Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Kelly tweaks pregame routine

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Tradition is everything at Notre Dame, or at least it seems like it, which is why Brian Kelly's decision to change the team's pregame routine is sure to be scrutinized.

"I'm always looking at ways to manage all the demands on our players' time during the week," Kelly said. "As you know, it's one of the great unique qualities that we have here at Notre Dame is that there's such pageantry and tradition. We want to maintain that, but we want to make sure that our players get ample time to be focused on football as well."

The new routine will take the team from the hotel the night before the game to Mass at the Basilica. From there, rather than walking to the stadium, the team will return to the busses, which will then be driven through the parking lots south of Notre Dame Stadium, and through tailgaiting fans, before reaching the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, where players and coaches can have meetings.

Kelly prefers having pregame meetings at "the Gug," where they have all their video and training equipment, rather than the team hotel.

"We tweaked the schedule to give our guys a breather before we take that walk, which we're going to continue to do; we think that's a great tradition," Kelly said. "A lot of it was generated by giving our players a little bit more time. We wanted to do it in a comfortable environment. Instead of doing it at a hotel, which they're at once a week, we wanted to do it here, where we have all of our training aids, offensively our video, and a comfort level that they have being here. So we wanted to create that on game day for our players but not lose out on the great traditions of being in the Basilica and having the walk." 

After meetings, the team will walk to Notre Dame Stadium via the Hesburgh Library. Fans are encouraged to line the sidewalks to witness the final walk to the stadium.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on August 30, 2011 2:20 PM.

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