Mickey Marotti calls it "the most challenging thing I've done in my career." Marotti, Ohio State football's strength and conditioning guru, is trying to prepare the Buckeyes for an uncertain 2020 season, with players scattered across the country. Under normal circumstances, Marotti would be hands on with players, putting them through the off-season program with workouts at the Woody Hayes Facility. COVID-19, however, has forced Marotti and college football programs across the country, to adjust and attempt to prepare players for the season through motivating text messages and zoom calls.
"When this thing is over, whenever it does get back to some normality, you're either better or your worse than your were when this thing started," Marotti said in a Wednesday conference call with reporters. "I put a challenge out to our team, our coaches, our staff---everybody...you can't make an excuse about the circumstance we all have to deal with."
Marotti admits, it is difficult for many of the Buckeyes to find the workout equipment they need. Nonetheless, failing to be in the best physical condition as possible is unacceptable.
"There's other people out there, our competitors and teams we're going to play...are they working that you are?," Marotti said. "I know you don't have equipment, I know you don't have weights, I get it--I know, but at some point this thing is going to be over and we've got to be---again---you're either going to be better or worse so we've pretty much led that message and just make sure our leaders are permeating throughout the team when they talk to each other."
Marotti talked at length about the difficulty of running an off-season program remotely, the unusual methods some of the Buckeyes have been forced to use in order to stay in shape and much more. It was an interesting 40 minute discussion. You can check it out by clicking here.