We often get the question, “What should my kid be doing during the off-season?”
A football season takes a great deal from a player both physically and emotionally.
Fo young players and old, it’s important to decompress a little.
Taking a couple weeks off is actually great for your body.
All the bumps and bruises get healed up and we get back to normal physically.
The emotional drain on a player also demands some recovery time.
As a 3-sport athlete in high school I was always pretty worthless the first week of basketball.
Only time and rest can give you the recovery you need.
So what do we do once our healing is done?
Here are some tips to have the best off-season possible.
4 Ways to Have a Great Off-Season
Play other sports.
Take advantage of every chance you get to compete in athletics.
The experience of competing against other drives your development as an athlete.
There are things you learn in competition that cannot be learned any other way.
Sportsmanship, effort, game intelligence, and the ability to deal with adversity are just a few.
There’s also a huge benefit physically to playing other sports.
As a football player, basketball had a significant impact on improving my footwork and overall athleticism.
Every sport requires a different set of athletic skills and ability.
When you take advantage of this physical development it will significantly improve your athleticism.
Check out our previous article on the Advantages of Being a Multi-Sport Athlete.
Drill the skills.
Every position on the football field has a set of skills that need to worked.
This is the biggest deficiency that we see in the development of linemen.
Just because we don’t throw, catch or kick the football does not mean we cannot develop skills for our position.
Stance, take-off, punch, footwork, pass sets and pass rush moves are all skills that should be repped in the off-season.
Improve your craft. Drill the skills!
Stay focused on school.
As a high school coach for many years, I saw many kids fall off in school when the football season ended.
What many of them didn’t realize was that there spring grades effected their eligibility for the following season.
The majority of high schools across the country begin their season prior to the start of school.
In Wisconsin, our teams play two games before the start of the school year.
Very few athletes go on to play college sports.
According to NCAA.org statistics from the 2014-2015 season, 2.6% of high school football players moved on to play in NCAA Division I programs.
Of those players in NCAA Division I football only 1.6% went on to the NFL.
While we love to encourage kids to dream big, it should never be at the expense of their education.
Stay focused on school and be a great student and citizen.
Create a plan.
Give some thought to what you want to accomplish during your off-season.
Think about who you wan to be when you start training camp next fall.
What do you weigh?
How strong are you?
How fast are you?
What does your footwork, punch, stance, and take-off look like?
Really give it some thought and then write it down.
I know… you think that sounds weird and crazy, right?
You have the power to become the best version of yourself.
If you can conceive it, you can achieve.
Writing it down makes it real.
It holds you accountable to yourself.
Give it a try and let us know how that works for you.
Remember, it’s okay to dream big.
In fact… it’s a must if you want to PLAY BIG!
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