Summer for the Cats

06/13/2011 02:59 PM

This is for all of you out there wondering what it’s like for UK players during the hot summer months. Do you believe it is countless hours floating around in the pool? Maybe you think it’s a fine time for the guys to chase ladies? Or perhaps the guys are getting some much-needed rest?

Yeah right!

It’s not your average summer for the Kentucky Wildcats. Fresh off a Final Four run, the veterans are ready to get back to business. Meanwhile, the new highly touted freshmen are stepping foot on campus in Lexington for the first time as Wildcats… trying their best to get acquainted. A successful summer will see the two groups, veterans and newcomers, coming together and meshing as one.

Even though freshmen must stay on campus in the dorms while the older players are allowed to venture out to nearby apartments, there will be no shortage of cookouts and team meetings. Team bonding, on and off the court, is very important during these months particularly because the summer schedule can be overwhelming at first.

The summer schedule basically breaks down like this: Lifting and class in the morning, pick-up basketball games in the afternoon, and tutoring/study hall in the evening.

Even though it’s a pretty laid back atmosphere in the summers under Coach Cal, the strength and conditioning coach has the reins. Guys will be driven to improve over May, June, and July with lifting and individual improvement being a daily thing and conditioning only a few times a week. Each player will be charted on strength (bench and squats) and conditioning (sprints and suicides). It’s important that everyone makes individual strides from week to week.

As for pick-up games, another thing to keep in mind is how many NBA players will be on campus this summer. Players like John Wall and Patrick Patterson will make their way to Lexington to train, as will players that Coach Cal has on the Dominican Republic National Team. Every pick-up game will be competitive and intense. What better atmosphere could there be for the talented freshmen to develop in?

None.

Without question, Kentucky’s sights will be set on a 2012 National Championship. Coach Cal knows it, the freshmen know it, and the veterans know it. The summer is where each guy finds it in himself to limit distractions and improve. Sky is the limit for this team.

About Mark Krebs

Mark Krebs graduated cum laude from the University of Kentucky in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and was a three-year letterman in basketball. He proved himself to three different coaches (Smith, Gillispie, and Calipari) in his four years with the Cats and eventually earned a scholarship after three years of being a walk-on. Mark is currently splitting time between his book tour for Beyond a Dream and starring as part-time co-host on KSTV.

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