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According to USA captain Todd Clever, a leadership group of players has taken it upon themselves to ensure things get better.

“We’re at a point where we’re not making it acceptable to make those mistakes,” said Clever. “The players group, Coach Tolkin, and I had a good conversation about training and how we can approach it better.”

They talked about getting more efficient and using the time more wisely, but there’s more to it than that.

“From my standpoint, I said ‘you’ve got to be harder on us,’” Clever explained. “We’re expected to be the best and we’ve got to perform the best. If it’s on the training field, by yourself, or in a game, if you don’t cover your assignment or you don’t do your role, you can’t just say ‘you’ll get it next time.’ There’ve got to be some consequences, some reacrtion from the group leaders or the coaches. You’ve got to go full speed.”

The team has applied that in camp, and, said Clever “it’s been really good. And I’ve been really happy about that.”

The group of leading players are more than just enforcers.

“Every professional team that I’ve been a part of has had a group of experienced players who are leaders,” said Clever. “It’s good to have those guys and part of their role we can meet with the coaches to let them know how things are. We’re a middle man between coaching staff and players. Someone new coming in, it’s easier sometimes to talk to a peer rather than a coach. The leadership group we’ve know each other quite a while and there are some things we do to get all the players, the newer players especially, to know more about each other. You try to learn something new about a player every day because it makes us tighter-knit.”