The football off season is an important season for athletes. Football is a unique sport where players can’t just show up and play. They need to be well conditioned physically and prepped mentally to minimize mistakes on the football field.
Football, unlike most sports, have the athlete training more than they’re actually playing. Football players train 7-8 months out of the year, only to have a 3-4 month season.
Training for football can be strenuous. Constantly putting the body through stress and rehabilitating muscles to ensure they’re flexible and well nurtured.
To ensure players are 100% bought in throughout the entire off season, it’s important to add a few elements to your training. Creating an atmosphere that is both fun and competitive will have athletes addicted to the process.
Here are a few ways to enhance your football off season workouts.
Competition breeds champions. It’s the lifeblood of every team whether it’s the fourth quarter or off-season. Competition in the off-season is a necessity
There are a few basic ways to create competition throughout the offseasons:
- Create teams and combine the total weight
- As Coach Grayvold mentioned on our podcast, each grade is their own team and they compete against each other at the end of the workout. Coach gave an example of a tug of war contest, sprints etc. It encourages players to get other peers to join, or they’ll lose drastically.
- Players can also compete with GPA, high GPA is rewarded and low GPA is punished. This concept works great among teams.
Using competition to build a team structure helps solidify a team, especially in the fourth quarter of games.
Accountability Among The Team
Accountability is one of the biggest contributing factor in the off-season. The more players that are at a workout, the higher the energy and camaraderie is naturally built.
The problem lies with both big/small programs is actually getting players to a workout. Accountability among the older players is what drives the younger players to attend the workouts.
Coaches will often have a competition where players can earn “points” for attendance. Enough points, players can earn meals, t-shirts, shorts and more! All depending on the team’s budget.
Although the prizes are great, accountability of players attending workouts shouldn’t be baited with prizes. Coaches needs to create a high energetic atmosphere where players are excited to lift and grow.
Track Off Season Lifts
Progress can be measured in a few ways. Whether it be on paper or a tablet, having players visibility see the progress will help them with motivation.
We’ve written about tools like Teambuildr which help teams track progress, attendance and player growth strictly by entering information on a tablet or their phone. Analytics are tracked in a nice and easy to read database for the coach which helps them stay organized on progress and attendance.
If coaches don’t want to spend the money on off-season programs, we recommend creating a paper workout on excel which can be used to track player progress. Simply having pens and pencils laid out, with each player assigned to their own sheet can get messy at times, but is also more effective than having nothing.
Track Weight/Body Fat
Tracking weight and body fat progress is another way to keep players motivated. Every off-season, players should set goals they want to reach, as their bodies start to develop overtime.
Weight loss for overweight players, gaining weight for undersized players and putting on muscle mass must be a focus during the off-season. Lifting weights with no goal in mind, both body fat and weight-wise does not give the athlete anything to strive for.
Body fat calipers, which are relatively cheap (found here on Amazon for $12) are a great way to track body fat.
The off-season in football spans over 7 months. It’s a long period of time for players who get an average of 9-11 games per season. Creating a fun and inspiring environment will help your players thrive in the off-season.
What are some ways you enhance your off season? Let us know in the comments below!