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Pasqualoni brings intensity in spring camp

By Carmine Colangelo
On April 3, 2012

  • Coach Paul Pasqualoni looks on during spring practice in this AP file photo. AP

With the annual Blue and White game steadily approaching, the UConn football team has been putting in the work early during their spring practices.

Yesterday marked the seventh practice for the Huskies, who are nearly half-way done with their 15 spring practices. They practice every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the Mark R. Shenkmen Training Facility. Thursday will mark the half-way point, being their eighth practice and they will have two remaining scrimmages on top of that before the spring game. Before they get there however, it is taken one day at a time and Tuesday's practice was described as intense by head coach Paul Pasqualoni.

"It was pretty intense today," said Pasqualoni. "They are trying hard to get better... I was pretty pleased today with their motivation to come out here and get better."

Pasqualoni stressed the importance of these spring practices as a way for players to better refine their skills before the season begins. He believes that these practices are important for a player to master his position and fix the mistakes now.

"If you don't get it done and don't set a foundation in the spring and then come back in preseason and pick up where you left off, the mistakes are uncorrectable during the season," said Pasqualoni. "That is the philosophy of the spring."

The time frame is very limited and during this time the early corrections in a player's game are crucial. The Huskies have put a strong focus on fundamentals and techniques as well as the individual reps that players need to take.

Apart from the techniques and getting the players back into a football routine, another concern for spring practices is health. Just like in every sport, health is always an important factor in a team's success. There have been no major injuries at practice, however yesterday at practice many players were soon walking around in protective boots and slings.

"We try to take care of our team and our teammates in the spring," said Pasqualoni, who tries to keep his players off of the ground during practice in hopes of minimizing injury. For those who are hurt however, they are never out of practice.

Players who are hurt are rehabbed by the training staff during practice in hopes of accelerating that process. When they are not doing physical activity, players are still strengthening their minds by learning the playbooks, attending meetings and watching the practices.

"We're kind of getting to the point of spring football where you're trying to see improvement each practice," said Pasqualoni. "You're hoping to see good focus, good assignment, less mistakes, less mental errors and better technique. I know today the guys practiced pretty hard. The key is that you come out here each day with the focus and passion to get better at your position." 

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