This has been a drama free spring for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The key continuing storylines have been depth (or the lack thereof) at offensive line and the undetermined status of QB1 and dramatic news of any kind has been essentially nonexistent. However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been things to enjoy.
One thing I’ve really liked about this spring is the U’s publication of videos for all the post practice media scrums. The local beat writers are doing a great job of chronicling the highlights from these sessions, but I’ve often found that watching how the coaches respond adds a little depth to what is being said. And of course, there are always little nuggets that don’t make it into print but that were covered in the session to enjoy as well too (especially if you like Fleck’s energy cause the dude is a really engaging speaker).
Below are the most recent press scrum videos for both Coach Fleck and Coach Ciarrocca with some quick notes on moments I liked from each. There are some other good videos out in the last week that I’ll try to highlight in another post, but for now enjoy listening to the coaches!
4/1 - Coach Fleck
I actually took poor notes when watching this one. I’d really urge you to watch the whole thing because this was a session with the media where I really enjoyed Fleck’s demeanor through the whole video.
At 10:25 Fleck talks about the new thing they are trying out with this Spring Game of having fans bring their own oars to “donate” to the program. The idea is that you would write your own name, the name of loved one who may have passed or who cared a great deal about the Gophers on it. Doesn’t matter the age, condition, size, painted, not painted, plastic, wood...just bring an oar if you can/feel like it. While Fleck wasn’t specific about how they would be used, it certainly appears that this will be part of an initiative to connect the wider community directly to the program in a visual way. Given how important Row The Boat is to Fleck, something tells me these oars will be used in some neat ways going forward.
4/4 - Coach Fleck
Here were the moments that stood out to me:
- 7:55: Fleck talks about the importance of making the most of your reps. You want reps? Here they are, but you have to be accountable for what you do with them. He explains the NFL experiences that drive this mindset.
- 8:45: Fleck’s energy when the media asks him about “his boy Squeek” is fun.
- 10:00: The question is about pressure situations in practice, but what stood out for me was the following thing that Coach Fleck said: “We talked about our core values: responsibility, trust, and belief. R-T-B. It’s not just Row The Boat, it’s Responsibility, Trust, Belief.” I found that interesting because people often dismiss the “Fleck-isms” as being fluff. However, when you listen to him talk about it there is an actual purpose and intent behind them all that connect them together at a level I hadn’t expected.
- 11:10: Fleck spends the last 2 minutes of a 13 minute interview talking not about his team, but about the gymnastics and softball teams. The softball portion of the conversation was his own segue way and I love the passion and energy he shares as he uses his last moments with the media to give two deserving teams love and publicity.
4/4 - Coach Ciarrocca
This was my first real chance to hear Coach Ciarrocca speak and I enjoyed hearing him speak about his philosophies. There is some stuff in here I think a lot of you will like.
- 4:45 to 6:30: “We evolved around our players.” Everything Ciarrocca talks about here should be music to your ears.
- 9:05: Everything Coach Ciarrocca thinks about QB1 right now.