You’re probably getting ready to start your off-season football training. It’s an exciting time. Everyone is always jacked up and ready to start the summer because the season is now just around the corner. If you’re getting ready to go, here are a few things to consider and include this summer:
Football is all about speed. Big, slow guys can try to fool themselves into thinking is all about size and strength, until the fast guy gets past him on every play. Before you do anything this summer, make sure to address your speed. I’m not talking about silly little ladder drills or cute little gadgets – run short distances as hard as you can.
Acceleration is the key to football speed, so make sure you acceleration mechanics are right. If you can accelerate, you’re routes will be crispier, your tackles harder, your runs longer and your coverage tighter. If you’re going to spend time doing one thing this summer, get better at accelerating.
Attack Your Weakness
Give yourself an honest assessment of what you need to be a better football player. You may be missing players because you’re not fast enough. You may be getting banged up because you’re not big enough. You may be ineffective because you’re never in shape. Your football skills may not be up to par.
Whatever it is, find it, and attack it this summer so you’re a better player this fall. If you’re not sure about this, ask one of your coaches. They can probably tell you why you don’t play as much as you’d like or what you can do to take your game to another level. If your coach can’t tell you, then go to a college camp and ask them. If you can’t go to camp, watch game film from last year and figure out what mistakes you were making. Don’t make the same mistakes this year. Do something pro-active this summer to eliminate at least one deficiency in your game.
Total Body Strength
Yes, a big chest and jacked up arms look good on the beach, but that’s not where you play football. Don’t forget to include plenty of work on your legs, upper back, grip and neck. Too many guys spend all their time on beach muscles, and not enough time on the things that will actually help them on the field. Instead of being the guy who somehow always misses leg day in the gym, be the guy who gets there early and stays late.
For God’s sake train your neck safely and efficiently. If you don’t know how, ask for some help or check out www.NeckTraining.com for tips on how to save your brain and neck.
Be smart with your training. There’s no reason to hurt yourself trying to lift too much weight with bad technique. No one is going to care that you cleaned 300 pounds if you hurt yourself in the process. I see YouTube videos all the time of guys using horrible technique on cleans, squats and deadlifts all so they can say they lifted the weight. I also hear about guys with messed up backs, hurt wrists and bad shoulder problems because they let their ego get in the way of progress. You shouldn’t have to hit the training room before every lift just to get treatment on your back. If something is hurting, you need to change your approach.
You better show up for camp in shape. Here’s what happens all the time. Guys show up for camp big, strong and out of shape. Coach runs you hard the first day to send a message. Those guys get really sore and show up the next day set up for injury. Coach runs the team again, and hip flexors, hamstrings and Achilles tendons start to tighten up fast. Next thing you know, those guys are on the sidelines watching someone take their spot.
Show up in shape. Do your running in July so you can practice hard in August.
Position Specific Work
You probably know what position you’re going to play, so start working the movements you’re going to do in the fall. Work on your stance, backpedaling, catching, throwing, kick slides, etc. so you’re a better football player this year. It’s great to be an athlete. It’s even better to be an athlete that can play a position well. Learn to play a position well.
Put Your Work In
You’re going to maximize your summer training program by doing it consistently. No program is going to work well if you don’t do stick to it. I’ve seen a lot of guys waste their talent by showing up half the time.
Not only will that get you sub-par results, nothing will drop your credibility faster. It’s always funny to watch the guy who didn’t show up all summer try to tell everyone what to do during practice. No one wants to hear it from you, even if you’re talented. Put your work in, get your hands dirty and help create an atmosphere of hard work by showing up every day for whatever your coach has planned for you.
You can always do extra work later, but show up for your team workouts no matter what.
If you follow this simple advice, there is no doubt you’ll show up this fall as a better football player. Take some time to think about what you need, create a plan, and work hard this summer. Visit UltimateStrengthAndConditioning.com of more strength and conditioning information.