Women’s Football Clinic Triples in Numbers

Charlie Strong Speaks to Clinic Members

University of Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong has seen a number of things during his coaching days. He has won two national championships and sent a number of players into the professional ranks. However, he might not have seen something start at almost nothing to almost triple in one year.

Strong and his staff initiated the women in the city of Louisville to the Charlie Strong Women’s Clinic in 2010, and approximately 250 women participated in the day long event. However, last Saturday in the PNC Club, over 600 ladies attended and enjoyed a great day hearing about Louisville football, and getting unreal workout.

Starting right at 10:00 a.m., Strong introduced himself and his staff to the large crowd in attendance. From there, a number of different presentations occured. Kyle Johnston, the head athletic trainer, Mike Kurowski, the equipment manager, Anna Grout, head of nutrition, each talked about their roles in the program.

Current players Mario Benavides, Stephon Ball, Will Stein, Josh Chichester, Greg Scruggs and Dexter Heyman answered questions from the women, who wanted to learn more about what it takes to be a member of the Louisville football team.

After a brief lunch, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford informed the crowd, but also entertained the throng with his quick wit and knowledge of football. Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford talked about a play the Cardinals run and what goes into making a play successful. Special teams coach Kenny Carter also presented his theories on special teams.

After about four hours of sitting, Strong took to the podium and ordered the women to hit their stations — the fun, or the pain, was about to begin. It depended how you looked at it. 

Strong stood in the middle of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium barking out instructions through a bullhorn in 95-degree heat.

“It’s only 60 degrees out here,” he yelled like he was talking to one of his players during a practice session in August.

“They want to know what it’s like to be a Louisville football player,” U of L running backs/special teams coach Kenny Carter said. “We’re going to give them as much as we can.”

On the field there were relay races in shoulder pads and eight sets of drills called “County Fair,” which was no picnic for these women.

One change, maybe not for the better, was the tour of the weight room. In 2010, the participants toured the weight room. However, this year,  strength and conditioning coach Pat Moorer had them do the same crunches and sit-up routines that U of L players do after they lift weights, including the “Big 21.” That workout is 21 pushups and 21 situps, counting down to 1 in intervals of two. So, after doing 21 the first time, the second set is 19, and so on.

After starting off with a crowd of over 600, the participants slowly dwindled each hour, but there was still a great crowd there when Strong and Carter closed the day by thanking the women for attending and promising the clinic would be even better next season. Which is hard to imagine!

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