Tuesday, January 3rd
Good Morning & Happy New Year -
I hope that each of you had a great Christmas break with your family and loved ones. With the start of the 2017, we move into our off-season preparation phase for the 2017 football season - it will be here before you know it!
This email will contain a lot of pertinent information, so I'm asking that you would take time to read it through and also save it for later reference.
From now until Spring Break, our lifting sessions will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:00-8:00 am. The locker room will be open around 6:50 am, and players will be issued locks upon request (I will be in by 6:30 am on Wednesday & Thursday this week to issue locks) and can use any open locker. ** Players must lock up their valuables - every year we have issues with property theft in our locker room during our lifting sessions.
Who should lift? While an off-season program cannot be mandatory, improving speed and strength during the off-season is a critical commitment for athletes of all sports. With this, we offer a comprehensive strength training program that is first focused on safety, proper technique, and an individual's functional movement, and then moves into adding muscle mass, flexibility, core strength, and explosiveness. Coach Gustavson will coordinate our strength training program, and other WHS coaches will be on hand to supervise, offer instruction and feedback, and to encourage student-athletes. In addition to one's physical development, close-knit teams are built during the off-season.
Therefore, it is our hope that all of our student-athletes will participate in our off-season program.
**Note: The Wrestling Program does an outstanding job of regularly incorporating strength training into their in-season program. Football players who are wrestlers, too, do not need to participate in the football workouts while they are in wrestling season. At the conclusion of the wrestling season, these student-athletes can choose to continue with wrestling off-season workouts or join our football off-season workouts.
For other in-season athletes, both during the winter and spring seasons, it is (again) encouraged that they participate, but not mandatory. Getting stronger and more explosive will help a student-athlete in just about every sport. We encourage in-season athletes to try to attend 2 workouts per week while they are in-season. In terms of working towards earning a varsity letter for strength training, any in-season athlete that participates 2 times in a week will be credited as earning 3/3 workouts for the week.
Incentive: Players who participate in 80% of workouts between January and the end of the school year will earn a Varsity Letter in Strength Training.
** Note: for this off-season, there is not an "automatic dress list" incentive for players due to the anticipated large participation and the limited number of varsity jerseys. My real hope is that players who fully participate in the off-season program will be bonded with their teammates and have built the athletic base to earn a spot on the varsity dress list. But this year it is not an automatic incentive for players like it has been in past years. (** For the incentive, participation must come through our football workouts. Working out on one's own, at a private gym, or with another sport can have merit in it's own right, but cannot fairly count towards the letter incentive).
Attendance: We are going to emphasize accountability for players who participate in the program. The first area is punctuality - players arriving between 7:00-7:09 will have additional conditioning at the end of the workout and will not be allowed to participate in a workout if tardy beyond two times in a given month (**flexibility will be allowed on days where there is bad weather conditions - I do not want players rushing to get to school in bad weather... but they are encouraged to plan ahead and adjust wake-up and departure times). At 7:10 each morning the doors will be closed and players will have missed the workout on that day. In addition, for those participating, there is an expectation of reasonable consistency - this is a workout program that builds over the course of the off-season, not a workout gym where participants come and go just to get in some exercise. With that, players who miss large amounts of workouts will be given a separate, functional movement workout upon returning to bring their physical preparedness in line with where the group is at within the program.
Physical Therapy: Throughout the off-season we will have players who need to perform physical therapy exercises (injuries from other sports, rehab from surgery, etc) and will be limited or even not cleared for strength training. If at all possible, I encourage players in this situation to bring their PT exercises to our workouts and be with their teammates while doing the PT. I think this helps with bonding and helps your player feel as though he is doing his "workout" the same as his teammates. We will always work with our ATC, Sara, when setting this up, and if needed, she can be present at our workout(s).
Inclement Weather: Our rule of thumb will continue to be "we only have workouts when school is going to start on time." Therefore, if there is a cancellation or delay for any reason, we will not have a workout that morning.
Transportation: If getting a ride to workouts is a concern for your player, please shoot me an email. We have several players and parents who are willing to help get players to workouts. Not only does this help get your player to a workout, it is another opportunity for kids to bond as teammates. If you are willing to drive players who live near you (or are on your way to school) or have a player who can legally give a ride, please let me know that as well.
Schedule Adjustments: The weeks of January 16 (MLK Holiday) and February 20 (Presidents Day) will not have school on Monday of those weeks. During these weeks, we will workout on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Workout Attire: Participants should have athletic clothing, including athletic shoes, for workouts. I encourage players to leave this in their locker, and then take it home on Thursday bringing clean clothes back each week. Shoes are critical - participants without proper shoes will not be allowed to participate for safety reasons.
Checking In on Attendance: Because we offer the opportunity to earn a Varsity Letter in Strength Training, we track attendance. If a parent or player wants to know about a player's attendance, simply check in with me (parents, just shoot me an email). Often a parent wants to know if their player is attending, and this question is easily answered if you shoot me an email.
Thank you for reading this far. I'm VERY excited to get started on the 2017 season, and I truly believe that most games are won and lost based on our work and the bond we build in January through June. Have a great start to your 2017!