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Football: Surviving Spring Training
Photo of Brian Halligan

You've got to make it out of spring training before you can play real football, but you don't want to beat yourself down to the point that you won't be any good for the regular season. So here is the way to survive spring training and be ready for when the games actually count.

The Basics

Everyone that goes into spring raining needs to start increasing their workout routine two or three weeks ahead of time. By working harder before training, your body will become acclimated to a higher energy and more intense regimen, and that will help you ease into spring training naturally. Don't beg off allowing others to take the advantage.

Hydration

Keeping yourself hydrated is always extremely important, but during spring training, it is especially true.

You'll be practicing in some of the hottest weather of the year, and you will need to be at your physical peak. Staying hydrated is critical, which means drinking an electrolyte solution before you practice, and drinking another during practice. And don't worry about being water logged either. Trust me, you'll sweat it out, and more, which is why it is so important to remain hydrated during every spring training practice.

Veterans

You know who you are, and unless you falter badly or get injured, you know you'll be playing come the regular season. So for you, surviving spring training means staying healthy.

You don't have to prove yourself, you are a known quantity. Of course, you can't laze and be a bump on a log either, or someone is going to pass you by. But for the most part, just put in your reps, get the job done, and don't go out looking to bust heads. As long as you show up and put in the time, your position will be secure for the coming season.

Rookies

Surviving spring training to you means two things. Making it through the actual training period in one piece, and making the team. Granted, in some, like Pop Warner and High Schools, for example, there are no cuts. You'll make the team no matter what, even though you may never play, which is not what you are there for. But for college football and beyond, your performance during spring training generally decides whether you'll remain a part of the roster or if you'll be going home. Which means, spring training is a different animal for you than anyone else.

In spring training, as a rookie, you need to stand out among the other players to the coaches, so during scrimmages, you are going to have to give it your all. For you, it is going to be survival of the fittest, because if you look bad, make mistakes, or just can't get with the program, you might as well try another sport.

It is especially important for you, as a rookie, to come to practice in tip-top shape. That means starting high-intensity workouts weeks beforehand, maintaining proper hydration, and learning as much as you can, even if you need to take manuals and books home with you. You have to give it your all, so you can be on the field in the fall.

Spring Training Survival

Nobody likes spring training, it becomes boring and repetitious. Everyone would rather be playing the game rather than going through a hot, sweaty, and miserable spring training. But without it, coaches would never have a chance to evaluate talent, and you would never have a chance to make the team.

Just remember, the harder you work in spring training, the better you will be during the regular season, and ultimately, the more successful the football program will be in game after game after game. And that's what spring training survival is all about.


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