Developing a solid outline for your summer program is the foundation upon which your program should be built. These are the questions that have to be answered in order to develop a great outline:
1) How many weeks? We have a dead period rule in Tennessee where we can have no contact with our kids for two consecutive weeks right in the middle of our summer program. We can have no contact with our athletes during this time. We prepare them with workouts, and we can monitor their progress through our ‘Body Boss’ database that we use, but we they can not use our facility. That gives us three weeks on, two weeks off, and then three more weeks on before fall camp. This gives us a small window to get much better.
2) How many days? We do four consecutive days. We always go Monday through Thursday to allow our kids a three day weekend in the summer time. We feel this is important for our kids and staff to have that time before we get into the rigors of the football season.
3) What type of split will you use? There are many different ways to design your program. You could be a three day total body, four day upper/lower split, four day strength/explosive split, or I have even seen five day split programs. There are a million different ways to get it done. We do a four day split that is rather unique. The kids love our ‘Get Big Thursday Strongman Circuit’, so I really design our summer program around this. Our kids lift year-round, so it gives them variety which they love.
4) How will you develop your warm-up and pre-hab program? This is a very important component of the summer for us here at Battle Ground Academy. Beyond getting their bodies physically prepared, this is an opportunity to work on stability, balance, body control, and mindset. This is where we always set the tone for the type of day we are going to have training.
4) How will you marry your speed program to your lifting? This is important and often neglected. You have to make sure your kids have plenty of time for the CNS to recover before trying to hit them with an intense speed training session again. We hit a heavy session on Monday when they are fresh, and then we hit it with a lighter session again on the last day of our work week (Thursday). Tuesday and Wednesday focus on upper body, and active recovery in order to get them ready for the speed work and lifting that will take place on Thursday.
5) Is your conditioning on track? Make sure your conditioning fits the total program. I really only want to condition our guys two days per week in the summer. Many of our guys are still playing baseball and basketball for at least the month of June. You have to take this into account to make sure your guys are being taken care of during this hectic time. I have three days in the outline I attached because that is a mandate from our football coach. One of those three days is extremely light. I am following the parameters set forth by our coach, while at the same time sticking to what I believe is correct for our players physiologically. I think it is important not to over do it with conditioning. Train the right energy system, and make sure your kids are still gaining strength and explosiveness in the weight room. It is really hard to do this if you want to condition your athletes every day. Your speed development will suffer as well as your strength development.
6) How will you foster competition and develop the mindset of your players in your program? We divide our guys into teams and compete for our ‘Champions Cup’ each summer. The kids love this. It is extra work on the administrative end, but it is well worth the returns we get from them. We work to develop the mindset of our players through positivity. We want our kids to be confident and believe they can be successful. All of our coaching is positive coaching. We develop relationships with our guys so we can discipline them without yelling and screaming at them. We spend a large amount of time in the winter in one-on-one meetings learning what makes each individual player tick. We work hard to foster intrinsic motivation using many different methods. I am attaching the overall outline for our summer last year, and I will detail the competition aspect of our summer program more in next month’s blog.