West Virginia Mountaineers Hold Football Practice in Hotel Ballroom

By Mike Atkinson
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers arrived in New York today expecting a typical day of practice for their bowl game this Saturday against the Syracuse Orange.

Boy, were they mistaken. As the Mountaineers were waiting for their practice to approach, the New York weather began to worsen.

The Mountaineers were supposed to practice at Fordham University, on a practice field, but were forced to move indoors and practice in the ballroom of the Hotel they were staying in.

Syracuse chose to practice earlier in the day, before the weather got bad.

Now, I don’t know about you readers, but to me, this sounds like an absolute blast. Remember when you were little and your mom used to yell at you for playing football in the house? Well I can almost hear children across America using this as an excuse for tossing football inside.

Granted this isn’t a small ballroom. I’m sure the hotel the team is staying in is a huge, grand hotel, but regardless, it’s still a hotel.

From a coach’s perspective I’d imagine it would be pretty hard to keep the attention of the players in this sort of an environment. I know I’ve been involved with some practices of various sports where practices were held in abnormal environments like this, and I remember my teammates having a hard time concentrating on the task at hand.

It almost begins to feel like it isn’t really a practice, and subconsciously people begin doing things they wouldn’t have normally done in an outdoor practice. It begins to feel like a time to have a pickup game of football rather than a time to focus on fundamentals.

The other thing worth noting here is how this will affect WVU’s special teams. The team has had quite a layoff since the last time it played a game, and the special teams unit had struggled throughout the season.

My question is how does a team practice special teams in a ballroom? Even if the room is wide and long enough to run plays in, I can’t imagine it would have a high enough roof to punt and kick a ball.

The special teams unit is the group that probably needs the most work after a layoff.

Anyway, I’m sure the players enjoyed the change of scenery for their practice.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.


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