TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The path has changed but the destination is still the same.
That’s the message that coach Mike Norvell is sending to his Florida State football team as they navigate their fourth week apart due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a 30-minute “Football Fix” webinar hosted Thursday by Seminole Boosters, Norvell revealed that mantra, as well as a few other updates about the state of the program.
No, the Seminoles can’t gather or practice together as they normally would this time of year.
But Norvell and his staff are still doing all they can to keep the players engaged and moving forward in that hopes that, when a degree of normalcy can finally return, they’ll be ready for it.
“We’re trying to do the best we can virtually, and trying to develop the mind as much as possible,” Norvell said, “so that when these guys do get back we can continue to work on the fundamental aspects and the development that they’re going to get playing within the scheme.”
That task got a little bit easier this week when the NCAA approved its member schools to hold up to four hours of required virtual meetings per week.
Previously, all football-related interactions had to be voluntary.
Norvell said that the team had actively participated in voluntary meetings even before the NCAA’s ruling, but that the new status quo can only help.
“We’ve been able to get organized on (virtual meetings),” Norvell said. “Our guys have done a really nice job. We had a lot of voluntary meetings even before that.
“Our guys have done a good job of continuing to grow and working to develop mentally. And what they’re doing on their own physically, to the best of their ability, all of that is still in place.”
Thursday’s session was the second in a series of weekly webinars designed to connect Florida State’s new football coach with boosters and supporters.
Norvell’s annual spring booster tour – a longstanding FSU tradition made famous by Bobby Bowden – was among the public events canceled due to the coronavirus.
Speaking of Bowden, Norvell has used some of his revised schedule to become even more familiar with the legendary coach.
He said that, after National Signing Day in February, he cracked open a copy of “The Bowden Way” – the book that Bowden wrote and published in 2001 along with his son, Steve.
Norvell found the book, designed to share insights from Bowden’s 50 years as a leader, to be illuminating.
“That was an incredible book,” he said. “I really enjoyed getting a chance to get a little bit of insight of what it was like through the years of Coach Bowden and the things that were important and near and dear to his heart.
“And it’s not hard to see how he was able to not only achieve success, but sustain success. … It was a wonderful, wonderful book to read. And what was great about it is that after I finished reading, there right after signing day, I got to meet him shortly after and (was) able to kind of touch on a couple of those characteristics of what he looked for, things that he did within the program. You know, that was pretty special for me.”