Summer work-outs are a time for new players and freshman to get to know one another, get used to their new teammates and surroundings as well as adjust to college life on campus. Summer time is also a time for workouts, both in the weight room and on the field. Most players use the time attempting to get back into playing shape but it is also a time to prepare for what the onslaught of what August football practices will bring.
Although summer practices are voluntary, players from across the country utilize the time to get in snaps and play against their opposing teammates. Players can get a great deal out of summer scrimmages, going up against one another on the field. This is a time for putting up gains in the weight room and getting a handle on conditioning in the wilting sun before formal practices begin.
More importantly though - this is really the time for players to bond with one another and it is where the foundation and team chemistry is built. There are no position coaches blowing whistles or supervising and coaching players.
This is where whoever the leaders of the team are, they step up, take over and lead the informal practices. This time cannot be understated because without coaching supervision, it is solely up to those players on the team to get their teammates in the weight room, running sprints and showing up for scrimmages. This is the time to put in the work before drills and two-a-days starts. It is also the time for the younger players to earn respect from the upperclassmen through their effort and play on the field.
The dividends are paid later in the season in chemistry and conditioning. Summer workouts are all about the players and their dedication to their teammates and the team.
["Well, in all honesty, I don't know that I'm aware of any particular signs that would allow us to continue to make that improvement during -- by out of season and off season, you're probably talking about summertime. And obviously there's been this major push that it's voluntary, and some youngsters believe it's voluntary.
And, consequently, you don't have the kind of continuity and consistency that you would like to have during the course of the summer. So it remains to be seen if we will be a better football team when we get started in the fall than we were when we finished in the spring.
I do know that we were a better football team at the end of spring practice than we were when we began. And as you know, I mean, that's kind of our mantra, has been all along. What's really important to me, and I want it to be important for our players and hope they buy into it, is just the constant, continual improvement day in, day out, practice in, practice out every snap, et cetera, doing all we can to improve.
Now, again, whether that took place during the course of the summer remains to be seen. We'll find out when we get started on the 3rd of August and have a pretty good idea there."]
Voluntary summer workouts are over, now come the non-voluntary formal practices under a still blazing sun that shows little sign it is going to let up any time soon. Now is the time you get to see what your players have been doing over their summer ‘breaks'.