It’s that exciting time of the year again when football season is just around the corner. With professional teams, colleges, and high schools gearing up for training camps, it’s essential for players to get in shape for the game. In this blog post, we will explore the best approaches to summer conditioning for football, ensuring you are fully prepared for the challenges ahead.
Understanding the Demands of the Game
To excel in football, it’s crucial to grasp the specific demands of the game.
According to Buddy Morris’s “American Football Prep,” here are some average metrics to consider:
- Average plays per game: 75
- Average series per game: 15
- Average plays per series: 5
- Average time per play: 4.8 seconds
- Average time per play for special teams: 7.6 seconds
- Average rest time between plays: 34.5 seconds
- Average time between offensive and defensive series: 6-7 minutes
While these numbers can vary based on offensive and defensive styles, they serve as valuable guidelines to structure your conditioning program effectively.
Breaking Down Summer Conditioning:
Summer conditioning for football can be divided into three sub-categories, each serving a distinct purpose:
- Preparedness: Building Long-Term Capacity Preparedness focuses on developing the aerobic base required for the game. Think of it as the general physical preparedness for football. Include exercises like sled drags, carries, shrugs, and shoulder work, which involve higher reps or longer duration work sets. These activities contribute to enhancing overall endurance and body armor.
- Fitness: Enhancing Short-to-Medium Term Capacity Fitness training aims to improve the athlete’s ability to perform consistently throughout the week. It involves general weight room workouts and big rock exercises that may be less sport-specific but contribute to overall physical fitness.
- Readiness: Immediate-Short Term Capacity Readiness training focuses on workout-to-workout or play-to-play readiness. It includes position-specific work that hones in on the skills and movements required during specific game situations.
A Sample Week of Summer Conditioning
To provide a more detailed approach, here’s a sample weekly training schedule for preparing a football player for the game in July:
- Monday: Tempo Work/Upper Body
- Tuesday: Acceleration/Lower Body – Bilateral
- Wednesday: 7 on 7, Lineman Specific Work, Yoga
- Thursday: Tempo Work/Upper Body
- Friday: Max Velocity/Change of Direction (COD)/Lower Body – Unilateral
- Saturday: 7 on 7 Intro Concepts
- Sunday: Rest Day
Progressing Towards the Season
As the season approaches, it’s necessary to make specific adjustments to your training regime. Consider the following:
- Cut rest intervals to simulate game conditions.
- Increase volume and density in both conditioning and weight room workouts.
- Maintain consistent rest intervals during speed work (acceleration and maximum velocity) to allow for optimal recovery due to the high outputs involved.
While preparing for the season, keep the following factors in mind:
- Educate Athletes on Rest and Recovery: Emphasize the importance of proper rest and recovery techniques to optimize performance and prevent injuries.
- Realistic Expectations: Understand that true game readiness is achieved by playing the game itself, and practice or training cannot fully simulate it. Allow adequate time for players to reach peak performance.
- Focus on Simplicity and Reactivity: Keep training programs simple yet effective. Incorporate reactive components rather than relying on traditional cones, fostering better game-like responses.
- Fun and Enjoyment: Encourage athletes to have fun while training and playing the game. A positive and enjoyable environment enhances motivation and performance.
With proper summer conditioning, football players can elevate their performance on the field. By understanding the demands of the game and tailoring training programs to address preparedness, fitness, and readiness, athletes can maximize their potential. Remember, training is a continuous process, and game readiness comes with experience and playing time. If you have further questions or want to delve deeper into these topics, feel free to connect with CM1_Performance on Instagram for expert guidance.
Stay strong and best of luck in your football journey!
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