So here are my basic guidelines for getting back in shape and making sure you’re in top form for tryout season.
Set up a training schedule
Football requires strength and condition and typically, this is divided into three major phases—off season, in season and transition. Ideally, these should take place all year round. But let’s be real, no one really follows this religiously.
No worries. It’s never too late to start whipping yourself into shape and start setting up a training schedule. Start by moving the timing of your off season training schedule nearer to when your target tryout date is. If you’re new to the process, dedicate at least 8-10 week to strength building. On the other hand, if you’re more experienced, you can cut this down to three to five weeks.
There are several tests that are expected of you for your tryout; incorporate these into your exercise regime to get into shape. It will vary, sure, but it definitely won’t steer to far away from the 40-yard dash, maybe a bench press, vertical jumps, shuttle runs. Incorporate these exercises two out of three times a week as you work on your conditioning. You can even add position specific drills if you have your eye on a specific post—maybe strength, agility, blocking or footwork drills if you’re looking to practice your lineman moves.
The secret to this lies in adding major, functional lifts that are intended to develop speed, strength and power for any football player. Deadlifts, back squats, bench presses, shoulder presses and even Olympic lifts, jerks and snatches will all lend itself to building up impressive strength. One to five reps for three to five sets is ideal.
Don’t overlook speed training
Often, you focus so much on building power and strength that you forget you have to be fast and quick on your feet in football. Plyometrics are great for building agility and speed. Incorporate these into your exercise regimen, two to three times a week. The key is in ensuring your mobility and speed, so exercises such as jump roping, medicine ball moves and box jumps work best.
Keep a stopwatch handing to make sure that you are doing your exercises right and to make sure that you pace yourself correctly.