Monday signifies the start of our summer programming that takes us into camp. I'll go into detail on what we're doing every day, but I'll provide a little background first.

Our school has very good facilities now - a weight room with several power racks, a field right outside the doors with brand new field turf, and dozens of medicine balls, sleds of various kinds and jump boxes. We've collected a lot of stuff over the years, so I really have no excuse for not getting a ton of work done over the next two months.

Week 1 will be something of a testing week, where I'll both document results and eyeball everyone to see what we've got. This will be the first time I've worked with the entire group in quite a while, so that will be important in figuring out exactly what kind of team we're going to have. I have the kids on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and possibly some Saturdays). Important to note here is that we're limiting their exposure to "passing leagues" and 7-on-7 stuff. I think these things are somewhat important, but only to a point - and for me, it's only from a teaching perspective. For a lot of coaches and teams, that shit turns into a glorified touch football game, and we're more concerned with our coverages than anything else. I think these events are getting WAY out of hand, but that's the way the game is moving, so I guess we have to adapt.

The M-W-F workouts will be structured as follows:

1. Individual skill shit
2. Dynamic Flexibility (on field as a team)
3. Position-specific work
4. Jumps/throws
5. Direct Speed work
6. Lifting
7. Energy system development

This is the order I've found works for us. The only pain in the ass is coming back out onto the field after lifting, because the kids tend to lose focus at that point, and getting them corralled and ready to do any type of "conditioning" work can be a pain in the ass - and it's the main reason I go home with no voice every day.

On Monday, I will begin documenting exactly how our practices are going.

Team Programming

1. Individual Skills: I've been asked questions about what I mean by this, and I'm just talking about pre-practice stuff guys can do without really being warmed up. Essentially, if practice starts at 3, and they're out on the field at 2:45PM, we want them doing something other than standing around with their thumbs up their asses. This is where receivers will work on their little 5-yard catch drills, C's, QB's and RB's will work on exchanges and meshing, linebackers (at the risk of looking really stupid) will work on trigger steps, etc, etc. Nothing complicated.

2. Dynamic Warm-up: One lap jogged around the field, run through the goalpost, break into lines. As happens every year, we spend more time teaching the kids how to get in line than we did on the actual exercises, but we're all used to that by now.

3. Jumps/Throws

4. Tag: I got this one from James Smith. I break the kids down into groups and simply allow them to play tag for short periods of time.

5. Speed work: Couple of 10's and 20's

6. Lifting: Essentially have them on a Prilepin's-based bench and squat program. Today we squatted with ridiculously submaximal weight, then did RDL's and GHR's.

7. Ab Circuit + "Conditioning": I got them all out into their same lines and put the entire team through the same ab circuit (tons of planks), then broke out all our sleds and Prowlers and did 20 minutes worth of that.

Good day, and got it all done in less than two hours.

When You're Not Watching...

Since we only have the kids for the summer on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we're pretty much leaving them to their own devices every other day of the week. This is where I want them doing tempo runs on their own. Will they do it? Some will. Most will do it for the first week or two, then stop. Some will keep it up for the entire time, and some will just blatantly ignore what we're telling them and not even know what a tempo run is after 8 weeks.

What we try to do with these kids is kind of a mental thing. We basically try to get them to "begin with the end in mind," i.e., if you want to win f-ing football games, imagine what it's like to win, remember what it's like to lose, and do what the f--k we say.

As usual, I think we have a decent group of kids this year, but thinking that in June, for a football coach, is fool's gold. I've learned that over the years after going through one season where the kids totally busted their asses for me for the entire off-season, and I kept saying to myself, "Nobody's working harder than us right now, so we won't lose a game this year," and we ended up going like 2-8. We had to deal with some administrative bullshit and had a bunch of suspensions that year where kids didn't play, but what I learned was that you can't think a kid isn't an a-hole just because he trains hard - and not quitting during a hard set of Prowler sprints doesn't necessarily mean a kid isn't going to quit at the end of the third quarter when you're down 10.

The only thing we can really do right now, as strength coaches, is keep talking to the kids. This is another thing I got from The Thinker, and it's always a struggle, but it's important - the building of an "Iron Will." I'm still convinced that you can talk them into this, and that you can talk kids into doing anything, or believing they can do anything. The military does it every day, and as coaches, if we know the right way to go about this, we can do it, too. I've seen it happen with my own guys, so even if everyone's not on board right away with getting out and running tempos and doing ab circuits or stretching on their day off, I'll never be convinced that I can't get the majority of them doing it after a few weeks.

Tomorrow we train upper body, and I'll be introducing some really, really basic football specific stuff.