NCAA Volleyball Championship notebook: Dec. 15
Dec. 15, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Prior to the Texas Longhorns’ open practice on Wednesday at the Sprint Center, head coach Jerritt Elliott spoke to the team in the locker room, and his message was focused and intense.
Then, he lightened the mood by pulling off his warm-up jacket. Elliott revealed the team’s special practice shirts. White with black lettering, the shirts feature Juliann Faucette’s patented rallying cry, “Let’s Goooooo!” on the front. The back features the phrase, “Fear the Mullet,” and a doctored photo of a 1980’s Elliott, sporting a then-fashionable mullet.
The story of the mullet also tells the story of the Longhorns. The hairstyle is known to be “business in the front, party in the back,” and the Longhorns liken themselves to something similar. They are dignified and graceful on the court, but are also a group that can laugh and have fun off the court.
Team of destiny: Faucette’s father, Chuck, is a strength and conditioning coach for the St. Louis Rams, and the Rams will host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
“It’s kind of funny because he’s been saying all season it was destiny for us to make it here to the final four because he’d be playing the Chiefs the same weekend,” Faucette said. “It’s just been fun to actually make it here, and he gets to come. It’s cool for me and the team to be a part of that.”
Performance recovery: Volleyball athletic trainer DeAnn Koehler has devised a special plan to keep the Longhorns fresh and healthy throughout the season, and that process is especially helpful this time of year.
Immediately following practice, the Longhorns spend 10 minutes in an ice bath. On Wednesday, the water inside the makeshift tub at the Sprint Center was only moderately cold, so setter Michelle Kocher actually requested more ice be added.
“They’re polar bears,” Koehler says.
At the team hotel, the Longhorns have a room designated as the “sanctuary,” where the team comes for massage and additional treatment. Most of the Longhorns spend 30 minutes inside the Norma Tec compression device, which basically looks like space boots.
The unit compresses the legs all the way from the feet to the top of thigh, flushing out waste products.
“It compresses and relaxes. It’s very helpful in the recovery of their legs,” Koehler says.
In addition, Koehler has all the players sleep in compression gear to keep their joints and limbs in proper position.