SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – In early February Wofford Football hit the gridiron to kick off spring practice. Little did they know that just over a month later they’d have to adjust to an entirely different schedule away from the field.
“The biggest thing for us right now with our players is continuing to stay in contact with them and continue to make sure your maintain those relationships with them and what they’re doing on a day to day basis,” said Head Coach Josh Conklin.
The Terriers joined every other football program in suspending activities as campuses across the nation shut down.
“It has provided a lot of adversity in terms of workouts, training for these guys,” said Conklin. “But I think it’s how you embrace that adversity that’s going to be critical.” 10
Wofford does, however, have a distinct advantage over other teams as most programs would just now be starting spring practices.
“We’ve always gone early,” said Conklin. “It just so happens this year the rest of the country got canceled out on. So I think it’s big for us. We get a chance to go back through our spring cut-ups. Everything can be done from home which is a huge benefit.”
Conklin is able to keep his players busy while they’re away going over film from those valuable practice sessions. But when it comes to future athletes, recruiting during a pandemic has presented a different challenge.
“You’re trying to get guys on campus three, four, five times before they make a decision. And this spring time is a huge part of that,” said Conklin.
Given the circumstances they’ve had to rely on other means to complete the picture of a prospect.
“We’re still making contact with the high school coaches, we’re still evaluating tape, we’re still building the relationships, we’re still doing the social media stuff,” Conklin said. “Everything that we would do here, obviously, we can do at home as well.”
It’s what happens during these trying times that Conklin says will define a team. And he’s hoping the the 2020 Terriers will seize the opportunity now to lead by example.
“Whoever handles this adversity the best, and whoever can adapt and overcome, and really take ownership of yourself because you don’t have somebody that’s looking over your shoulder the whole time, potentially could be the team that has the most success come fall.”