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HomeSportsAPSU Football does team building exercises with Fort Campbell Soldiers

APSU Football does team building exercises with Fort Campbell Soldiers

APSU FootballClarksville, TN – On Thursday, July 25th, 2019, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team spent the day at Fort Campbell going through team-building exercises led by the soldiers on base.

The day began as the student-athletes were divided into their eight “Dream Teams” and proceeded through the obstacle course at The Sabalauski Air Assault School.

Austin Peay Football players sent the day with Fort Campbell soldiers doing team building exercises. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Football players sent the day with Fort Campbell soldiers doing team building exercises. (APSU Sports Information)

The drills included low crawls, rope swings, teamwork exercises and one particularly tough obstacle that forced the guys to go up and under wooden beams, ascending upward and then down.

Once the groups completed all the drills, the team made its way to the staging area for a three-mile ruck march. For the uninitiated, that is a march ranging from speed walking up to a nice jog with a large backpack weighing about 45 pounds, to go along with a rubber rifle.

Even the coaches got involved, joining up with the groups, grabbing a pack and hitting the trail. At the conclusion, head coach Mark Hudspeth joked that his pack felt more like 245 pounds.

During the march, the groups stopped at each mile to complete a team-oriented task, including moving a golf ball through a weaving setup using six foot-long pieces of PVC pipe, solving word scrambles while doing backward lunges and carrying out supplies to finish off the march.

After taking some time to clean up, the group had lunch and followed that with a leadership seminar. Each table had one soldier leading discussions on different scenarios and asked the student-athletes how they would respond as leaders in those situation.

“I enjoyed the leadership seminar a lot,” offensive lineman Kyle Anderton said. “One of the officers I listened to said leadership is giving purpose to your soldiers, to your young guys, and not to just say stuff. I thought that going through the obstacle course made the leaders say, ‘Hey, this is purposeful for our team to get the team going in one direction.'”

The day concluded as Lt. Col. Timothy Sulzner, the rear detachment commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, presented head coach Mark Hudspeth with a 101st Airborne flag, and Hudspeth returned the favor by giving Sulzner and others who helped put the event together Austin Peay football helmets and Governor Football shirts.

“We really appreciate the 1st Brigade having us today,” Hudspeth said. “After going through their workouts, we have an even greater respect for what they do because they kicked our tail today. We really appreciate the partnership Fort Campbell has with Austin Peay that allows us to do that.”

As the team began to make its way to the buses, players and coaches made a point to stop and shake the hands of all the Army personnel who provided an incredible challenge and learning opportunity to the Govs.

“I think them for them to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Bastogne Air Assault Screaming Eagle for even a small portion of the day – they were all asking, ‘Is this something you all really do? How often do you do it?'” Sulzner said. “There was a lot of good feedback about the leadership we provided and the tasks that we did.

“As a whole, it helps us kind of come together and get to know each other and build that relationship.”

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