Head football coaches are infamous control freaks, and especially at the college level, where you’re dealing with upwards of 100 young guys, it’s understandable. And sometimes, those young guys need some instruction in areas that might sound a little strange. And that’s how Derek Dooley, first-year head man at the University of Tennessee, found himself teaching his players how to shower properly.
Apparently, some team members recently fell victim to staph infections, and Dooley decided it was time to do something about it. He said this season’s Vols had “the worst shower discipline of any team [he’d] ever been around,” and well, um, no comment.
But we will comment on Dooley’s explanation of what exactly the team did:
“We did a clinic yesterday on proper shower technique and soap and using a rag. We put some new rags in. Y’all think I’m kidding, but I’m serious…we talked a little bit about application of soap to the rag and making sure you hit all your body. You know, you can neglect it trying to cut corners, and it shows in how you practice and elsewhere. I’m hoping we show some improvement in that.”
And our comment is this: unlike the time Dooley tried to reward certain reporters by granting them practice access over others he didn’t like as much, the shower lesson is actually a good idea. The devil is truly in the details, and no less a coach than John Wooden gave players guidance on how to put on shoes and socks.
Plus: again, college teams have massive rosters, leading to at least 100 guys sharing – no matter how extravagantly booster-funded – a relatively small space. That’s an ideal environment for pathogens to spread, and it’s worth making every effort to prevent…no matter how funny it might sound at first.