Ruidoso Field Trip Agrees With Davie

Aug. 5, 2012

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RUIDOSO, N.M. --- University of New Mexico football coach Bob Davie never had set foot in the village of Ruidoso before Sunday evening. He needed little convincing soon after becoming the Lobo boss, however, that coming back here for two weeks of preseason practice was the right thing to do.

"There are a lot of reasons why we leave and go to Ruidoso," Davie said. "The biggest reason is that these players are here really 365 days a year now. They don't go home in the summer like they used to go home. So the reality is they're using your facility every day of the year. We all know sometimes it's good to get away, and change is good. So prior to school starting, prior to the season starting, I think it's a great opportunity to change the routine a little bit and be in a different place."

Altering the routine could make the players gravitate more toward what they're familiar with - their teammates.

"Second of all, when you're in a different place, you're really dependent upon each other as far as your entertainment, your team-building, camaraderie," Davie said. "It's just good to get away, narrows the focus on one thing."

Giving your home field a break is also beneficial.

"The third thing is the facility itself, it saves our practice fields (in Albuquerque)," Davie said. "You think about practicing as much as we practice in the preseason, those fields get beat up pretty quickly. Also, the facilities in Ruidoso are outstanding. The weather is cooler. It gives people from different part of the state to come by and watch us practice."

Of course, there's the matter of moving about 150 people, football and training equipment. And then moving back home in less than two weeks.

The only hassle - and the positives far outweigh the negatives - is that you have to move a lot of equipment," Davie said. "For example, we're moving our weight room down there, certainly not all of it but enough to be functional.

"Our video people, our trainers, our equipment people - it's an added hassle for those people to a degree because you have to move. But I think in the end, the chance for everyone to get away - the coaches, staff, players - I think it's good just to be in a different location."

Davie is no stranger to alternate training camp locations. He was part of staffs at the University of Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to move their preseason practice locales. He's seen first-hand the benefits of getting out your comfort zone.

"The first thing is guys learn to appreciate going home - when they get back to Albuquerque, they're excited to get back," Davie said. "As nice as the place (in Ruidoso) can be, they're excited to get home. It's been a change of pace. You're glad to get back. It's a great two-week buildup to coming back to what you're familiar, and I think they're just happy to come back and excited to come back."

Let the bonding begin.