ROCKINGHAM — There are two ways to look at things: There is the glass-half-full approach or the glass-half-empty view.
Richmond Senior coach Mike Castellano tries to find something positive in any situation and this summer’s practices are no different. Richmond started its summer workouts on June 15 and will wrap things up on July 30.
The team will have a practice today and a 7-on-7 with Asheboro and Cape Fear on Thursday before shutting things down for a week because of the annual coaches’ clinic in Greensboro.
Castellano has brought different philosophies and schemes on offense and defense with him from Middle Creek. He said the thing he and the coaching staff are working on is getting the team to improve each day and remain on the same page.
“I feel they are getting acclimated,” Castellano said. “Obviously they have done something for years over and over again. The repetitive actions they have prior practice, it is going to take a little time to break them of that. For the most part, I say 80 percent of the time we’re practicing the way we want to practice. There’s that 20 percent where maybe we are kinda reverting back to old ways. We just have to keep working on it and stay consistent.”
Assistant coach Steve Burdeau said they added to the offensive playbook Tuesday morning. He was pleased to see the players absorb the information quickly and utilize it later in the day.
“I am pleased with how we are developing as far as our concepts getting installed,” Burdeau said. “We installed two more today and both of them went pretty well. It’s good to see from the early drills to the 7-on-7 the kids picked up that. Not just the receivers, but the quarterbacks and the running backs all looked good together. So that was a good thing to see.”
Even with all of the positives the coaching staff has seen over the last five weeks, they all agree there is still room for improvement. With another 10-day looming, Castellano wants his players to come back from the final week of summer practice ready to fine-tune what they have learned.
The team will have four days of summer workouts the last week of July before its official day of practice on Aug. 1.
“We need to just clean everything up and continue to improve what we are doing,” Castellano said. “Not have any lulls and create as much consistency as we can.
“Consistency, that’s the main thing. We just have to be repetitive. We do it at practice, we do it in meetings, we do it during walk-though. We have to continue to teach them and repetitively do it. Hopefully every time we do it, it’s a little more muscle memory and more natural to them. That’s all we can hope for.”
Burdeau believes this type of thinking will be beneficial in getting the offense prepared for its new tempo. Burdeau said the key to maintaining the fast-paced style of play is being able to get players in and out of the game quickly. He said he and coaches Brad Denson and Andy Shuler have been making this a point of emphasis during the practice and 7-on-7s.
“We have talked about tempo several times and I feel like we are getting closer to where we want to be,” Burdeau said. “There’s a little positive there and negative. I feel like we are getting closer, but we still have room to improve on that part.
“We worked on subbing on and off the field in 7-on-7 at the end like we did last week in the 7-on-7. We still need to get used to that. That is really the next phrase of game-like situations. We have to be able to get from the left side of the field over to the sideline and get somebody back onto the field before we are ready to snap the next play. So that’s our next transition. That’s more for the skill guys than the OL.”
Castellano added he has been floored with the way the players have approached the summer practices and their attitudes even as temperatures have soared close to 100 degrees on some days.
“I told everybody who has asked me, these are great kids who want to work hard,” Castellano said. “That to me is an incredible thing. They’re fun to work with. They want to work hard and they want to be successful. That is a huge positive to us.”
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