Training for High School Football

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Question: My son will be in the 9th grade next year and would like to play football in high school. He was a very good player this year and started each game Still he needs to get bigger, stronger and faster to be able to play at the next level. How often should he workout? When should he begin a running program?
Answer: Now is the time to begin training for high school football. The talent pool gets smaller and hard work makes the difference. If he hasn’t been training regularly yet then start with 2 to 3 weight training days a week. Split the routine into an upper body day working on chest, back,shoulders and abs. Take a day off then train legs, biceps and triceps. He gets another day to recover and finishes the week with a day of power exercises. These include cleans, deadlifts, dumbbell snatches, push-up rows and plyometric movements to name a few.
Running can be done a couple days a week, at first alternating sprint intervals one day with distance of a mile or so the other As summer approaches, you can ramp that up a bit.
Even with the goals your son has about playing high school football, remember that he is still just a kid. When his school work load is too heavy or if he just needs a break let him have a day off. Don’t keep the training too regimented and when he does train make the workouts challenging and fun as well as effective.
One area that is often an issue with middle school athletes is what and when they eat. Too often these kids get up and head off to school without eating breakfast for no other reason than they don’t get out of bed in time. Kids need sleep which is when they grow and repair muscle. Their bodies, both male and female, are growing more than at any other time in their lives. They should get 8 hours of sleep a night. Get them out of bed in time to eat something before they head off to school. At school, either prepare them a lunch or make sure they do eat. Sometimes they skip lunch to save their lunch money. Other times they just eat pizza and fries every day. It’s better than nothing but not exactly conducive to athletic excellence.
Finally they need water more than Gatorade and soft drinks.
All these,weight training, cardio, healthy food and water are necessary to lay a solid foundation for the move up to the next level of athletic excellence.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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