Training Tips

Before participating in any organized sport, players should see their doctor for a pre-participation physical exam.

Many players train throughout the year to ensure they are ready for fall football season. There are several good pre-season practices players can put in place to prepare for this demanding sport:

  • Build up cardiovascular endurance gradually, at least six weeks before practice begins. This helps players make it through the first few weeks of the football season. Performing jogging and sprinting exercises several times a week will help build endurance.
  • Train outdoors during the hotter, pre-season months to build a tolerance for heat and humidity.
  • Work with a coach or trainer to improve strength and flexibility.

Conditioning

Conditioning for football players usually consists of running and sprinting drills, weight training and stretching. Coaches and athletic trainers typically develop a training program for the team. They also instruct players individually, to help them perform at their peak. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to conditioning:

  • Allow plenty of warm-up time before practices and games. The body needs time to get blood flowing to cold muscles. Light jogging, followed by stretching can help prevent pulled muscles and soreness.
  • Allow time to cool down after practices and games. Performing long, slow stretches allows muscles to recover from being overworked. It can also help to decrease stiffness and soreness.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after practices and games to prevent dehydration. Having players weigh in before and after practice can help track how much fluid needs to be replaced before the next workout.
  • Assess strength safely. If a maximum strength assessment is needed, a specific weight should be predetermined. Then each player should be assessed on the maximum number of repetitions they can perform.
  • Young athletes should not perform “one rep max” assessments. This type of lifting can close growth plates in the body and stunt growth.