The Virginia football team is now less than two days away from beginning their 2017 training camp. That means the Cavaliers will have a full five weeks to prepare for the season opener against William & Mary.
Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall is pleased to get the early start compared to other years after winning just two games in his first season last year.
“We need every practice that we can possibly use to build the habits necessary to perform regardless of circumstance, to deliver our players to their ability against our opponents as soon as possible,” Mendenhall said at ACC Media Days according to the Daily Progress. “That doesn’t mean that we’ll be grinding from the minute they come in with our first available practice. The early part will actually look a lot more like spring practice, where most likely there’ll be a practice day and a meeting day.
“But volume of time and volume of repetition, whether it’s on the field or in the meeting room, will help our program. And so I made the decision based on that … spaced repetitions equal habits. Habits then equal instincts.”
Last year, Mendenhall spent a lot of practice time trying to create a new culture and identity for the future. But this year, his focus has been on football fundamentals, and the difference was evident during Virginia’s spring practices.
“We’re going to play football more,” fifth-year linebacker and two-time All-American Micah Kiser said. “It’ll be spring ball mentality, playing a lot of football. A lot of 11-on-11 situations, a lot of scrimmaging.”
The longer summer training camp won’t only apply to Virginia. All the FBS and FCS football teams can begin practices in July after the NCAA Division I Council in April. In exchange for no more two-a-day practices, camps can begin a week earlier than previously.