Off Season Preparation

A lot of people think football is seasonal, that players just compete during their schedule and that’s it. That could not be farther from the truth. Like most sports these days, football is not just from July to November, but a year-round affair. Athletes from as young as 12 years old participate in winter practices with their teams.

The real question is; what can I do in the off-season to maximize my performance in season? Here are three things to think about during your off season.

1. Strengths and Weaknesses

This is really the first step to getting better. To continually improve and educate themselves are common traits amongst the truly elite athlete. In order to really improve you must know what to improve on to get better. Sound simple? It is a lot harder than you think.

Introspection. The ability to look at yourself truthfully and honestly is a great life skill to have. You must know your weaknesses in order to improve them so they will not handicap you in the future.

For example, let’s say you are a great pass blocker and an average run blocker. Would it make sense to only work on your pass protection? No, you have to work on both skills except maybe you devote 75% of your time to run blocking drills and 25% to pass blocking drills. The key is to find the balance because to devote 100% of your time to improving on run blocking might bring down your pass blocking skills.

2. Work Ethic

A lackadaisical attitude toward football and your training will not work. People with strong work ethics often succeed in whatever field they enter is because they are willing to do the extras that will separate them from the others. Finishing each set, rep and drill might not seem like a big deal but it is. When push comes to shove are you willing to work a little bit harder than the guy next to you? If you are, you will be better off.

Hard work is a learned skill. By this I mean you can train yourself to get what you want. Laziness is a choice just as hard work is. Choose not to take the easy route and make habits out of working hard because soon it won’t be so hard.

3. Challenge Yourself

This is important for people to break down the barriers that exists in people’s minds. A lot of people have pre-conceived notions of their abilities, and they are usually lower than what they should be. Challenge yourself to be stronger. Challenge yourself to bench press more than you did last year. If you challenge what you think you can do, you just might be surprised at what you actually can do.