The Golden Bears are spending two days together at school and getting a chance to bond with each other.
“To me, I think it is probably the most important thing we are doing this time this year,” Lincoln head coach Chad Martin said Friday. “It is time for the coaches and players to come together for two days. It is just that time of competing, working and the time that we have free to get away from football to talk about things in life and have fun with each other.
“We have been doing some team bonding things at night with each other and I can see the difference in the kids. Every kid is excited about what we are doing.”
Being able to be around each other during the two days will give the players as well as the coaching staff a chance to learn more about each other. Martin believes activities like this will help his young men when it comes to building any kind of relationships.
“In today’s world so few of your young men have the chance to really hang out and bond with males,” Martin said. “It is important for any program or any facet of life. I think a lot of time you learn to have relationships whether it’s your family, wife or girlfriend or teammates, you have to learn that.
“These guys have learned a lot from each other. The coaching staff has learned a tremendous amount from these kids. You get to see a little more of them that you don’t normally get to see if you are just at practice or in just a regular school day. You get to see the unique and special part about all of the athletes.”
The camp is not all about bonding. The Golden Bears spend the majority of their time at the camp getting prepared for the first game of the season. These two days also give the coaches a chance to show the players that they are appreciated.
“We come in at 6:30 and do a little chalk talk on the boards and do the mental part of the game,” Martin said. “Then we come to the field and work on execution and get everything prepared for the season. Then we go back in for lunch and give them a break from the heat of the day.
“It gives them some time to get together and that’s team time only. Coaches really don’t mingle with them during that time; that’s the time for players to come together as a unit. They can form that special bond together and then we come back on to the field to go through the basics.
“We go back in at night; we have a meal then we have our team time. That is when the coaches and players get together. It’s fun to see them laugh. They are imitating us and we are imitating them. It is a good time for us all and we all get to laugh.
“I think that it is good. A lot of time as coaches if we are not careful we ride them all the time. They never see us giving them the praise and support. We appreciate what they do; they go above and beyond.”
Senior DeMarco Willis has enjoyed the time that he has spent with his teammates and the coaching staff.
“It is just amazing,” Willis said. “(Thursday) night we had an imitation period where players got to imitate coaches and coaches got to imitate players. It was all good between everybody. We were just sitting around laughing and having a good time.”
Adam Holtman believes this will help the Golden Bears on Friday nights when they are battling in the trenches.
“I think that it well help a lot,” Holtman said. “To be a good team you have to be close, you have to know that you can count on each other and I believe it will help us out a lot.”
Martin and the Golden Bears are grateful to all the local business that donated items to them during the camp.
“We have men in our community that have fed us,” Martin said. “We have had businesses donate cups to us. I think every business in Lincoln gave us everything that we needed. Super Foods took care of us with meat. It has been one of those things where it has been the community giving back to the kids.
“I think that is what makes Lincoln so unique and so special to be at. Our community really supports what the kids in everything that they do, not just athletically. Whether it’s academically, band or cheerleading or whatever it is. I tell the kids all the time that we are blessed; we have what we have because of the community.”
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