Chris Perkins: New England’s early-week journey to South Florida for Sunday’s Dolphins recreation may be its downfall
Perhaps the New England Patriots actually are smarter than everybody else.
Or, maybe Patriots coach Bill Belichick, extensively thought to be the GOAT [Greatest Of All Time], is out-thinking himself this time.
Or, as former Dolphins and NFL huge receiver Chris Chambers advised, maybe South Beach, Wynwood, Las Olas or Atlantic Avenue can be Belichick’s downfall.
Whatever the case, the Patriots are headed our means Tuesday, according to reports, with practices starting Wednesday. Yep, Belichick is shifting the group’s total operation to South Florida to organize for Sunday’s season opener in opposition to the Dolphins and the scorching warmth at Hard Rock Stadium — the place temperatures are anticipated to be within the 90s.
It’s known as short-term warmth acclimation, and the concept is force-feeding your physique days of the warmth and humidity earlier than the sport so it’s adjusted by kickoff.
In my earlier decade-plus of protecting the Dolphins, I can’t recall any group coming down days forward of a September recreation.
And I hate to inform you this, Dolphins followers, however consultants say Belichick is onto one thing mentally and bodily.
“Psychologically, I would say it’s an advantageous idea,” stated Dr. Brian Foster, coordinator of the sports activities psychology masters program at Florida State University.
Foster made it clear he was solely addressing the psychological side of this experiment.
So for the bodily side, I reached out to Dr. Brian Schilling, a professor on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas whose analysis seems on the bodily calls for of army and regulation enforcement, amongst others, and examines how they’ll greatest prepare to fulfill these calls for.
Schilling additionally thinks it’s a good suggestion.
“You’ve got a 53-man roster,” Schilling stated, “and a few guys are going to adapt greater than others, clearly. But it’s higher than nothing.
“It’s smart. If I were coach Belichick, I’d be doing the same thing.”
Chambers, huge receivers coach at Keiser University in addition to overseeing the efficiency division of Lifetime Fitness in Boca Raton, additionally likes the concept “even if it only helps two or three players.”
Chambers, a health skilled of kinds, stated New England’s early arrival ought to support their relaxation and restoration. He identified South Florida just had one of its hottest Augusts on record and Dolphins gamers are acclimated. Removing day-before-the-game journey can be a good suggestion, Chambers stated.
“I’d be more worried about the guys hanging out,” Chambers warned.
By coming to South Florida days early, Belichick is perhaps inviting hassle to his group. Often west coast groups would journey east on Friday to acclimate to the three-hour time zone change. And it helps.
But . . .
“We used to go out on Friday in the city we were in,” Chambers stated.
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel acknowledged this transfer doesn’t match Belichick’s previous conduct. But McDaniel additionally stated he thinks actions corresponding to these are team-specific.
“Clearly he feels like it’s important for this team,” he stated.
McDaniel, nonetheless, stated it in all probability received’t decide the sport’s end result.
“I don’t think it’ll be the reason they win or lose,” he stated, “it’ll just be a contributing factor to either.”
Every 12 months we hear about groups doing issues to organize for harsh street circumstances whether or not it’s blaring crowd noise throughout observe, cranking up the warmth within the indoor observe facility, or faculty groups loudly and repeatedly enjoying the opponent’s battle music throughout observe.
“If you’re an athlete and you’re thinking about the humidity while you’re playing, that’s something that’s taking your attention away from what you should ideally be focused on during your performance,” Foster stated.
“And so by bringing that stressor to your attention in advance and making it part of your awareness, you’re then preparing yourself for it to become normalized so that then your attention is not focused on that during performance from a psychological standpoint.”
We’ll see whether or not it makes a distinction.
New England has misplaced 4 of its final 5 video games at Hard Rock Stadium.
McDaniel, a veteran coach on the tender age of 39 years outdated, is aware of how this transfer will finally be judged by Patriots followers and the NFL world. He’s seen this film earlier than.
“You know what?” McDaniel concluded, “It’s always right if they win, and it’s up for debate if they lose.”