Franklin calls off practice, takes Lions bowling

There are many ways to build team chemistry, and Penn State coach James Franklin found one that thrilled his football players Friday.

Instead of having another grueling preseason practice as scheduled, Franklin surprised the Nittany Lions by giving them a day off and taking the entire squad to a local bowling alley for some team fun.

Franklin and some of his assistant coaches have spoken about finding ways to build relationships and trust with the players during this first year at Penn State. The Lion players have been through more than their share of turbulent times with a revolving door of coaches in recent years, and some of them have spoken about how they were a little hesitant from a trust standpoint when the coaching change was made in January.

Franklin has been able to build that trust and feeling of family in a hurry, and his bowling move Friday had to go a long way toward that.

The players apparently loved it.

Penn State’s official Twitter account posted this question: “What happens when you tell 105 hardworking campers that practice is relocated to a bowling alley? THIS:” It’s followed by two pictures showing the players celebrating like they had just won a big game in the team meeting room.

Keeping with Franklin’s “Dominate the state” motto, the PSU Twitter account then had this message: “Competition at an all-time high. #Dominatethelane.”