Oregon strength coach breaks down how the Ducks prepare for the season
Oregon’s new strength staff wants to build a team that peaks during the season, not a team that’s ready to roll Week 1 and then wilts as the year goes on.
Wilson Love, the head strength and conditioning coach for the Ducks, recently sat down with the folks at Duck Territory for the Autzen Audibles podcast. It’s worth listening to the full thing (linked below), but one particularly interesting segment was when Love shared his thoughts on how the strength staff looks to build up its players.
“Our big thing is we’re focused on long-term development,” Love told hosts Matt Prehm and Erik Skopil. “We want to see our guys peak in-season. You’ll see a lot of muscle size early. Guys will put on some good muscular size early. The speed component can take a little bit longer but you’ll start to see it starting Month 4, Month 5, around this time the guys have already made some major gains. At the end of the day, we’ve got to make sure our players peak in-season.
“We’ve got to make sure they’re performing at their best in-season. Freshmen take a little bit longer. We take our time with them. We’re going to totally break down how to move with them, how to lift, how to run properly. That foundation that we create… we believe in long-term development. We want to make sure you peak at the right time because at the end of the day it’s all about in-season. You’re playing your best, we’re gonna make sure you’re gonna peak then, too.”
A lot of times you’ll see a team spring out of the gates hot and then those soft-tissue injuries and those little knicks and bumps and bruises set in and teams start running on fumes. It sounds like Love’s plan is to have the roster grow their physical profile throughout the year in the same way a team’s chemistry builds and hits its stride during a season.
Love has spent the last eight years working in the SEC footprint with strength programs at Alabama and Ole Miss. New head coach Dan Lanning worked with Love at Alabama earlier in their careers and when he came aboard at Oregon, he knew Love was a guy he needed on his staff.
“The one word I would use to describe him is passion,” Lanning said during a press conference back in January. “This guy operates every single day with a unique passion. I think I was in the office yesterday a little bit before 6 a.m. and said, ‘Hey Wilson, let me know when you get in today.’ He goes, ‘Coach I’ve been here since 4 (a.m.).’ He’s wired different, he’s special.”
We’ll see how that translates to the field. Oregon begins its first year under Lanning with a trip to battle the Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta on Sept. 3.
You can listen to the rest of the Autzen Audibles podcast below.