When Jeremy Pruitt was hired as the Tennessee Vols’ head coach ahead of the 2018 season, one of the first changes he made was to eliminate music at practices.
“I don’t think they play music during football games,” said Pruitt during his first spring practice as UT’s head coach. “I’ve never heard it.”
Pruitt is correct about the lack of music during games. But unfortunately for Pruitt, eliminating music from practice didn’t equal more wins.
I don’t know if adding music back to practice will equal wins, either. But new Vols head coach Josh Heupel is going to give it a shot.
Heupel recently spoke with The Athletic’s “Football & Grits” podcast and he noted that one of the first questions UT players had for him was whether or not music would be allowed at practice.
“I told ’em, ‘Man, the last time I was on a practice field without music was 2007,’” said Heupel.
That’s good news for the Tennessee players hoping to get their groove on during practice.
However, there will be a certain genre of music absent from practice.
Heupel said there would be no country music allowed on the practice playlists.
“Half the room looked disappointed, and half the room was pretty fired up about that,” said Heupel.
I know there are plenty of country music fans around the nation — especially in East Tennessee. But I think we can all agree that country music isn’t the music genre that’s going to get players “hype” for practice.
Who knows whether or not Heupel’s approach will work. I think looking too much into whether or not music is played at practice would be unwise.
But after the letdown of the Pruitt era, I think it’s smart that Tennessee is doing things differently, hoping for better results.
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