Early start vital for football success

(File photo by Heather Davidson)

(File photo by Heather Davidson)

Most football teams in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) begin their offseason training in January. But for the Wilfrid Laurier men’s football team, their training started just a week after their final game.

As of Oct. 21, Laurier was in full training mode after the team ended their campaign with an unsatisfying 1-7 record and their only win coming against the Waterloo Warriors. Head coach Michael Faulds is not looking for a repeat of last year’s performance. On the contrary, the buzz in the locker room is different.

“There’s an energy of excitement around Laurier football and you wouldn’t for one second believe that this was a 1-7 football team last year. It’s a hungry bunch of football players,” Faulds said.

For a team led by a young coach in his second season coaching at Laurier, Faulds is optimistic that his team has what it takes to overcome the opposition and be successful.

“I told the guys that we are going to be the hardest working football team in the country,” Faulds explained. “That’s not just talk.”

Faulds hopes that training right out of the gate instead of in January will give Laurier the competitive edge they need when they open the 2014 training camp in August.

The bench boss gave his team a week off for reading week before returning to routine.

“There’s only one way to work and that’s to work hard. We’re not going to make any excuses, we can never have regrets and look back and say, ‘what if I had done this or I wish I had done this.’ It’s all about what you can do and make sure you’re preparing yourself mentally and physically,” Faulds said.

Faulds implemented a training system, which included early morning workouts and occasional Friday full practices.

Him and his coaching staff are hard at work as well, making offseason moves and keeping track of potential prospects to add to the upcoming roster.

This is also Faulds’ first full recruiting class.

“The problem with last year is that I was hired in January, so half of the recruiting season was actually over. But this year we were able to identify players for the full 12 months of the year and really build relationships with prospective recruits,” he explained.

Faulds believes hard work will prevail when the season kicks off in Sept. He desn’t want to predict the record at the end of the season — all he wants is hard work.

“If you can work yourself, give your everything to be a better student, to be a better football player, that’s all you ask. Over the course of 365 days, I think the wins will start to come,” Faulds said.

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