ball. However, everyone on the team had to touch the ball at least once. The winning team was the one to cross the finish line after everyone touched the ball.
The Tigers were split up into two random teams for the second exercise. It took a few attempts before any team crossed the line with everyone touching the ball.
"These exercise are about communication," added Coach Pick. "It would be impossible for any one player to win by himself and the idea is to get them to talk to one another.
"This is such an electronically-savvy age," he added. "Kids aren't used to communicating with each other in a verbal way. They send text messages and instant messages and things like that. This was a good way to get them working together and talking."
Coach Pick added, "Just because I am the strength and conditioning coach, it doesn't mean I work with just the body. It's also about the strength and conditioning of the mind and spirit. The stronger the collective mind and spirit are, the better we can perform."
The Tigers, who staged an afternoon workout on Monday afternoon, are scheduled to practice again on Tuesday afternoon.
Season tickets for Towson University football are on sale now by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 1-855-TU-TIGER or going online to TowsonTigers.com. Season ticket packages begin at $55 per seat.