When Dawson Garcia was named Big Ten player of the week last week, the forward from Prior Lake credited cardio workouts he and his Gopher men’s basketball teammates did during preseason.
“I’m in a lot better shape this year to start the season,” said Garcia, who leads Minnesota with 18.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. “This is a big testament to the work we put in as a team in the offseason. We had a Winners Week, and I really think that helped out tremendously — as it did the rest of the guys.”
That is music to coach Ben Johnson’s ears.
In September, Johnson set up a week’s worth of difficult cardio workouts for before sunrise and basketball activities for the afternoon. The team broke into groups and kept score throughout one week, hence the name “Winners Week.”
“Finding ways to get these guys to understand they are winners and develop that mindset,” Johnson said ...