Air Force is entering the final full week of spring practice. If it feels like that snuck up in a hurry, there’s a reason.
After stretching the 15 spring practices over six-plus weeks the past two seasons and finishing after spring break, the team has reverted to its previous blueprint of finishing in mid-March.
Coach Troy Calhoun said the move allows players to have more time for the academic rigors that increase around April 1 and more time to focus on weight-room work before finals.
The players like the closer-to-fall feel to the quick turnaround between practices.
“By reducing the amount of time,” strong safety Garrett Kauppila said, “it increases the amount of load you have to take internally with the mental side of the game – taking all of that in in a quick time period and turning it around, taking the film room and putting it back on the field.
“When the season starts you have to go game after game, week after week, and you really only get those three practices to really hone in your new opponent. So I like the way we not only get back-to-back days in full pads on the field.”
Beyond that, Kauppila said the physical nature of practice and the frequent back-to-back days of work have had to put players in habits of body maintenance that closely resemble what they’ll experience during the season. It has been particularly helpful for him, as he suffered a broken collarbone in September and missed the remainder of the year and now won’t have to wait until August to jolt his body back into the feeling of Division I football.
Air Force will hold a spring game on March 17 at 10 a.m. at Falcon Stadium, then conclude the spring session with one more practice the following Tuesday.