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By Adam Rosenfield
For most young athletes, summer is a time of relaxation, time at the pool, eating unhealthy, and other activities that might cause an individual to not be performing at 100% once class is in session. More recently, plenty of schools have instituted some kind of voluntary workout program, realizing that for athletes to grow, they need some kind of summer conditioning program to maintain their skills.
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Here are some tips and drills for football athletes in the summer.
Don’t Overdo It in the Weight Room
Incoming freshman, even if they might be world-beaters, still have very undeveloped bodies, and lifting too much at the start might cause severe injury. Put incoming freshman on different weightlifting plans than experienced lifters, making sure no one’s goal is a “one rep max”. While players need certain strength for certain positions, a 14-year-old should focus on general muscle endurance rather than that 400-pound bench press.
Change It Up A Little
The name of the game of summer conditioning is to obviously get players into football shape, but preaching football 24/7 might bog an athlete down come August. Summer is designed to take their mind off of school and playing for the team. Make the workouts fun – get a soccer ball to get your players thinking differently one day a week, try yoga for flexibility, or maybe even a little kickball after a fierce conditioning week for team bonding.
As stated above, in the summer, there are no wins and losses. The key to the summer is setting goals. Help your players find their goals- ask them what they want to improve on- is it your speed, strength, is it general football knowledge? Tell your players to write them down, and keep them yourself- possible even planning practice around them if much of the team has shared goals.
Keep ‘Em Healthy
This goes hand-in-hand with weight training; if players do not train correctly they are at risk for Rhabdomyolysis – which can occur if you do a high intensity workout after months of inactivity. One activity athletes can do is foam rolling, which helps massage soft tissue and can help reset the body, allowing an athlete to train pain free.
Give the athletes as much water as possible. The daily recommendation for a sedentary person is 64 ounces – athletes need to be more in the 96-ounce range. Some football-specific publications call for athletes to drink 7-10 fluid ounces of water for every 10-20 minutes. When you are in leading summer workouts, ensure your athletes are getting this amount, as performance, and overall health, can be severely impacted.
Work on Speed & Explosiveness
Here are a few drills done by athletes such as Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, and Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins, that work on speed potential, and explosiveness before workouts.
Falling Starts – do this 5 times – this helps an athlete maintain a good power line from the head to the back hell, and builds acceleration
Speed bounding – 3×3 each leg
Sled Drag – do this four times
Monday – Do 3 sets of 5 box jumps using a 24-42 inch box
Wednesday – Do 3 sets of 5 single-leg box jumps using an 18-30 inch box
Friday – Do 3 sets of 5 speed-plyometric box jumps using an 18-36 inch box
Editor’s Note: FloridaHSfootball.com is partnered with Krossover Intelligence. This article was originally published by Krossover. Check out their blog or follow them on Twitter for more great high school football content.