Men's Hoopsters Tackle Army Obstacle Training Course
CSU's men's basketball team faced a different form of pre-season
training and conditioning when they visited Ft. Benning's Warrior
Training Center Confidence Course last Friday, October 9. The
Cougars were enthusiastically greeted by Army training specialists
and cadets that assisted in preparing them for an afternoon of
timed maneuvers and competitions throughout one of Ft. Benning's
multi-versatile outdoor training facilities.
The course is designed to simulate field conditions infantry soldiers and Rangers may face in combative and non-combative environments. It incorporates a variety of well-designed "obstacle" stations that challenge the participants' physicality and mental toughness, while imposing objectives that require the participants to problem-solve within a "team" setting. Stations include rope climbing, balance beams, jungle bars, running and/or jumping around or over physical barriers, extreme climb and descent structures, and some structures that can literally turn a body into a human pretzel in order for the participant to complete its use.
"I loved it and hope I can do it again," said freshman guard Anthony Smith. "Some of the stuff we did I never imagined I could or would have to do. Everybody was challenged by something but the rope climbing drills were the most difficult for me."
Senior guard Brandon Bland grew up as a proverbial "military brat" and his father, a sergeant in the Air Force, is presently deployed in the Middle East. "Coming from a military background, I know how military training aims to push a person to their limits. Today was as much about getting through it as it was team building and working together. We all had to carry our own weight but we also had to do it together."
Junior forward Jeffeth Maxim thought the day emphasized unity. "This was one of those things where everybody on the team had to support each other and work together under pressure or we'd fail. I now know without any doubt that my teammates will have my back when times get tough."
"This experience was one of those off-court experiences that brings a team together for real," shared junior guard Lamar Williams. "We talked as a team a lot about it afterwards. We agreed it showed us how important it is to persevere together. I think we became closer as a team."
Head Coach Doug Branson wishes to thank the officers, non-commissioned officers, and cadets at Ft. Benning that shared their experience and insight with us. "This was a day that the Cougars will likely remember throughout their lifetimes. We wish to thank Lt. Col. Mark Ridley, Major Patrick Jones, their staff, cadet Jerome Mercer, and fellow cadets who coached us. We greatly appreciated the time and courtesy they and Ft. Benning extended to the Cougars."
CSU men's basketball tips off at Dillard University in New Orleans on November 14, and will have its home opener at the Lumpkin Arena at 7:00 pm (EST) on November 30 versus Carver Bible College.
Click here to view more photos of the team taking on the obstacle course (opens in a new window).