By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
ROSEMEAD – It’s a cross between a family reunion picnic and organized chaos.
Some Bosco Tech football players carry teammates on their back. Others hop 100 yards down the home sideline. More run laps around the track.
The drills are something new to the Tigers this season.
“We wanted to try to do away from the condition that gets them tired,” coach Chris Shockley said. “We wanted to do more sports-specific things, to get them ready to play football. We start by putting them in situations they’re going to be in on the football field. The movements are more football-specific.”
Shockley, in his 13th year with the program, said the coaches picked up on the football-related drills while attending various clinics and seminars.
“It makes it more scary,” senior wide receiver C.J. Alvarez said of the new drills. “You don’t ever know what you’re going to be working on. It’s tiring, but it gets in the work. Hopefully it will help us out on the field.”
Coaches have more than 50 dynamic, metabolic and neurological drills, all football-related, that they can throw at the players at any time during practice. They can plan out a certain drill, but then they can take the initiative to change the plan to another drill at a moment’s notice.
“We switch it up every session,” Shockley said. “We think it has kept it fresh for them, because it’s a new drill. It has kind of kept them on their toes because they don’t know what to expect.
“We’re getting more out of these guys. They’re working on mastering the drill. When it’s the same drill for three days, they know how to do it and you don’t get as much out of them. They’ve responded really well.”
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A surprise has developed with the drills’ implementation: teamwork.
“We realized that on any team, people are just tired,” senior linebacker Adam Uballez said. “We’re trying to build camaraderie, so we go help them out. If someone is struggling, you have to be there and help them.”
“We’re all working together,” running back Johnathan Silvas said. “It’s not sprinting and seeing who’s the first one to finish. We all have to work together to get to the next session.”
On Monday, the first day of two-a-day practices, the team had to do one drill, called “up and down,” perfectly 50 consecutive times.
“I told them they came together as a team and accomplished it,” Shockley said. “That’s what they have to do together in a game. When you face adversity, it’s not one guy that is going to bring it out of you, it’s all of us coming together as a team. They were throwing positive vibes out there.”
The drills have added new dimensions to the team.
“It’s a lot more tiring than they were before, but you know it helps you,” senior linebacker William Yoshida said. “Last year it would not show up in the games, but now you can see it coming in. I know it’s going to help us in the fourth quarter.”
Silvas said it’s adding speed to each player.
“We need a lot of this explosion,” he said. “This will make us quicker.”
Before the team begins the drills, they do neurological and metabolic warm-up drills, which will carry over into pregame warm-ups. That includes 20-yard jogs followed by stretching exercises, running through tires, using restraints and ladders and doing high-kick jogs.
“They’re giving us everything they’ve got,” Shockley said. “They’ve really taken ownership early of this team.”
Uballez said the seniors want it that way.
“It’s something that the seniors wanted to do,” he said. “During the season, we need to pick things up, especially when someone goes down. We have starters that have been playing here for three years, but that’s not enough. You need your team to have a common goal, and that’s everyone to be ready to play.”