FSU opens up offseason conditioning workouts

Mike Norvell’s motto is “Work.” And on Thursday morning, the work day began well before sunrise.

Florida State players gathered at the indoor practice facility before 6 a.m. to begin offseason conditioning drills, which Norvell has called “Tour of Duty.”

FSU opened up its offseason conditioning drills to the media. The workouts resembled FSU’s old-school mat drills under coach Bobby Bowden. Norvell even remarked after the workouts that the concept was rooted in Todd Graham’s visit to Tallahassee about 15 years ago. Graham and Norvell coached together at Pittsburgh in 2011 and Arizona State 2012-15.

“The core of it started here with one of the greatest programs in the country,” Norvell said. “That’s where we got it from. It’s pretty special to bring it back.”

The Seminoles have been working out once a week in the early morning hours. Players went through various stations, using resistance bands at one and taking part in cone drills, change of direction drills and a mat drill.

Norvell said he is still looking for leaders to emerge.

“Right now for leadership to emerge we have to have consistent actions,” Norvell said. “I think leadership will show over time. Nobody yet. In reality because we’re not consistent enough to have the leadership that’s necessary. Right now we need our coaches to lead. I need to lead. …

“We’ve seen progress. No doubt. It’s an understanding of what the expectation is and then having to match that expectation. It should get harder every day.”

Among the notable injured players on Thursday who worked out on the side:

Hamsah Nasirildeen and Joshua Kaindoh participated without braces. Jaiden Lars-Woodbey and Keyshawn Helton worked out with a knee brace. Cory Durden had his right arm in a sling due to offseason surgery.

FSU opens spring practice on March 7. The team will hold a few practices, take time off for spring break and then return to the field. FSU will hold the spring game on April 18.

Video from Norvell is below as well as video of a mat drill and some photos:

Here are some FSU players taking part in a mat drill:

Khalan Laborn pushes weights across the floor of the IPF
Keyshawn Helton (left) and Joshua Kaindoh bounce the medicine ball high off the wall.


  1. Bob Davis Reply

    Audio unintelligible.

    • Bob Ferrante Reply

      A little too much wind against my mic. I changed out the Norvell video for the one from Seminoles.com.

  2. Gary j. Holliday Reply

    Love the concepts. The goals and approach to those goals. Mike Explains his objective well. That’s a very positive effect on me. That I know from the details that mike explains that the end results should produce better out comes. No music that’s great this time. I personally didn’t care for that previously. Now the focus can be achieving positive results. .

  3. Gary j. Holliday Reply

    Great start!

  4. Robert Hughes Reply

    I notice you mention once a week workouts. I assume the players “volunteer ” to run through the drills daily? What was frequency of mat drills in the 90s?

    • Bob Ferrante Reply

      Norvell said the workouts will move to twice a week. Not sure what the players do on their own time as far as workouts in February but they do lift weights together.

  5. Jerry Kutz Reply

    The players have regular strength and conditioning workouts during the off-season in the weight room and out running . The tour of duty drills are in addition to these Normal mandatory workouts
    The NCAA limits the number of hours the school can require player attendance to 20 hours per week and would include normal mandatory workouts, the tour of duty drills and any other mandatory meetings.
    As bob said Norville mentioned that they will go to two days a week with the tour of duty drills next week which will have to fit within the 20 hour rule which means they’ll cut back either on mandatory meetings or the normal regular weight room or running sessions.
    During the Bowden era Matt drills were run two days a week which is what Norville will be moving to in the coming weeks.
    Well the coaches are only allowed to program 20 hours a week of off-season conditioning and organized meetings the players are free to do their own thing And of course many do

    • Patrick Burnham Reply

      They are actually only allowed 8 hours per week to work with coaches (S&C and on the field coaches) in the off-season outside of the weeks covering a schools spring practice period when the 20 hours per week rule would then be applied.

      A student-athlete’s participation in such activities shall be limited to a maximum of eight hours per week, of which not more than two hours per week may be spent on the viewing of film and participating in walk-throughs. All activities beginning January 1 and outside the playing season shall be conducted pursuant to Bylaw 17.10.6.

  6. Dan Densmore Reply

    Maybe they talk to Leonard Hamilton …they have it rolling….If it is a real team…they hold each accountable..
    Great teams have leaders and the coaches allow the players to navigate the team.

  7. Dan Densmore Reply

    Where Leonard Hamilton gets all of these unselfish, unquestioning, relentless workers is anybody’s guess. But his depth and defensive mindset are the difference between “good” and “good enough to reach the Final Four.

  8. Dan Densmore Reply

    Quote from Jay Bilas ESPN

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