Week 5 was a solid week. We're at the point now where the program is running itself. In the past, this has been the time when guys started to get beat up. No issues. Don't get me wrong. Guys are getting tired and there are still some things that they get beat up from, but it's not the chronic soreness we've had in the past.
Honestly, I don't believe they'll test as well as far as numbers go. The increase in running takes its toll. However, the work they're doing is solid and it's getting done in the time allotted.
I think the one area where we may be a little behind is preparation for the conditioning test. I opted not to run 110's every week this summer. The goal was to build a base and build them up to a conditioning level where they could just be ready.
Last week we ran 16, 110's (the test) and 75% of the guys passed. Basically, there were no surprises. The skill and big skill guys were fine. A few linemen had issues, but these are our 300+lb kids. They'll be fine in a few more weeks when the actual test takes place.
We ran 10 hills yesterday in 20 minutes. I timed a few of the skill kids just to see what a set of 10 looks like for them. Most of them did a rep (up and down) in about a minute. A few kids (WR's and a TE) had 4 hills done in right around 4 minutes. I think I mentioned that the hill is about 50 yards at about a 30+ degree incline - maybe more. It's brutal.
Our slowest group (3 of the 300+lb OL) took 17 minutes to get 10 hills. So, everyone that's here is in shape and conditioned. Now it's time to take that conditioning level and focus it on 110's so we can all pass the test.
Week 6 is our heaviest week in the weight room, so far. We'll be doing PR sets at 85% (training max) in the squat, bench and trap bar. Because it's a training max I'm hoping for 10+ reps out of them, but I'm fine with whatever they get. If it's less than 10 I know to reduce their training max during the season a little bit more.
We run 110's again on Thursday and I'm curious to see how they do. Part of 110's is figuring out the pace. Once they get that down they usually cruise.
Next week (Week 7 for returning kids/Week 1 for freshmen) things get crazy! I have 14 men's basketball players, 14 women's basketball players, 13 volleyball players and 31 football players (freshmen) all starting workouts. Add in another 8-10 returning football players (grand total will be around 30-35) and my life just gets very busy.
This is blasphemy if any head coaches see this, but ALL of the freshmen are doing the same program. The exception is that volleyball will not be doing any overhead pressing. Otherwise, everyday looks the same. Same progression, same movements - SAME!
In my simplification of my job (and it really is pretty simple) I've realized every single athlete needs the exact same things. Especially young athletes. This is a time to teach them the lifts that are important in my program - the lifts that they will be doing without question, for the next 4-5 years when they come in the weight room regardless of time of year.
On top of that, this is a chance to build them up. I think a lot of coaches make the mistake of starting out freshmen on very high volume programs in an attempt to build their base. Well, no matter what they've been doing on their own, it's never enough. They never truly have a base to work with. Instead of loading on the work from the start I use this time to ease them into the tempo and workload that they'll be expected to handle. Like any other program, there is a progression and by the time we start school in mid-August they'll be up to speed and ready to follow the main workouts with the upperclassmen.
I never understood (although I did it, too) trying to hav them keep up with the kids that have already been here. They simply don't have the work capacity, yet. If their glass holds 16oz and an upperclassmen's holds 32oz, I can't smash 32oz into a 16oz glass. If you do that they're going to break down and eventually get injured.
Coaches don't understand this so I have to control it to try and put them in a better place to be successful. You can't just keep adding to a program (practice, individual drills, conditioning, lifting). If you add, you have to take something away. I can control the weight room and that's what I do.
I'm not looking forward to the weight room introduction speech (4 of them). I hate freshmen. They all think they know better. They all do things their way. It's a pain in the butt getting them to understand that it's my way - period. I have no interest in how they use to do things. I understand that this is how it is. This process just sucks. A lot fall into line and are eager to be taught. It's the few that think they know best. I blame the parents and bad high school/AAU/Club coaches for filling them full of unrealistic thoughts about how good they really are.
I will enjoy my finals days of free time before Monday. The transition back to full time is always tough, but it means one thing - we're that much closer to college football season and life is ALWAYS better when college football is on TV.
I would like to see your freshman program if you do not mind posting it sometime.