iy, October 18, 1978-The Michigan Daily
INSTITUTE FITNESS PROGRAM
ichigan guards against injuries
By ERNIE DUNBAR
hat Michigan must Win all its
ng football games to claim a
the Rose Bowl, the threat of
player to injury looms larger
Bo Schembechier can ill afford
searching for replacements to
starters at this stage of the
The offensive and defensive
chembechler places on the field
eek work best as a unit, with
ers causing readjustments and
But if weight and conditioning coor-
dinator Mike Gittlpson is any indication
of the degree of importance Michigan
places on reducing injuries, then Bo can
rest assured that he's done everything
possible to keep his players ready to
perform week after week.
Gittleson's position on the coaching
staff began this past summer and
marked the first time the football team
had an organized program for weight
training and conditioning.
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He's been involved with all 125 team
members since, attempting to
strengthen each player and prevent an
injury which could shorten his season.
"We start off with prophylactic
(preventative) medicine and try to
prevent an injury before it occurs,"
says Gittleson, a physical education
major from Plymouth State College.
"That's our primary concern. It's not
necessarily seeing how strong we can
make these players, but trying to see
how long we can keep a player in the
season without getting hurt."
The method Gittleson utilizes in at-
taining this goal is to talk with each
player and determine his personal
weaknesses. Following this conver-
sation, Gittleson prescribes a weight
training program for each player to
"They're responsible to come in
twice a week for an allotted period of
time and work out for that period of
time. The older players spend twice a
week for about 20 minutes each day,
while the younger players spend about
an hour and a half to two hours a
During these workouts, Michigan
players twist, lift, stretch, and
strengthen almost every muscle in
their body. The 12 sets of Olympic bars
(standard barbell weights) are used in
conjunction with the 20 Nautilis
machines which utilize progressive
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"Ours is different probably than any
other university the way we approach
it," Gittleson remarked. "Everybody's
doing something different. We don't
have 10 exercises everyone has to do.
It's individualized in that respect where
they're responsible for their own
workout and their own development.
My job is just to help them and to insure
that they do what is necessary for
Knowing what exercise is right for
each player takes a complete
knowledge of the human body, and Git-
tleson seems to have the necessary
"My background is in physical
education, exercise physiology,
kinesiology, biomechanics, motor lear-
ning, and physiology," said the lanky
Gittleson. "I've played a lot of sports
and of course, those help you in this
type of job."
While Gittleson may have a strong
educational background, he by no
means confesses to have all the right
"I'd say most of the major colleges
now have somebody in this position. It's
getting to be a very, very big thing, but
we're very far from knowing all about
it. We know there is a necessity to do
these things, but we're still searching
for the right ways."
AP Top Twenty
One thing Gittleson does know how-
ever, is that his work is something
which will make a difference over a
period of time.
"If you can get your players bigger
and stronger and faster than the other
team through these methods and every-
thing else is equal, those kids are going
to be better. But you have to look at it
over a long period of time to measure
the success of it. Other teams have had
success. So hopefully, if we're doing the
right things, which we think we are,
then we're going to get success too."
1. Oklahoma (40)
2. Penn St. (11)
3. Arkansas (7)
(tie) DAILY LIBELS
12. Texas A&M
14. Arizona St.
20. Notre Dame
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Vitale in the NBA...
... can he make it?
By ALAN FANGER
K EVIN PORTER WENT one-on-one against New Jersey Nets center
George Johnson, hoping to outmaneuver the big man and lay it in
for a "sweet two." Johnson simply reached up and batted the ball out of
bounds. Pistons coach Dick Vitale shouted to the little guard, "Hey, K.P.
C'mon out, K.P." Porter ignored Vitale's order and threw the ball back into
What's so significant, you ask, about a scrappy little guy who stays in the
ball game and gives a solid effort for a team which took the pains to re-
acquirehim? It simply means that a player does not perceive his coach's
The problem of legitimacy isn't confined to Porter. It. seems to be
prevalent among the entire squad. Those guys in white jerseys on the Silver-
dome floor Friday night seemed to tune out Vitale's verbal innuendoes. The
cries of "give Terry some help" or "run the X" were seldom if ever an-
swered, and I wonder if Vitale is devising a way in whcih to keep his players
Vitale's background serves as the origin for questioning of his
legitimacy as an NBA coach. Sure, he took a mediocre basketball program
and turned it into a haven for local high school talent. But he never gained
the respect of those gentlemen who hand out the post-season tournament
bids in early March.
Thus, Vitale's U-D squads never gained the national prominence which
he thought they deserved. And when the feisty 38-year-old was named head
coach last May, many were taken by surprise. After all, NBA coaches
usually come from bigger, more prominent basketball schools.
Now that Vitale is back in the hospital with an ailment "totally
unrelated" to his internal bleeding of a year ago, the players have to be
questioning how long their coach is going to last on the bench. Everyone
knows the intensity of emotion which this man displays for the game. "For
me, this is'the fulfillment of a dream," said Vitale during training camp. He
also mentioned that he would be able to handle losing better at the
professional level than at the college level.
It would be cheap and inaccurate to accuse Vitale of "pulling the wool
over the eyes" of Piston management. It is possible, however, that Vitale
may have been too optimistic about his health. To resign one job to which he
was endeared, then take another job six months later fully confident of his
physical condition seems a mite precarious.
A bad start
Thus the Piston players' are confronted with a double dilemma: is
Vitale ready for "big time" coaching, and will his health permit him to last
the entire season.
The Pistons need a leader who canmold the veteran, rookie, and free
agent elements into a playoff contending club. Judging from their first two
outings, the road ahead could be long and nasty.
The players must either develop a view of Vitale's coaching as
legitimate, or ask the front office to consider a change in the reins of
1. Oklahoma (31) 6-0
2. Penn St. (10) 6-0
3. Arkansas 4-0
4. Alabama 5-1
5. Nebraska 5-1
6. Maryland 6-0
7. USC 4-1
8. Texas 4-1
9. MICHIGAN 4-1
10. UCLA 5-1
11. Houston 4-1
(tie) DAILY LIBELS 6-0
12. Arizona St. 5-1
13. LSU 4-1
14. Texas A&M 4-1
15. Pittsburgh 4-1
16. Georgia 4-1
17. Missouri 4-2
18. Notre Dame 3-2
19. Purdue 4-1
20. Navy 5-0
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Students may still purchase season
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available at the Athletic Department
Ticket Office on the corner of South
State and Hoover. The first game of the
year takes place this Friday, October 21
against the Bowling Green Falcons at
Yost Ice Arena. Starting time for the
game is 7:30.
Speak~ig of hockey, you won't want
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Hockey Guide.The guide, which comes
out on Friday, October 27, contains in-
formation on the players, the coaches
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