On every stop in his coaching tenure, dating to his days at Kentucky with Hal Mumme, Dykes has used a tennis ball delivery machine to chunk balls at his receivers, defensive backs and quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was happy to see one show up in Ruston.
"The places I've been we haven't been able to afford one," he said a little tongue in cheek. "Sonny has had them and they do make a difference."
The idea is simple. Shooting the small ball at a high rate of speed toward a student-athlete requires the ultimate in concentration. Look away or get lost in your thoughts and the ball will likely bounce off your nose.
Louisiana Tech is now using an electronic tennis ball machine to teach players how to better concentrate on the football. We asked three current Bulldogs how they would rate the machine's help, based on other assistance they've seen in their career.
They rated it 1-10 with 10 being the most helpful.
Terry Carter: 9; Phillip Livas: 10; Colby Cameron: 9