Staying sharp in the offseason

In normal times, teams around the country would be smack bang in the middle of their offseason programme. But these are far from normal times, and with uncertainty on if a season of football will even be played in Ireland in 2022 it is more important than ever for players to stay sharp and stay in shape. Below you’ll find some tips to staying in football shape, which we hope will be of benefit to you if kitted football does in fact go ahead. ( Disclaimer – I am not a qualified coach! All physical activity is undertaken at your own risk!)

  1. Cardio 

If you’re like me and you overdid it on the pints and desserts during christmas, then you’re probably in need of incorporating a decent amount of cardio into your weekly schedule! Short to medium distances are your best bet. Football is played in short bursts so by focusing on sprints, you’ll be preparing your body to go at game speed. Throw in a few 5 – 7 km runs and you’ll be back to football shape in no time.

  1. Weight Training

American football by nature is a violent game. No matter where you play on the field, your body needs to be able to give and take hit after hit. By lifting weights, you’ll be strengthening your body and giving yourself a valuable edge come game time. But it’s important to lift the right weights and do the right exercises! Bench press, squats and deadlifts are a good place to start. 

  1. Yoga and Stretching 

These days being flexible is just as important as being strong,especially if you’re advancing in years. More and more college football and professional football players are taking up yoga and this practice is slowly beginning to trickle down through the amateur and recreational ranks as well. A strong core gives you a strong foundation to execute from on every play. Even as little as quick cool down recovery stretch after training or a game will make things easier on your body the next time you work out. 

  1. Mental Reps 

Preparing your mind for competition is just as if not more important than preparing your body. Knowing your playbook inside out and studying game film are just some examples of how you can mentally prepare yourself ahead of the season kicking off. Visualization is also a useful tool for mental preparation. Repeatedly visualizing yourself making that big tackle, catch or block will help your confidence and will also help you execute when the moment arrives mid game. 

If you don’t know where to start then your best bet is to check in with your coach, or even with a personal trainer in your gym. They’ll be able to put you in the right direction and put you in the right direction. And whatever your goals may be on or off the field, Gaelic Gridiron wished you the best of luck!

  1. Hello – I am a high school football coach in the USA (been coaching for 15 years since retirement from US Navy) with a daughter in school (college) in Northern Ireland. I was really interested in learning more about the league and the potential to possibly do some coaching. Have signed up for your emails and looking forward to seeing all you report. Do you have any other ideas on who I might be able to contact to learn more/network?

    Thanks very much!

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