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Football season is just around the corner. Here are some things every high school football player should be doing right now.
Strength and Conditioning Training
If your school team has a program, follow it. If not, check out STACK's Summer Football Training Guide. Being part of team-organized activities and building a specific routine are essential to football. However, you may want to do some extra work on your own. A football strength program should focus on power and explosion. Since it is vital to use correct form, I have included two beneficial videos below. The first teaches the important technique of core lifts. The second has some simple, but effective, explosion workouts.
Speed and Agility Drills
As a football player, you should be doing fast-paced movements to train your quick-twitch muscle fibers. Muscle memory is crucial to enhancing your ability. This basically means the more times you do a movement, the more your body gets used to it and the easier it becomes. Here are five cone drills that are great for increasing quickness. But again, practicing them often is crucial.
This can and should be done within your speed & agility workouts. To reiterate, football workouts should be done using fast, quick movements. Football conditioning should not consist of long distance running or jogging. Think about it. In football, a play is about six to eight seconds long. To prepare for plays, you should train in similar time increments with close to full effort. Here are four football conditioning drills that work.
Strength, speed, and conditioning are important to improving as an athlete. But you need to be doing position-specific work as well. Each position on the field requires different movements on each play. To master these specific movements, you must continually practice them. Get started at STACK.com/Football-Drills.
I'd like to share one of my all-time favorite quotes, by the great NFL player and coach Herm Edwards, who said, "A goal without a plan is a wish. What's your plan? It's on you, because you have to do all the work."
It's really important to have firm, realistic goals going into the season—both team and individual goals. I recommend five to seven goals. They should be clear-cut and have a goal-checking benchmark (i.e, be All-Conference or have 15 sacks). The goals will be different for everyone. For instance, you might be a sophomore who played JV last year. An unrealistic individual goal would be to become a First Team All-State performer this season. A better, more attainable goal, would be to become a varsity starter and make an All-Conference Team. Goals need to be tough but achievable. (Learn more about setting SMART goals.)
At this point in the summer, most camps are over and most evaluations by coaches are finished. However, here are some things to begin thinking about:
Setting Up Visits
If a coach has invited you to visit campus, and you have interest in the school, go! It's a great way to see a game and meet the staff/players if you have not already done so. Often on visits, you also get a chance to see the athletic facilities and campus buildings, meet with academic advisors, eat in the dining hall and get an overall feel for the school. You only have 5 "official" visits, but you can go on an unlimited number of unofficial visits. The basic difference is that schools pay for official visits.
An Early-Season Highlight
After three or four games, it's a great idea to pick your best plays to send a highlight video out to schools. It not only keeps your current schools interested, it may change their evaluation in a positive manner. It could also get the attention of schools not currently pursuing you. Here are some tips I wrote on a quality highlight tape.
A few other things to keep in mind are registering with the Eligibility Center and looking into ACT/SAT test dates.
You can always contact me with specific questions and comment on Twitter @PWCurran!