Hartshorn’s Blog: Team Philosophy – Part 2

It’s Thursday night, August 30th and it’s three minutes until the 2018 season kicks off. Campbell breaks through the giant inflatable helmet and takes the field as fans rise to their feet, enthusiasm is in the air.

Rewind the calendar back six months, the players are putting on their helmet, cleats, and jersey getting ready to take the field for the first practice of spring ball. However, this time as we exit the field house, there is no helmet to run through, no fans in the stands and it is pouring rain. But now more than ever, enthusiasm has to be in the air.

During both the first spring practice and first game of the season, we are trying to grow as a team and get one step closer to achieving our goal of winning the Big South Conference Championship.

So, why would we have different levels of energy at each event?

Yes, a game day level of excitement can be matched by only few things, but enthusiasm is more than just exciting energy. Enthusiasm is defined as absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit.

Well, our interest is the Big South Championship and the ability to control our mind to be passionate and lock in on the everyday process to accomplish that goal is vital to success within the Campbell Football organization.

So how do we carry that out every day?

In the last blog I laid out the four main phases for a Campbell Football player: practice, weight training, class, and personal development. Incorporating enthusiasm is just as important as integrating industriousness.

Imagine that it’s now spring practice number eight, currently 35 degrees and it’s raining heavily. The last thing you want to do is to go outside, push your body past its limit, and have Coach Butterworth yelling in your ear. But, enthusiasm is required.

It’s Friday morning, 6:00 a.m., in the middle of June, lift is about to start and its max squat day. Your legs feel heavy and all you can think about is heading to the beach after workouts are done. But, enthusiasm is required.

It’s exam week, you have two finals the next day and you’ve been in the library for the past four hours. Your head is starting to hurt, your stomach is growling, and all you wish for is to be back in your room with a cookout tray and milkshake and call it a night. But, enthusiasm is required.

It’s 5:00 a.m. on regular Wednesday morning and it’s cold, dark and time to start your daily process. You would much rather go back to sleep than run a mile and read a chapter of Leadership Fitness by Homer Rice. But, enthusiasm is required.

It’s conditioning time at the end of practice and we are starting to look like…

Jack Orginal
Jack Ryan
Block Orginal
Aaron Blockmon

And if we need a quick reminder about the enthusiasm we need to bring. We look up to see these two wonderful faces, who are more than happy to remind us.

Coach Keough
Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Alex Keough
Coach Lindsay
Linebackers Coach, Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay

That’s the second part of our team philosophy. Now you should have a better understanding when someone refers to the cornerstones of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success at a game, practice, or in an interview online.

Next week is spring break for us, so the spring blog series will continue in two weeks with a deeper look at spring practice. I hope you enjoy!

Thomas Hartshorn is a redshirt senior linebacker on the Campbell Football team from Apex, N.C. Read his entire blog series leading up to the start of the 2018 season.



Hartshorn’s Blog: Team Philosophy – Part 1

Everywhere you go, there is one word you will see and hear constantly around the Campbell Football program: Industriousness.

In simple terms, Industriousness means hard work, although it means much more than that to the Campbell Football program. The word became one of our two cornerstones with the introduction of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

When we hear industriousness, two words come to mind: devotion and consistency.

Many people and teams work hard regularly and still seem to fall short of success. That’s because they forget to develop a devotion for success. Our team, before off-season workouts begin, created goals for the upcoming season.

One of our goals for the 2018 season is to win the Big South Championship.

The simple recall of industriousness reminds us of that goal by understanding that we must work hard all phases to develop ourselves to a level where we can help Campbell Football win the Big South Championship.

So, what does that look like for us on a consistent basis?

Let’s start with the clearest phase, practice. During the spring, we are allowed to have 15 practices, including scrimmages. Spring ball starts on Thursday (March 1) and goes until April 14th, the day of our spring game at Barker-Lane Stadium.

The first week of practice is exciting, no more prowlers, gassers, or shuttles, just football. And we have no trouble working hard. However, when we get into week four and five of practice, everything starts to become repetitive and working hard requires a conscious effort. With a basic gesture of industriousness, we know that we need to focus in on our alignment, assignment, and technique each play to continue our development.

The next phase does not have a limit of 15 times, weight training. Like practice, the action required is relatively straightforward, pushing your body past its limit to become stronger and faster.

This is done in three different layers: lifting, conditioning, and our new method, yoga.


Through January and February, we have lifting and conditioning four days a week. We do everything from squatting and benching to overhead pressing and cleaning.

