The pads are on and spring practice is finally underway for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. The biggest thing everyone has been waiting to see, all the coaching staff changes for the Hogs.
“The transition has I think been seamless for our kids,” Head Coach Bret Bielema said. "What we did a little bit before we actually got on the field this year was took advantage of more learning time.”
But the learning time wasn't just with the players. Bielema spoke of ways he and his coaching staff took to studying themselves, all thanks to an idea by coach Chaney that involved looking back at the past.
“He stopped through my office and said he watched the first day of spring ball. I'm like why would you do to yourself that. You know, go back to a year ago. And so, I did the exact same thing. I've kind of now done it with practice number one. I'll do it before scrimmage number one, where I go back and see where we were a year ago to where we are today.”
That revisit to a year ago has helped so far. Bielema says he can see a big difference in his players.
“Practice in pads last year, as much as I thought it was great at the time, I look back on it and there weren't what you're talking about. There wasn't that competitive nature.”
The razorbacks will be taking full advantage of all the time allotted to them for practice, unlike others who cram practice time into a three week session. Something Bielema says will help keep all his players around for the regular season, but also better prepare them.
“This allows us to put a teaching day between each practice, which I think allows the body to get better recovery and allows us to have an ability to perform better. I think as far as mental recall, it only enhances it. It doesn't deter it."
The Hogs will be in action for their spring game April 26th.