Yesterday, Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken decided to move practice up an hour in an effort to beat a storm front that was rolling through the area. Conventional wisdom would say that's a smart move and one that we've all been behind at one point or another in our coaching careers.
However, part way through the practice the team ended up taking shelter under a pavillion in an effort to escape the elements. But according to a report from the Savannah Morning News, they were a lot closer to the storm than any of them could have imagined.
Just outside the pavilion that they were using as a temporary shelter from the storm, a tree near the practice field was struck by lightning. Monken described the sound as a bomb going off, and anyone that has been close to a lightning bolt striking down (with the accompanying thunder clap) knows that Monken's description could not be more accurate.
“I’ve never been close to a bomb going off, but I have to think (the lightning strike) was close to that. It was scary, for sure.” Monken explained.
The noise was close enough to send one player to the hospital, and while the player returned later to the practice (after the staff had moved things indoors), this is a great reminder that mother nature is not something worth messing with. The health and safety of your players and staff always comes first, so make sure to get everyone to the safest possible location and adjust practice accordingly.