The 2012-13 Golden Bears entered their second week of scheduled activities on Monday after a Week 1 that offered a combination of the ongoing use of best practices and a setting of the bar for this year's team.
Freshmen first assembled for a meeting at the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance on August 18 after moving into the Clark Kerr dormitories on campus, where they are housed as a group in two-bedroom suites with common living rooms and dining services.
That all-freshmen meeting was followed by continued orientation at the high-performance center. New players made their first visit to the rugby locker room, where they found their names emblazoned above their lockers, and learned about the center's areas for academic services, dining, physical rehabilitation, medical and laundry services.
After further individual meetings with head coach Jack Clark, freshmen went at the beginning of the week to the University's Tang Medical Center for their full physicals and ImPact tests. The latter, a diagnostic test for concussions, establishes a baseline for every student-athlete if further evaluation is ever needed during his rugby career.
By 4 pm on Tuesday afternoon, all 62 players assembled in the Cronk Room at the high-performance center for the team's first all-players meeting.
There, the team was addressed by coach Clark, fellow coach Tom Billups and director of operations Jerry Figone; and received presentations from academic advisor Nick McNeil, head rugby trainer Dave Stenger, director of equipment operations David Moosman, rugby athletic communications director Anton Malko, and personnel from the Intercollegiate Athletics compliance office.
Next, new players were taken through functional screenings that yielded data on their flexibility and movement patterns. Returning players had their own medical check-ins at the center's South Olympic Training Quarters.
The Bears' received a day off from team activities Thursday to focus on their first day of classes.
On Friday morning the team made its 2012-13 debut on Witter Rugby Field, where the players were divided into forward and back units for a 15-turn, one-kilometer fitness test. The 1K run is the team's preferred standardized fitness test, the results of which now trace back more than a decade; they, like all previous test results on measured activities, are cataloged for comparative and developmental purposes.
After times were recorded, the team warmed down before a session on the field was followed by its first strength-development session back in the high-performance center's training zone.
Every player will receive body-composition analysis over the next few days, after which some will be identified for one-on-one work with Dr.
Susan Nelson, the athletic department's nutritionist.
"We're trying to check all the right boxes," coach Clark said. "We have a responsibility to look after these boys and their well being, and moreover, to place them on a path where they can develop as rugby athletes."
The busy first seven days were but the first in the team's detailed weekly schedule going into a new annual format in which Cal will play 7s in the fall and 15s in the spring. With the team's many moving parts and multiple goals, all of the Bears' resources have been synchronized to help every player hit his stride as quickly and with as much support as possible.
The 131st year of Cal rugby begins September 14-15 at the Buckeye 7s Invitational.