Aug. 22, 2014

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The Program

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame volleyball team was expecting a fun team activity (like ultimate frisbee) to open training camp Aug. 11-12. What they got instead was much different, as the Irish were put through rigorous activities that challenged them both mentally and physically.

The Program, which has a “goal of providing professional and collegiate athletic teams with the best leadership development and team building services in the country,” has been around since 2008 and has worked with many of the top collegiate sports programs nationally in addition to the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

Jake “Mac” MacDonald, who completed two combat tours in Iraq and earned a Purple Heart, and Andre “Bo” Bosier, who has spent the last 22 years in the Marine Corps Special Operations unit, led Notre Dame’s volleyball squad during its two-day journey.

The mission was broken into two sessions with day one comprised of outside work, while day two saw the team hit the water.

With the sun peaking over the stands, the Irish hit the lacrosse field for day one last Monday morning. The session included:

  • Circuit training with pushups, mountain climbers, flutter kicks and planks that the group had to do together or start over.
  • A circuit where four players would lift a heavy log over their heads while another teammate would run back and forth with a heavy sand bag.
  • Carrying a teammate in their arms for a specified distance.

Day two last Tuesday saw the Irish report to the Rockne Memorial swimming pool on campus at 5:30 a.m. This session included:

  • Swam laps from side to side in the pool and at each wall would get out and either do pushups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks or planks … They had to listen to the team leader and do the drills in unison … this portion lasted over an hour.
  • Treaded water in a sweatshirt, ultimately having to remove the sweatshirt while treading water, trade with a partner and put the new sweatshirt on.

For highlights and reactions from The Program, check out the video at the top of the page from Fighting Irish Digital Media.

–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director