HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors are about one week away from kicking off their abbreviated 2020 football season.
Typically, leading up to the season are months of training and conditioning, but this year has been anything but normal and for new strength and conditioning coach Kody Cooke, his expectations for his players are the same — even though they haven’t spent much time together.
“Our goal is to create a fifth quarter.” Cooke told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “We want to be able to take people into the fifth quarter, into overtime or whatever that may be and be able to punish people at the end of the day.”
According to Cooke, his training isn’t all about how much you can lift, it’s about building strengths that apply to the football field.
“For us, it’s not necessarily about how many reps you’re in and things like that, were a true speed and power program, so we put a lot of emphasis on our power development and our speed development especially on the outsides, with our receivers, DB’s and even our linebackers and such.”
These 'Bows will be built on speed and Cooke’s main goal is to elevate their speed to outrun the opposing team.
“For me, being able to raise their ceiling is also going to raise their floor.” Cooke said."So being able to increase their max velocity, all the velocity that falls below that will also be higher. So, again once you get tired your 90 percent of your top-end speed is hopefully going to be better than their 90 percent of their top."
Despite the unusual preseason, the Oklahoma native believes the team is ready for the start of their 2020 campaign.
“I think we’re in great shape right now, I really do.” Cooke said. “Early on, this is for any program, but these guys haven’t been in pads for about 10 months, so there’s that initial shock factor that comes into play, but it’s like this every year, you kind of have to play yourself into football shape.”
Cooke hopes to continue to build trust with his athletes, so he can prepare them for the rigors of a football season.
“It’s been incredible, to be honest with you.” Cooke said. “An incredible group of guys that are really strung together, as is, so when i got here i had about five weeks with them before we got shutdown, we spent some time together and i even told them day one, the number one deal for me is to create relationships with you guys because if we don’t have those relationships there’s not going to be that trust there.”
The 'Bows open their shortened eight-game season on the road on October 24th, against Fresno State.