After National Signing Day in early February, our conditioning changes into circuit form that we call coaches stations and us players have the ‘joy’ of seeing our coaches smiling faces as they prepare to drive us to the ground. Although, we dread doing them, we constantly have to remind ourselves to push hard and not get through and industriousness helps us with changing our mindset.

Flexibility is just as important as strength on the field and in the weight room. Mike Stryffeler, our head strength and conditioning coach, saw that we needed to improve in this area and integrated yoga into our workout plan once a week.

Yes, watching 300-pound lineman doing yoga is just as funny as you are imagine in your head. However, we do take the 45 minute session serious and our yoga instructor, Jenn, does a fantastic job with us. We can see a difference in our bodies while running and lifting the rest of the week.


Performance in the classroom is just as important as performance on the field. The two biggest things that hinders performance in the classroom are time management and motivation. We use plenty of measures to help players learn these valuable skills like study hall, integrity sheets, and academic meetings with coaches and advisors.

However, sometimes we need more than what the organization can provide. That’s when one of the leaders on the team will meet with a player to explain to him the importance of industriousness in the classroom and how it will carry over to the field. The goal is to instill the same work ethic the player has on field in the classroom.

Our goal each semester is for every player to have a 3.0 GPA and each player to reach this achievement is recognized in front of the team, providing a little external incentive.

The other classroom we have is the film room and outside of position meetings with coaches, this phase is totally controlled by us. This makes implanting industriousness into our subconscious crucial. We have to secure a grasp on time management to effectively complete our work in the classroom and film room.

The last phase is special to our program. Personal development is essential part of being in college and coach Minter takes it to another level. With his implementation of leadership classes and sessions with sports psychologists, he understands that developing the mind is just as imperative as developing the body.

Everyone has something that they could get better at and after a 30 minute meeting with coach Minter, he can tell you what that something is and how to go about improving it.

That’s the first part of our team philosophy and one of the two cornerstones. Our next post will explain the second piece of the team philosophy, Enthusiasm.

Hartshorn’s Blog on Campbell Football

It’s Thursday night, August 30th, 2018 and everyone is piling into Barker-Lane Stadium to see how the Fighting Camels will do in their first contest of the new season.

People are excited to reconnect with friends, support their fellow classmates, and see if this is the year Campbell Football brings home the conference championship.

However, before we can battle for the Big South title, we have to battle with barbells, bags, books, and the dreaded prowlers.

I’m Thomas Hartshorn, No. 38 on the Campbell Football team, and I’ll be sharing a behind the scenes look at our 8-month process leading up to kickoff on August 30th. Before we get into the juicy topics, I want to introduce myself and share and with you a little about my Campbell experience.

My story begins 30 minutes down the road (depending how fast you drive) in Raleigh, NC. Sports have always been a passion for me, so it only seemed right to continue my football career at Campbell University. Although I was surprised to learn all the great things Campbell has to offer, and I’m truly glad that I choose this university.

As I said before, my life revolved around sports, therefore I choose Exercise & Sports Science as my major, hoping to continue to be around sports after I graduate.

However, after a year of classes, I realized that major was not best for me and I switched into the business school. Luckily, that was my only major change. I’m currently in my fourth year of the Business Administration (4+1) program, which means I’ll receive my Master’s and Bachelor’s in Business Administration in May of 2019.

That’s enough about academics, for now. The question I hear most from people, other than ‘How did you guys do this year’, is what do you enjoy the most about playing college football?

For me, it is being able to experience college with teammates, whether that’s during fall camp, away game trips, on weekends, spring and summer workouts, or on game day. It’s been a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.

So why would I want to add to my college workload?

It all starts with my career goals, which center on landing a job out of college in the National Football League. I’ve taken this position along with being a contributing writer and video editor for two different websites while starting my own blog called “The Hart of Sports” to develop my writing, video and communication skills.

Although it seems that I stay constantly busy, I do find the occasional time to have a little fun. When it comes to sports: Frisbee Golf and Slow-Pitch Softball (it’s fun, trust me) are avid hobbies of mine. Reading has become a bigger hobby of mine since I began college, anything from American Sniper to Getting to Yes. Also, with the creation of Fortnite, my interest in video games has rapidly increased. Lastly, my ‘interesting fact’ is that I make homemade bread. It’s a little different, but once you try a slice you’ll want more too.

That’s a small taste of my life. Coming up next, I will explain one of the cornerstones of our team philosophy and how it impacts everything we do.


Thomas Hartshorn


Schisler Shifts Into Leadership Role

Written by: Matthew Sokol, Campbell blog contributor

A force to be reckoned with on the diamond and a vocal powerhouse in the dugout. This is one of the best ways to describe Amber Schisler, the senior pitcher and emotional leader for Campbell.

