No Breaks

The Woodgrove weight room the players use to workout in during the off-season. Photo provided by Ethan Tehan.
The Woodgrove weight room the players use to workout in during the off-season. Photo provided by Ethan Tehan.

Football is one of the most electric sports to be played and watched for Americans. However, it ends very quickly and the fans have to wait another year for the game to come back. For the players though, it does not end quickly. Players have to stay in peak condition and strength. They have to improve their athleticism for the next season. Not only do the players put in the work, the coaches do too. Coaches need to come up with new plays and possibly different gameplans for the new players coming onto the team. Once the last game is over for the team, the restart work picks right back up.

“After the last game we let the kids get the rest they needed and then I opened up the weightroom a few weeks later. December 18th is when we have our team meeting where I tell everyone how the off-season will go. January is when the off-season really starts for us. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is when we will get our lifts in for the upcoming season. Lifting is good, but you can’t overtrain and become too big to the point where you are just stiff out on the field. [The] program I am running is more about functionality than aesthetics.” Coach Derek Barlow shares.

“Bill Parcells once said ‘The game of football is for the maladjusted.’ The reason why I like that quote is because it tells exactly what we do here. The amount of time you have to put in for just ten games is a lot. The lifting and stretching is constant and that is what people don’t realize. When you gain strength and speed, the weight will come and that’s what I try to tell the kids. The off-season is really about getting bigger, stronger, and faster.” Coach Barlow explains.

With High School football it can be very tough when it comes to training, learning the plays, playing, and being a student. What is also tough is when the coaches for the next season lose their seniors every year. The High School seniors have a different experience in the off-season compared to the rising underclassmen. Seniors going to college now have to deal with learning a whole new system and going through a whole different workout plan to stay in shape.

“It is completely different from my previous years. I am doing whole different workouts to try and prepare myself for playing for a college. I wake up at the crack of dawn almost everyday and go do extensive workouts at six in the morning. I am no longer on the Woodgrove workout routine, anymore so it is a tough transition. To me though, this is the sport I love and doing these workouts will make me better and so will going to college.” Senior Patrick Thomas says on his new outlook to his future.

With football there comes a lot of injuries with the hits the players take. During the offseason many players like to take that time to just do a lot of light movement. “Playing offensive lineman and defensive lineman, the trenches get rough. It takes a major toll on my body, so during the off-season I like to heal up and once I am done with that I go straight to my workout routine… my favorite thing to do during my off-season though is watching films on some of the professionals to try and craft their techniques into my own.” Junior Harrison Williams states.

The off-season is truly something very important to the players and coaches. It should be taken as seriously as the regular season as well. The future for these kids athletes everything and the new seniors coming up next year have a big role to play.

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