Legendary college football coach, Bo Schembechler, once said, “Every day, you either get better or you get worse. You never stay the same.”
If you are a serious high school football player whose goal is to play at the next level, then you need to do your best to live by this quote. It’s simple. Elite players have elite habits, and they make every single day count. And if you really love the game of football, then you should love everything that goes into developing yourself into the best football player possible. This is not always fun, nor is it convenient. You have to embrace the parts of the football lifestyle that take you out of your comfort zone, mentally and physically.
The weight room is one of the areas of football that will make or break many college hopefuls. Every coach that reads this will have a list of players run through their minds. If they would have only listened to us… The weight room is a special place. It separates the men from the boys. The weight room forces you to challenge yourself. A meaningful workout will require you to demonstrate your mental toughness by pushing you to fight through physical pain and exhaustion.
As I mentioned earlier, getting outside of your comfort zone will allow you to make the most significant and meaningful gains. If you learn to love it, the weight room will make you stronger, bigger, and even faster. The competition for a limited number of scholarship opportunities is as fierce as ever, and if you aren’t consistently taking steps to improve your mind, your body, and your game, then you are falling behind that competition. During the long off-season, the weight room is integral to this. Even if you play multiple sports, which is highly recommended, the weight room and everything that goes along with it (diet, stretching, rest, recovery, etc.) must be a fundamental focus of your daily routine.
If you work hard enough to earn the opportunity, college coaches will eventually take interest in you and invite you to come to see what their program has to offer. Whether it is an unofficial visit or an official visit, most schools will start off by providing a tour of their facilities. You will quickly notice that one of the first stops on every tour is the weight room.
The arms race style competition to have the best facilities has led to major football programs investing tens of millions of dollars into their weight rooms. The required combination of functionality and flashiness has produced some truly unbelievable facilities. Additionally, colleges have invested heavily into the hiring of full-time strength and conditioning staff. These brilliant professionals make sure each and every player is meeting expectations when they step foot inside. You will get to know this group of people extremely well. Depending on where you play, you will likely spend more time with the strength and conditioning staff than anyone else over your college career.
So, I encourage you to play as many sports as possible. Go to camps and compete. Have fun while improving your skills with 7-on-7. But whatever you do, do not neglect the weight room. Following your academics, it should be the next priority on your daily agenda. If it isn’t, make the change now. – Coach Kaz