“The fact that people see that she works extra hard while it pays off for her numbers and production wise, it becomes easier for people to look at her and migrate towards Amber as a leader,” said head coach Todd Bradley.

Bradley recognizes that the work she does for her team is self-induced. Schisler isn’t asked to be a leader; she does it from within.

“It is something that she just believes in, and she does a good job of bringing the team together keeping them up.”

Being one of the leaders on the Campbell Softball team isn’t an easy thing to do, but Schisler’s teammates have quickly noticed the asset she’s become for the Camels.

“I trust Amber and we have been through a lot together,” said Madison Herring. “I think the biggest thing is that when you are in stressful situations, you look for people who have been through it before and Amber is one of the main people we look toward.”

Herring is cognizant of what Schisler provides to the team, and they are both close with Melissa Tullar, who holds down the first base spot on the diamond. All three girls trust one another. Tullar knows that Schisler keeps things real on and off the field.

“I think that Amber is very straightforward, and whenever we need to hear somebody; Amber is that person to help guide us,” said Tullar. “I really think her best quality is no matter what the score of the game is, she is always loud.”

Players mention that no matter if the game is going great or times are tough, Schisler has everyone’s back. Schisler’s view on herself as a leader, meanwhile, remains selfless.


“My teammates motivate me, and they are my sisters,” said Schisler. “As the season has gone on, I see us getting closer and it portrays out at practice. It makes my heart happy to see a group of girls all playing for each other.”

Becoming a strong leader on the field didn’t just happen overnight for Schisler. Time and patience were vital in her development as a leader for Campbell Softball.

“It was a big transition for me [becoming a leader on the team], and I think it was a matter of working hard while doing what you are supposed to do,” noted Schisler.

As the Fighting Camels head into the heart of Big South play, Schisler recognizes the importance of playing her role both on the diamond and as one of the main leaders.

“I think it naturally comes to a balance and people to start look for you. Whether it is communicating with the team or coaches, somewhere at my time at Campbell people starting to me for things; I took on that role and ran with it.”

The Fighting Camels return to action Saturday in a doubleheader at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium starting at 1:00 pm as they take on the Liberty Flames in a three-game set. Make sure to follow @GoCamelsSB on Twitter for the latest updates.

Postseason Play Poses Tough Challenge

Written by: Matthew Sokol, Campbell blog contributor

Postseason basketball has arrived in Buies Creek as the Fighting Camels (21-9, 13-5 BSC) will battle St. Francis (Pa.) (16-14, 13-5 NEC) tonight in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational postseason tournament, the first-ever women’s basketball postseason game inside Gore Arena.

“We have another chance to compete in the postseason, and it is something to be proud of,” said senior Brianna Cribb. “I think everyone is just trying to get their mind right coming off three consecutive losses, and hopefully we just go out and play hard.”

The opportunity to keep the 2016-2017 season alive is something that head coach Ronny Fisher and the rest of his squad is excited about. An area vital for tonight’s success will remain centered around playing good defense for 40 minutes, according to Fisher, who pointed out that the Red Flash present an interesting matchup of strength vs. strength.

“The pairing is a really tough one as they can really score,” noted Fisher. “They scored 103 points on Wisconsin [back on Nov.13] so they are very good. We have to do a great job and our strength has been on defense all year so we have to do a good job of that.”

The Camels ranked first in the country in scoring defense this season (48.6 PPG allowed average) and want to maintain that stalwart effort against the high-scoring Red Flash, who rank 22nd overall in the NCAA averaging just over 75 points per game.

As one of the team’s leaders, Cribb has been preparing for moments like tonight throughout her entire career. The Fighting Camels focused on improving their performance on both sides of the floor during practice this week after the quarterfinal round loss last Friday in the Big South Conference Tournament against No. 7 seed UNC Asheville, the eventual tournament champions.

“We have been reiterating what Coach Fisher has been saying, and just pushing his sales pitch that we still can be good and do great things in this tournament,” said Cribb.

This Campbell squad has a lot of different factors to be focusing on during the game against St. Francis (Pa.) as the Red Flash rank second nationally making 10.6 threes per game while averaging 6.5 blocks per game; also the second-best mark in the country.

For Brianna Cribb and the Fighting Camels, the key to winning tonight’s game relies upon their ability to translate good defense into solid offensive possessions.

“I feel that if you can stop a team from scoring, and that you can put good numbers as well; you have a good chance to win the game,” said Cribb. “Our team has to focus more on offense, and make sure that we are executing our plays right.”We also have to take our time and not rush at a speed that they want to play at all night.”

