Why football teams do boot camps?

Next week starts spring practices for the ‘Dawg football team.  In actuality football started in January with weights and conditioning, along with drills.  Now the team gets to put on the pads for the first time in 2017.  

Six weeks prior to spring practice the ‘Dawgs went through competition and boot camp training.  This is fairly customary for teams nowadays.  Why do teams include a boot camp phase to prepare for the season?

The boot camp phase emphasizes competition and self-discipline.  Team unity is derived and earned by each player because all players witness the dedication from each participant.  Competitors expect to win while underdogs expect to be behind from the start.  Consequently the ‘Dawgs went through grueling competition and boot camp training.

The Dawg football coaches put the players through a tough off-season program to toughen the players’ bodies physically and mentally.  Each session consists of high intensity weight workouts with little rest between sets.  The goal is to instill in each players’ mind the value of hard work.  The motto is “the harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”

Players learn to push themselves harder and train their minds to take their bodies farther than it thinks it can go.  The mental toughness ingredient teaches players must fight through adverse situations and believe they can get the job done. The entire session is performance-based. Players have to prove themselves every day.   This teaches the life lesson of being held accountable.

Another session in the competition-boot camp phase teaches self-discipline.  While agility drills are being performed, a station is set-up specifically for players who either made a mistake or was mistaken to have made a mistake.  This teaches the player during actual games the job needs to be completed without talking back.  Even if the player was mistaken to make a mistake, they perform the makeup work at the specific station without any questioning of why they are being sent to the station.  This teaches the player during a game no talking back is accepted.

During this phase of the off-season program the emphasis is everybody is held accountable.  At the end of the day, a team is a team. They make themselves better as well as become a relied upon team member.

Beginning each day’s workout period and at the end of the station drills, each player snaps to attention with their eyes forward.  When a coach talks during drills or at the end of the workout, all eyes must be on the coach.   

The past six weeks have not been easy, but it is evident these competition and boot camp sessions are bringing the team together.  “You can see the team unity coming together,” Tracy Welch said. “It’s in our locker room. Team unity is the secret to anything in life. Learning to trust each other, trust in the coaches, trust in the system and trust in the plan,” Tracy Ranes added.  

“The workouts are very difficult to finish, but that’s part of the off-season training,” Reb Brock said. “We’re getting tougher and stronger, that’s what Coach Jack Welch talks about consistently. We’re going to be mentally stronger and physically tougher,” added Brock.

Well, it is time to see if all the hard work this off-season has paid off.  The Dawgs will begin drills Monday.  At the each of each week they will have an intra-squad scrimmage to evaluate their progress.  The up-coming season includes a rigorous pre-season schedule and these spring practices will be critical in preparing the Dawgs. 

Thought for the week, “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”   H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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