The Pre-Preseason: Use the summer to become a better teammate, player and student

By Garrett Hueber | Posted 6/23/2017

Summer’s a great time to hang out with friends, family, and your favorite TV shows, but if you don’t put in time training now there’s a chance you’ll be left behind before you reach the gridiron.  Take this time to focus on getting in shape, studying your playbook, building relationships with teammates, and attending any needed summer school.

Now is the time to start working out the way you want. 

There is no one telling you when, how, or what to lift, so take advantage of your break to craft your own workout routines.  Scorching hot weather, team drills and “2-a-days” practices are summer facts, and it will help you stand out to your teammates and coaches if you show up prepared. 

Think about it, who’s most likely to start, the player who crushes the first “suicide” drills then asks for more, or the player who needs a water break immediately afterwards?  Take this time to design your workouts to improve any areas of weakness. 

Skill position players can always benefit from interval sprints and hand-eye coordination drills.  Where as linemen need to be able to block and out position opponents so try focusing on weightlifting and squat variations.   Natural talent will only get a player so far, but the ones who train hard before the season will have a chance to be great.

It’s not the most athletic players who are the most successful, but the players who execute their plays most effectively. 

These are the players who know their routes, their teammates’ routes, and the overall goal of the play.  It won’t matter if your quarterback is about to throw a perfect pass to the fastest wide receiver on the team if you’re fullback forgets whom to block.  You’ve got the whole summer to do what you want, so set aside an hour a day to study your playbook.  It will mean a lot less push-ups from your coach during practice, and your teammates will appreciate not having to walk you through each play.

Team sports are centered exactly around that: a team. 

Utilize your summer break by starting to get to know some of your teammates, especially those who you will be playing closely with.  These are the teammates you will eat with, practice with, ride the bus with, win, and lose with. The sooner you gel with them, the more effective you will be as a team.  When you’re not practicing try to grab some food together or have a team cookout.  Remember, team sports are supposed to be fun, and making friends is a part of that fun.

School comes before sports.

That means your grades need to meet your school’s requirements.  Whether you are getting ahead on required courses, attempting to finish school early, or trying to improve a grade, any summer classes that you sign up for need to be your first priority.  Coaches cannot allow students to play if they do not achieve the required GPA.

To learn more, visit St. Vincent Sports Performance