Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
By now, it's clear that anyone familiar with Big Ten football who hasn't heard about new Michigan strength coach Mike Barwis is just emerging from a several months long slumber. Barwis put on a clinic over the weekend – literally – fascinating the couple hundred or so in attendance.The five-hour demonstration was presented the only way Barwis knows how – with high intensity and great enthusiasm."It was unbelievable," reported TheWolverine.com subscriber Rob Thomas, in attendance for the event. "My wife, who I had to drag there, was even blown away and happy she went. All I can say is believe the hype. Barwis' knowledge, intensity/ energy, attention to detail and leadership are what set him and will set our program apart. The man leaves no stone unturned when it comes to preparing the players."
Strength coach Mike BarwisThe clinic was slated to last four hours and was truly designed for "anyone who wants to improve the athletic performance of others," but it was extended 45 minutes so Barwis could answer questions. Most of the time was spent in the team meeting room, where Barwis gave an overview for the first hour, "often raising his voice almost to the point of shouting because of his enthusiasm."The man hardly paused for a breath during the entire hour," said Thomas. "He talked about the different types of muscle fibers and how nutrition and exercise affect them and the cellular level – my head is still spinning – it was like attending a anatomy/physiology class. "His assistant coordinators (Parker Whiteman, Jesse Miller and Chris Allen) then came out and demonstrated how they use the exercise ball to work on the core strength and agility. [Allen] laid back on the ball near the small of his back, bent his knees so his feet were flat against the side of the ball and not touching the ground, and then proceeded to do sit ups without falling off the ball. There was literally a collective gasp from the room. They then proceeded to demonstrate several Pilates/yoga type stretches while balancing on the ball."An ordinary person wouldn't be able to most of the exercises on the floor let alone on a ball, Thomas opined. The players, however, are expected to learn quickly and perform the same exercises.Next came injury prevention, called "pre-hab" by Barwis because they use the very same techniques used in post injury rehabilitation as part of their regular program to prevent injuries. Barwis and staff demonstrated some of the things they do with players, including using a flex-band for several different ankle, shoulder and knee exercises. "They also showed how they used a partner exercise to increase the strength of the neck muscles," reported Thomas. "Does it all work? They said in that 33-5 run they had at West Virginia they did not lose a single player the entire season due to an injury. Yes, injuries occur, but because they do pre-hab, players will bounce back quicker."Following was a tour of the weight room. Barwis talked about the different stations and spent most of the time talking about the nutrition bar they set up. Written on the wall is the amount (and exactly what) players are expected to eat and drink before and after workouts. Peanut butter, chocolate and caramel nutrition bars are provided for snacks; for drinks, there are a handful of flavors of Gatorade, several types of fruit smoothies and three different types of chocolate milk (regular, cookies and cream and mint). Barwis verified the administration spent $1.1 million on the weight room and are going to spend another $400,000-plus to put in a glass wall/entry to the new practice facility. From there, the group ventured to the indoor practice facility, where speed trainer Kentaro Tamura (who reportedly arrived in the U.S. from Japan five or six years ago) demonstrated several speed improvement exercises. "By this time I was becoming mentally over-loaded," Thomas admitted. "They did a lot of things I think a lot of track guys do, but they really stressed and focused on proper technique – and how they drill the players."The clinic ended with a Q&A with Barwis, the highlight of which was his doing push-ups for the group – the same push-ups only a handful of incoming high school recruits have been able to do over the years, and not your normal "let's do a quick 50.""He laid face-down flat on the ground, extended his arms above his head like someone diving in a pool, and did five push-ups from that position," Thomas marveled. "The man is incredibly fit. I now believe all the stories."Thomas then added one Barwis trait that perhaps doesn't get as much publicity as deserved."You can't underestimate his leadership," he said. "The guy is incredibly approachable, yet has this commanding presence that you can feel when he enters the room. He walks the talk. He leads through example. He is the type of guy you'd want to lead you into battle – someone you know will be right there with you. "I can only imagine the effect he has on the players, and he's not even the head coach. Yes, those who stay will be champions … there's no doubt in my mind."
Posted by maizenblue at 11:04 AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Peace finalized his commitment to Michigan on Tuesday nightEarlier in the day Peace told TheWolverine.com he was nearing the decision and debating between three schools; Michigan, Kansas and Texas A&M. He came to that decision Tuesday evening, giving the coaching staff a call to inform them about the commitment soon after."First I called the recruiting coach for my area which is Jay Hopson. He said he was waiting for it and very happy that I made my decision," said Peace. "Then I talked to [Rich Rodriguez] and he was saying it's a great fit and he likes how I compete. He started going over some things he likes about me and how he can't wait for me to be up there. "From there I talked to the offensive coordinator and he was telling me how I am going to fit into the scheme and they really believe as a true freshman I can come in and play if I came in and worked hard."Just over a week ago Peace did not hold a Michigan offer and had never seen the campus, but his visit to Ann Arbor for the Wolverines' summer camp got both tasks accomplished."You go from Kansas really being the biggest (offer) and New Mexico State, Tulsa and schools like that," Peace said. "Then to grab the offer from Michigan, that was big."Now that his future will be with Michigan, Peace plans to help recruit other players to Ann Arbor and he is starting right on his own team."There's one right in my backyard from South Grand Prairie, Thomas Ferguson, and they are looking at him," Peace said. "Of course I am going to try to get him down there with me too."Peace is the Wolverines' 12th commitment to the recruiting class and the second prospect to declare in favor of the Maize and Blue today, joining linebacker Jordan Barnes of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Homestead.
Posted by maizenblue at 4:15 PM