Hartshorn’s Blog: From Spring Break to First Scrimmage

Two weeks ago we were on spring break at the beach, at home, or visiting a foreign country with not a worry in the world.

Fast forward to 8 a.m. this past Saturday, butterflies were in our stomachs as we were both excited and nervous to scrimmage for the first time all spring.

So, how did we go from 80 degrees on Miami Beach to 40 degrees at Barker-Lane Stadium? Let me take you through the process:

Step 1 – Getting the Body Back in Shape

It was the first day back from break and it’s time to get our bodies back into shape. There is no better way to start then with a heavy squat day to, as Coach Minter says, ‘get the legs back.’ I learned quickly that Coach Minter and I have opposite definitions when it comes to getting the legs back.

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On Monday our lift focused on the lower half of the body, so by no surprise on Tuesday we had an upper body lift. The surprise came when lift ended and Coach Stryffeler told us to get our cleats on for coaches stations.

The feeling we had within us was similar to when a coach tells you to get on the line after practice. To our luck though, the coaches stations we did were a condensed version and we were all smiles around 6 p.m. when it was time to head home.

Step 2 – Team Bonding

Everyone was ready for some rest and relaxation and what better way to do that then gathering in the field house to play UNO and eat wings.

We were able to take a small break from reality, enjoy a simple childhood game, and learn a little bit more about each other.

After the games finished up and the wings were gone, we headed over to the Convocation Center to watch the basketball team in the College Basketball Invitational. There was only one rule all night; no cell phones allowed.

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Step 3 – Back to the Basics

It’s finally time to get back on the practice field. With two practices over the next three days, the coaches want to ensure we all have a great grasp on our base formations and plays after going a week and a half without practice.

So, there were no new concepts in for practice Thursday and Saturday. However, Saturday’s practice brought something new to the mix, full pads. Saturday’s practice was filled with contact, contact, and more contact with live drills mixed in throughout practice. The industriousness and enthusiasm were high.

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Step 4 – Routine Lift & Meetings

After a glorious day off on Sunday, it was time to get back work. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays consist of weight training, conditioning, and meetings. This week was a bit special as we prepared for our first scrimmage of Spring Football on Saturday.

With a scrimmage, comes new plays and formations. We worked on understanding the new plays and studied film from practice during the week to sharpen our knowledge on the new pressures, route concepts, and pre-snap reads that our coaches threw upon us.

Step 5 – Practice Time (again)

It was time to move out of the meeting room and onto the field and practice these new concepts we installed. Tuesday’s practice had its ups and downs, which comes when something new is installed.

After seeing the new concepts on film, we were able to clean up some things and fix the kinks. Thursday’s practice was shorter and precise, as we wanted to be as sound as possible going into the scrimmage.

That’s not all though. This week we had drills on our four different phases of special teams: kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return. Although, punt was nothing new to us; we do it every single day. Yes, it is as exciting as it sounds.

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Step 6 – Scrimmage Day

The day has finally come and we don’t mind waking up at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning as much as before.

The routine stays the same with a team meeting to start of the day, then transitioning to position meetings for last minute adjustments and then an hour of free time to prepare our minds and bodies before going full force for the first time this spring.

I will say the scrimmage went well, however as you know depending on the player or coach you talk to the narrative could be different. Nonetheless, we can all agree that the scrimmage was effective in measuring not only the potential success of individual players, but the execution of the new concepts going forward.


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.

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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.