It invites a question.
Will student-athletes, with empty fields and silent locker rooms at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, get more football “now” than they would if life were normal? At least in an “off the field” setting.
That thought is based upon the response of Veterans Athletics Director and Head Football Coach Milan Turner as to how actively engaged he and his team of coaches and players are with each other at this time. (No disrespect to any of our other teams, as we suspect this is the same with them.)
“As coaches,” said the third-year coach, with a 17-6 record his first two years, “we’ve been having position meetings on Zoom. Checking in on them. We have a coaches meeting Thursday at 9 (presumably a.m.), so that way at the end of the week we’re able to meet and talk about our position meetings. (Go over) any reminders or any things those coaches need to be relaying to those players as well.
“And then on Mondays we have a full team meeting with our players. So we get a chance to do devotions with our coaches. We get a chance to have devotions with our players. To pray with them. To talk ball and make sure they’re staying on top of their academics. Making sure they’re in their meetings. Making sure they’re in their playbooks. Staying in Huddle and looking at film.
“So we’re constantly putting those reminders out there. Also trying to just encourage them each week. Whether it’s the position coaches or me in my meetings. Keep doing their workouts. We keep sending them their workouts each day through Huddle messenger. Making sure they’re on track and again, just encouraging them through this unprecedented time we’re all going through.”
Turner continued that the demeanor of the coaches and kids has been “really good”. Also, the response, as he said that has been “really high”.
“They’re locked in. In the meetings we give them an opportunity, especially our seniors, but we give our guys a chance to speak to their teammates. It’s been really neat to see them talk to each other. About, ‘Hey. Do your workouts. Stay on top of your schoolwork. Let’s make sure we’re in great shape and ready to go when we come back.’
“So it’s been real positive. I’ve been very pleased with our guys. The way they’ve handled it. Again, the participation has been very high. I think it’s been very productive.
“I think it means a lot to them. A lot of them have said, ‘Hey we miss you guys. I love what we have. Our culture. The family we’ve built. Loving each other.’ They miss seeing each other. They miss being together.
“So that speaks a lot to me as a head coach to feel we have something those kids want to be a part of, and miss.”
For more on Turner’s thoughts, check out the full-length audio below.