Blue and Gold Illustrated

October 28, 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 63

18 OCT. 28, 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY JACK SOBLE N otre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman made several changes in his coaching style from Year 1 to Year 2. One in particular has made his players happy: Sundays are now off days in South Bend. "You get back [after a night game] at like 4 in the morning," junior offensive tackle Blake Fisher said. "Last year, we were in at 11, practicing. It was crazy." "You've got to be crazy to prefer that," graduate student linebacker Marist Liufau said. "We were in here running and doing drills, and it was the day after a game." Freeman and company aim to give players better opportunities to rest and recover on a week-to-week basis. And while it's a big reprieve for the players, giving them Sundays off is only the tip of the iceberg. Much of what Notre Dame does is based on the work of John Wagle, Notre Dame's senior athletics director for sports per- formance. Since his hiring in May 2022, Wagle has used sports science to influ- ence how the Irish treat rest and recovery. While Freeman has the final call, Wa- gle's work is taking hold this season. "We have a lot of people that simply want what's best for our student-ath- letes and to maximize our likelihood of winning," Wagle told Blue & Gold Illus- trated. "There's a ton of willingness, be- cause we're all aligned toward the same North Star." With eight straight games to open the season and the last four coming at night, Freeman had to adjust his players' weekly routine. In most cases, he did it on an individual basis. Each player's regimen — how many reps they get in practice, how much treatment they get afterward and more — is determined in part by GPS tracking data from prior practices and games. Players wear a Catapult GPS monitoring LOAD MANAGEMENT LOAD MANAGEMENT Using sports science, Notre Dame manages rest and recovery more precisely than ever Fighting Irish players wear a Catapult GPS monitoring device dur- ing practice, which gathers data for how much and how fast play- ers run, how often they're changing directions and how frequently they're engaging in collisions. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - October 28, 2023