Navy SEALS Train Wolverines
Running backwards through a Navy SEALS obstacle course was not something I had ever expected to find myself doing. I was in Coronado, CA shooting a story for ESPN the Magazine about the Michigan Wolverines football team. They were doing intense training on the beach with the Navy SEALS, learning to work better as a team while under extreme pressure. I was there to document their training and despite having to run backwards, up and down sand dunes, it was minimal compared to what the team had to endure. The SEALs pushed the Wolverines to their absolute limits both physically and mentally. Even though it was only three hours, I’m sure it was the most intense training they have ever had. They found themselves shivering in the ocean, then covered from head to toe in sand, transitioning into bear crawls up sand dunes with a teammate hanging on, to carrying, pushing, and lifting a 235lb log as a team. If one person was not putting in their share of work, the rest of the team would suffer with the extra load. Communication was key, and despite some fumbles and bickering initially, they learned to work effectively as a team, gaining skills they could use both on the football field and undoubtedly throughout their lives.
By the end of the day everyone walked away with a healthy dose of sand and humility. Two weeks later and I’m still finding sand in my shoes. You can find this story in the current issue of ESPN the Magazine.