FORT COLLINS — Before the daybreak, Jay Norvell breaks 80. If only in his head.

As part of his weekday routine, every morning the CSU football coach swings a golf club for at least 10 minutes alone in the coaches locker room at Canvas Stadium. Just a man and his 5-iron.

“It’s just for mental therapy, is all it is,” Norvell explains. “I do it not because I’m going to be a good golfer, or because I’m going to even play that often. It’s more of a mental thing for me. It’s just kind of me dialing in the day, you know what I mean?

“There’s something really pretty about a good golf swing, if it’s done properly. There’s something beautiful about a quarterback that throws the ball beautifully on a deep ball. It’s the same thing. It’s repetition. It’s practice.”

It’s a quarter past 6 a.m., and the Rams’ last practice before Saturday’s scrimmage is 45 minutes away. Norvell, the early riser’s early riser, has been up for nearly two hours already. Prior to the Rams coach granting The Post a behind-the-scenes day with him during his first spring at CSU, Norvell walks through the previous 85 or so minutes: An hour of resistance-band training — “I’m doing the Tom Brady stuff,” the coach cracks — or weights, followed by 20 minutes of meditation.

“I became a morning person when I went to the NFL, because that’s the only time you could ever work out,” he explains. “The rest of your day’s eaten up.”

The planner is threatening to munch the rest of this day, too. A typical spring Thursday for Norvell is broken down into three segments: Practice from 7-11 a.m., sessions that are divided into two parts; film-review-with-lunch from about 11-2:30; followed by academic meetings and staff meetings from about 3-4. Which explains the meditation.

“In this age of social media, I would watch our players, and we actually take their phones away on Friday nights,” Norvell explains. “But I’d always see them when we gave them back — they never are still, they never have quiet time. They never reflect.”

They’re always on. Always connected.

“And I really think that that is something that we’re missing in our society,” Norvell continues. “Because every time anybody has a spare moment, they’re looking at your phone, and they’re swiping and they never get a chance to reset their brains. And so I tried to do that. And I found I’m way more productive the rest of the day when I do that.”





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