Summer Sessions with ... Essex Tech football coach Dan Connors

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo. Coach Dan Connors Salem News 2018 Spring All-Star 6/18/18

Name: Dan Connors

Age: 35

Sport: Football

High school: Essex Tech

Years coaching there:12

Who was your biggest coaching influence growing up?: Mike Cersuolo, the head coach at Springfield College. There was always a sense of urgency, a high level of intensity, and focus in every practice session at Springfield and he made us realize how it translates to the game and to life. The same elements are imitated in practice at Essex Tech. Coach C also used to wear a black 1/4 zip nylon batting cage jacket during the hottest days of camp. He used to say it was because he wanted to "get a lather" with us. I wear one at every practice during camp, regardless of the temperature, in his honor.

What's something that you've learned about yourself during quarantine?: Beach body workouts are no joke. I completed Core De Force and am now doing Insanity. I didn't know a human's heart rate could reach 190 bpms for three straight minutes. I was really skeptical and dismissive at first, but this is definitely one way that the pandemic has taken me out of my comfort zone.

Have you been in contact with your players in terms of how they're getting ready for the upcoming season?: I was fortunate enough to learn how to use Google Classroom during remote learning. Our weight room is closed for the summer, so I used it to create a Strength and Conditioning classroom with all of the resources the kids will need to get ready for the season. I also created something similar for the football players that includes telestrated drills, playlists, and diagrams to keep them engaged.

We've met through Zoom a few times and the coaches (met last night) are meeting tonight through Zoom. The captain candidates will also be interviewed remotely by school leaders sometime before camp, which is a new initiative to choose team captains that we're trying this year.

Do you think we'll have some form of a football season?: Like everything involved with this health crisis, there is a lot of unknown. State officials have the overwhelming task of examining all of the different variables and risks involved, but I'm confident they'll look at every possible way to have fall sports. Whether it is modified, delayed, or cancelled, I trust that they'll make a sound decision.

What's the best TV show/series or movie that you've seen during quarantine that you'd recommend?: I think two are worth mentioning: every student-athlete should watch the 'The Last Dance' documentary. I think Michael Jordan's mindset about competing passionately and demanding the same passion from his teammates is something worth reflecting on. The soundtrack is also A+. Also, The Undertaker docuseries 'The Last Ride' is also a must see, even if you're not a pro wrestling fan. It is a great look into a sports entertainment icon from the very beginning to the end.

— As told to Phil Stacey


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