When they were designing the curriculum, the coaches brainstormed about what they wanted their players to be ready to do when they showed up on the first day. Five of those benchmarks were physical.
1.Core strength - especially to help with their jumping ability.
2. An anaerobic component - perform a high intensity movement for a short amount of time.
3. Show up prepared for long rallies - leg strength with a bit of endurance.
4. Strong ankles and feet - some type of plyometrics workout.
5. Agility - move quickly, change directions.
Using these foundational criteria, the staff developed 9 challenges that the players would need to be able to handle upon returning to campus in mid-August. The remaining four challenges related to the mental and social component of the team-building process. This means partnering an incoming player with a veteran to help navigate the preparation and establish trust - eventually, these partners need to respond to a 50-question quiz about each other (with a 70% success rate!).
They also need to write a third-person letter of recommendation for themselves about why they should be a part of the program. Then, they engage in a months-long nutrition challenge, largely centered around drinking enough water and getting three square meals a day.
The final component is a skills-related piece. This can be as simple as bumping the ball to yourself - just building familiarity with the ball and working on simple motor skills.