Everything about this is totally backward. A good, solid day of work is to be rewarded with a free conditioning period, and a lackluster effort is to be treated with a full set of wind sprints. An especially bad practice is to be followed with perhaps a full extra round of conditioning.
Not in Jim Harbaugh's world. To the surprise of no one, he sees things differently.
The first official practice of the Harbaugh era in Ann Arbor included a competitive drill between the Wolverines' offense and defense, which the defense won. At the end of the day's work Harbaugh gathered the team and told the victors to get on the line for conditioning. The losers were told to stand and watch.
"It didn't feel good standing there watching," wide receiver Amara Darboh told the Detroit Free-Press. "You sort of felt guilty almost. We just lost and we're just standing there watching."
In Harbaugh's word, conditioning is just another chance to improve yourself, a right that hast to be earned. And those that lost the drill got to contemplate what they'll do next time to win themselves a chance to improve themselves.
"If you win, you get the chance to get better," sophomore offensive lineman Mason Cole says. "And then, you get the chance to help yourself."