Penn State Football: Sunday Practices In The Works For Nittany Lions
In James Franklin's eyes college football players don't really get Sunday off.
There are medical treatments for bumps and bruises, study halls, conversations with coaches, and most of the day spent around the football building.
So why not make the most of it?
That's why, under Franklin, the Nittany Lions will practice on Sundays -- while Saturday's game is still fresh in everyone's minds. Not a punishment, but a chance to correct mistakes quickly as the team heads into the next week of preparations. It's something that Franklin experimented with while at Vanderbilt and he and his staff liked the results.
"We decided to do the Sunday thing at Vanderbilt, try it, see if we liked it the first year. And we did,'' Franklin said. "The coaches liked it because they could get the last game over with on Sunday. Because the weird thing is, you would game plan on Sunday, clean up the mistakes in the game plan, then you bring the team in on Monday.
"You're now having to split your time between talking about the last game and the next game. And our coaches really liked putting the last game behind them on Sunday.''
A practice on Sunday also gives the team a chance to reset both physically and mentally. By the time Monday rolls around it's all about the next opponent on the schedule with bodies and minds ready to go.
"We run them to get all of the lactic acid out (of the muscles), flush their system. So now Monday, you're not thinking about the last game at all. Monday clearly starts a new week and you're moving forward. Sunday, any week, is not a heavy day anyway. It's not like you're going out in full equipment and banging. You're out there with your helmets, running around in shorts. We just make it simple, cleaning up some errors."
It's also a benefit for academic scheduling as well.
"And it helped with classes,'' Franklin said. "If a guy needed to take a lab class, hopefully it was offered on a Monday, you could load up on it. If a guy needed to take an evening class from 7 to 10, you could do that on a Monday.''
How the Nittany Lions adapt to a change in their schedule remains to be seen. But assuming they become accustomed to the new routine it's easy to see how getting right back to work after game day could help everyone involved.