What are your goals for this season? It doesn’t matter if you're working to make the starting lineup, earn your spot on the varsity team, or earn all-state recognition - it starts by making a plan to set yourself up for success and then following through on that plan with indomitable discipline.
In this article, we will go over some basic drills and workouts you can add to your offseason training plan, ways you can hone your football skills, and how to recover better so you can get the most out of your summer training and continue to elevate your game.
Build for the 4th Quarter
You won't have anything left in your gas tank by the 4th quarter if you're worn down and your legs are tired, so conditioning should be a high priority for your off-season training. Take this time to focus on building your legs and improving your cardiovascular endurance, so when your competition lines up across from you this season with that exhausted look on their face, you know you can keep pushing harder.
These exercises also have other benefits besides just improving your cardiovascular endurance, too. You will find many cardio workouts also work other parts of your body, such as core strength, your explosive ability, and even your hand-eye coordination.
Running is probably the easiest cardio workout you can find. Is it fun? Not always, but the reward you get for doing something challenging and that you didn't necessarily WANT to do is very hard to match. Plus, building your mental strength to do something challenging even when you don't "feel like it" can really set you apart from your opponents. So, hit the pavement this summer or find some bleachers and run up and down the steps for an added challenge.
The burpee is a high intensity, explosive workout that will get the body firing before a hard circuit training session or can be used as a great finisher. To perform the move, the first thing you'll need is to find an area with plenty of space to move. Then, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, drop to your chest like you're performing a push up and explode back to your feet. Repeat the move for 15-20 reps and you'll be breathing heavy with a core on fire in no time.
This one is up to you to get creative, the only requirement is to perform explosive movements. For example; kettlebell swings coupled with lateral or box jumps, or medball slams followed by backward sled pulls. The idea is to load up the legs with resistance and then take off the resistance and move FAST.
Here's a sample workout you can try:
Medball slam x 3
Lateral jump x 3
Medball slam x 3
Lateral jump x 3
Sled push x 10 yards
Sled pull x 10 yards
-1 min rest-
*Explosive and powerful is the name of the game.
Play 7v7 or Flag Football
It's important to stay close to the game during the offseason and to get as many football reps as your summer allows. 7v7 and flag football can be excellent for developing and honing your skills and staying sharp throughout the offseason. If you're a quarterback who wants to see the game progress slower, or a wide receiver looking to tighten up your routes, playing 7v7 and flag football allows players to work against others in real game situations, stay in tune with the speed of the game, and even develop a better connection with teammates.
While the work does not stop when your season is over, it's imperative that you keep recovery in mind in between these grueling summer workouts. Stretching and improving your flexibility is a great goal to have for the offseason, as it can help improve athletic performance and can even aid in avoiding injury on the field. You might even experiment with sauna, or the cold tub - both of which have shown numerous benefits that help athletes recover faster after high intensity training.
Read how Cleveland Browns defensive end, Myles Garrett, uses the cold tub to deal with cramps and muscle tightness in this article.
At the end of the day, the offseason is your time to grind and put in the work to improve your game and gain an edge over your opponents. Whether you're working up a sweat in the gym, balling out in a 7v7 game, or just working on your flexibility, we believe you should still look good while you're putting in all that work. Xenith has you covered on and off the field with performance training apparel to get you through your toughest workouts, and logo wear to suit your active lifestyle.