The last time these two teams met was on New Year ’s Eve back in 1994 during a holiday tournament where the Red Flash came away with the victory on their home court. Tonight’s Women’s Basketball Invitational contest starts at 7 p.m. inside Gore Arena and fans can watch the action live on the Big South Network.

Postseason Tournament Fan Invite

Campbell Women’s Basketball begins postseason play Thursday night at 7 p.m. hosting St. Francis Pa. and the squad spent some time personally inviting fans across the area to support the Fighting Camels in the opening round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational.

The Fighting Camels finished second in the Big South Conference this season and head coach Ronny Fisher earned Coach of the Year Honors. For more information on the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI), click here for the latest.

Remember to follow @GoCamelsWBB on Twitter and Instagram to follow the Campbell Women’s Basketball team all throughout postseason play.

Motivated By Brotherly Connection

Written by: Matthew Sokol – Campbell blog contributor

If you have heard teammates refer to themselves as a family, they are usually just close friends that wrestle for the same team. For the Campbell wrestling team, Nathan and Austin Kraisser plus Ville and Jere Heino experience the true brotherly connection.

They are more than just four Camels wrestling for the same team who help guide each other on and off the mat – including twin brothers Brandon and Bradley Skinner.

The older brothers, Nathan and Ville, are leaders for the Campbell squad, and have been able to show the ropes to their younger brothers during their careers. As both veterans prepare for Senior Day this Saturday hosting VMI, the time spent wrestling together becomes even more meaningful.

“I try to set an example for my brother,” said older brother Nathan Kraisser, adding, “and lead by example than through words. I am constantly checking in on him (Austin), and inviting him over to my house to hangout.”

Campbell head coach Cary Kolat views the Kraisser’s and the Heino’s as great assets to the team.

“I think it shows a lot for our program when we have brothers willing to follow their brother to a program that means they are enjoying the experience they are getting,” said Kolat.

“Those guys in particular have made huge impacts on our lineup with both sets [of brothers]. We hope that [Austin and Jere] shine further than their brothers did earning more wins and accomplishments; not to take away from Nathan and Ville.”

Both pair of brothers share similar feelings of support for one another. Just like any other sibling rivalry there is competition, but helping each other improve is what sticks out in the relationship as Campbell teammates and brothers.

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Austin Kraisser – Currently 18-9 in Dual Matches
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Nathan Kraisser – Currently 23-6 in Dual Matches

“We are from a big family, and we have some other brothers. I am a little taller for my weight, and my wrestling tends to be more technical. Austin uses his athleticism more, but since he has been in college, he has become more technical,” Nathan points out.

For younger brother Austin, he has watched his older brother wrestle both as a Tar Heel and as a Fighting Camel when Nathan transferred in 2014, taking an initial redshirt year.

Austin Kraisser has also seen his brother win the Southern Conference Championship, something that is on his personal checklist this season as the tournament approaches.

“I have always gone to his matches and his work inspires me to do as well as I can,” said Austin. “I want to work hard to be just as good as he is or even better. I see Nathan working hard and it makes me want to work hard. It is like a battle back and forth, as we are pushing each other to our limits every day.”

The Kraisser brothers have had the ability to support each other as teammates this season, something that the Heino brothers went through last season during Jere Heino’s first year at Campbell. Both brothers have won their last five matches in their respective classes and are feeding off each others success.

“I have a learned a lot that I have been able to help him (Jere) like where you get car insurance,” noted Ville, adding, “Now that we are older, we aren’t competing against each other since he is so big now. We are supporting each other, and that has been very helpful. We mostly talk about wrestling and it is something we both enjoy.”

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Ville Heino – Currently 23-6 in Dual Matches
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Jere Heino – 19-6 in Dual Matches

Jere Heino has wrestled together with his older brother, Ville, since they were young. Jere earned a spot on So-Con All-Freshman team last season, and finished fourth in the SoCon Championship – striving for even more as his sophomore season concludes next month.

“Ville has been very helpful and good a role model to me,” said Jere Heino. “On the wrestling mat, I think he has been a good inspiration for myself and the rest of the team. I think if Ville wrestles well, it changes my mentality and I do better and I don’t think we would be this close if it wasn’t for wrestling.”

The Heino and Kraisser brothers return to action along with the rest of the Campbell squad on Feb. 18 when they take on VMI for Senior Day at 5:00pm inside Carter Gym, closing out their home career building on the impressive 5-1 start in SoCon action.

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