The concept of running a preseason “Boot Camp” with your team shortly before the start of practice has gotten very popular over the last five years. Buzz Williams’ camps at Marquette and Virginia Tech have gained a ton of notoriety with several of Buzz’s most successful teams crediting the 9-day stretch for laying the foundation for the season. Despite how open Buzz is with all parts of his program, Tech’s “Boot Camp” is one subject he won’t reveal much on. Linked below are a couple of articles that talk about Buzz’s camp as well as the one that Bill Self has run since arriving at Kansas.
A couple of small tidbits I’ve gathered about Buzz’s camps:
-The team wears their game uniforms on the 9th (and final) day of camp.
-Inspired by the Navy SEALs, a bell is placed at the half court line. A player is allowed to tap out at any time, but will have to make up his session with a teammate (starting at the beginning) before the next one is scheduled.
-There is an element of mental strain within the conditioning drills. Many of the “Boot Camp” drills are slightly confusing. Williams will state the instructions and give the players 30-45 seconds to decipher (while heavily fatigued) what needs to happen.
All the team-building and conditioning helps explain Marquette’s game-long, ferocious defensive pressure and rebounding, but Williams’s players say the benefits go beyond the obvious.
“We’ve won some really close games and I credit boot camp,” Blue said. “I know people might not believe us, but we think back to boot camp in tough spots during a game or a season. We say to each other: ‘Nothing was harder than boot camp. We can get through this.’
-New York Times: Marquette has a preseason test to fall back on (LINK)
-Marquette Basketball Revealed – Part 1: Boot Camp (LINK)
-KU basketball players prepare to rise and shine in Self’s “Boot Camp” (LINK)
-“Boot Camp” awaits KU basketball players (LINK)