While the Rutgers men's basketball coaching staff is busy recruiting during the July live period, the team continues to put in hard work during their summer workouts. For six hours a week, the players work with Assistant Athletic Director of Strength and Conditioning David Van Dyke. When head coach Steve Pikiell announced the addition of Van Dyke back in April during a radio interview, it was assumed he would just work with the men's basketball team. However, it was announced that in addition to Van Dyke running the strength and conditioning program for the men's basketball team, he would also oversee every other athletic team in this area, with the exception of football.
While there hasn't been much insight into Van Dyke's long term plans for the strength and conditioning programs for all the other sports, he did oversee other athletic programs previously at Stony Brook. His focus so far appears to be with the men's basketball team, which needed serious attention. We highlighted some of the changes that Van Dyke has made here.
RVision continues to churn out excellent, behind the scenes videos of the new men's basketball coaching staff this summer. You can watch the video and read our take on associate head coach Karl Hobbs here and assistant coach Jay Young here. As for this new one with Van Dyke, we get a great sneak peek of him working with the players. It appears they are doing things they haven't experienced previously in the program during workouts. Injuries were a major issue last season, so the renewed focus on strength and conditioning is a positive step forward.
Here are three quotes from Van Dyke in the video that stuck out as significant to me.
Accountability As A Leader
"To be a leader, you have to hold yourself to a high standard. I have standards for my guys in terms of their attitude and effort. What kind of energy they bring to their workouts. For me to expect that of them, I need to show them what that is and bring them to that level."
"We are going to develop them physically, mentally, and emotionally as a basketball player and a human being to rise to the occasion with any challenges they have in life. Be it in sport, academics, or unique personal experiences in life."
Working Relationship With Steve Pikiell
"I came to Rutgers because of coach Pikiell. I've never worked with a coach as closely that has respected my opinion, my area and what I can do. I knew that if he ever went somewhere, I hoped he would take me with him because I didn't wan't to work with anybody else."
This inside look at the work Van Dyke is doing with the team this summer is great stuff. He, like football strength and conditioning coach Kenny Parker, has major influence on the culture changes that are taking place within the program. Rutgers needed a major mental rebuild with the players, who struggled at times last season in dealing with adversity during games. They physically broke down as well. With the program likely heading into next season with just 10 scholarship players, mental and physical toughness are a must in order for the team to make progress on the court next season. David Van Dyke seems like the perfect person to work with the coaching staff to get the most out of the players moving forward.
The video is definitely worth a watch. Also, the ending clip of the team breaking out of their huddle highlighted a new saying at the end of workouts. 1-2-3-Dance!