Summer is here! School is done and for many it’s the end of a three sport cycle. Although there are leagues and tournaments, it’s the first time during the year many football athletes are not in season. The next two months is the only window when the weight room and speed and agility can take priority 1a. This is a bold statement, but I would argue this is the most important two months for you and your football team. The work done in these summer months is the foundation of your season. The way you and your team prepare will set the trajectory for what you will accomplish. With every team and player across the state determined to get an edge on you, how do you set you and your team apart from the rest?
In all the seasons I’ve been a part of, both as a player and coach, there have been three key components of a summer program that determine the altitude of a player and team.
A high school football game has 60 minutes on the clock. On average the ball is actually live and in play only 10 minutes of that time. Break it down further and you’ll find the average high school football play lasts roughly 5.6 seconds. These 5.6 seconds are intense, ferocious, aggressive, violent, fierce… I could go on with the adjectives but you get the point. A football game is intense. You’re training has to meet and even exceed the intensity bottled up in a single play.
Every rep, every set is important to developing this intensity. This is hard to do day in and day out over a two-month period. Here are a few tips I’ve found get your intensity up for a workout.
- Glance through your short-term and long-term goals before stepping into the weight room. (See previous blog for how to set goals.)
- Right before your workout, head outside and let out the most primal grunt/yell you can muster. This will get your fight or flight hormones pumping.
- Aggressively grunt throughout your reps when the weight starts to get heavy or you’re working on explosive movements. People may look at you funny but you’re going to up your intensity tenfold.
- Get competitive with your yesterday and last week self.
- Get competitive with a teammate who is similar to you in strength and agility.
Jerry Rice had a mindset that set him apart. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”
Your coach, along with every other coach across the state, has developed a program for the summer. What are you willing to do that others are not? Most players are willing to do what the coach asks them with varying degrees of intensity. Not many will seek out the extra and attack it.
You’ll notice I added the word “smarter” to the title “more.” The key to doing more is not blindly doing more. The extra you do should be tailored to what you need to accomplish.
- Think about your weaknesses in the weight room or on the field. Develop your extra training around those.
- Think about the movements you do on the football field. Find ways in the weight room and in speed training to focus on the explosiveness and efficiency of these movements. Be creative.
Focusing on “intensity” and “more” individually will get you individual results. Football is the ultimate team game and your success depends on the person lined up next to you. The real power comes when a team has an individual or group of individuals who can compel the team’s “intensity” and “more” to unprecedented heights.
Each of you has varying degrees of influence on your team. Some of you may be team captains or you may be an incoming freshman who is just starting football. You may not believe me but all of you have influence. For a younger player it may only be one other teammate that you challenge to join you as you work on your “intensity” and “more.” For other players it may be a position group or even the entire team.
Focusing on self-improvement is good and imperative. Leading others to follow your “intensity” and “more” is multiplying and impactful.
“If everyone doesn’t pay the price to win, then everyone will pay the price of losing.”- John C. Maxwell, Author