Will Stein talks about his day as a college football player in the summer.
By Will Stein
For most people, the summer is a time for lounging at the pool, cookouts and swimming. For Division I football players, Summer equals total body destruction.
Summer workouts are strictly voluntary, but from a player’s perspective, they are a necessity. If you have any desire of getting bigger, stronger and faster, and sharpening up your football skills in order to have a better chance at seeing the field in the fall, you will participate in summer workouts.
In reality, it’s a time where a team finds out what they are made of and where leaders emerge. The foundation for the season is built in winter workouts and flows into spring football. But where a team constructs the outcome of their season is in the summer. Sleep is at a premium, you’re waking up extremely early, grueling training sessions, the hot summer sun, gassers, sled pulls, running 400s on the track, up-downs, weight lifting, individual position workouts, team passing sessions, school, work, and internships. These are just some of the things we as football players have to go through on a daily basis.
Because the mission of our team is to win a BIG EAST title, an outstanding summer in the classroom and weight room is crucial to the success we hope to achieve as a unit.
I’d like to take you through a day of my life and the things I go through as a Division I college football player. Here is what my day looks like while most people are probably tossing and turning in their bed.
5:00 am – Alarm sounding…is it already five?…Snooze button
5:05 am - Alarm sounding…alarm, please shut up…Snooze button
5:10 am - Alarm sounding…alarm, I hate you…Snooze Button
5:15 am – Alarm sounding…Okay! Okay! I’m getting up!
I think almost every athlete can attest to setting multiple alarms in the morning to make sure you don’t oversleep a workout, especially in the summer workout months leading up to a season.
5:16 am - The covers on my bed feel better than ever. But I better get up, brush my teeth, possibly eat some sort of breakfast bar or cereal, and get to the football complex before Coach Moorer rips me to pieces for being late.
5:25 am - Still half asleep even after I drove to the complex blasting Bob and Tom in the Morning with the windows down. The walk to the football complex doors from the parking lot is like a walk of death. It’s so long plus I just know I’m going to get physically dominated by the workout I’m about to participate in.
5:30 am - I’m changed into my workout gear and hearing the chatter about what people think the run will be this morning. The offensive linemen always gossip about what they think or what they have heard the conditioning workout will be, but they are rarely right. Whatever, time to suck up all of my tiredness and soreness and work hard with the team.
5:35 am – Since it’s a Monday, this means a team run at Cardinal Park out on the track. Definitely the most difficult conditioning workout of the week since we aren’t built as football players to handle long distances. Have to get in my car and drive over to the parking garage across the street from Card Park. Thoughts of distress and agony creep into the back of my mind as I imagine Coach Moorer’s whistle constantly blowing, signaling each group to start their run.
5:45 am - Stretch lines. Have to get warmed up before we start the run workout. Only thing is, our warmup is a workout within itself. Still, no excuses, play like a champion (rule #76, yes from the Wedding Crashers, hahahaha).
Note: -Skill Group = Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Defensive Backs, and Safeties
-Big Skill Group = Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, Specialists, Defensive Ends, and Linebackers
-Big Group = Offensive and Defensive Line
6:00 am – “We have 400s. Skills, your goal time is 65 seconds. Big Skill, your goal time is 70 seconds. Bigs, your goal time is 75 seconds. Skills up! (Whistle blows)” This is the basic command of Coach Moorer to start the first repetition at the track.
Doesn’t sound too intimidating on paper, but when you are there, in person, with this gargantuan man who barely ever smiles or cracks a joke, the intimidation factor is off the charts. You know he means business by just looking at him. But, since I am on my fourth summer of summer football workouts, I know what to expect. Being an experienced college student-athlete allows my mind to cope with anything thrown at me. I always tell myself, ‘mind over body’, which basically means nothing is ever too hard to complete, no matter how worn out you are, how badly your body hurts, or how hot it is outside. If you go through life with a strong, tough mind, then anything is possible.
6:30 am – I’m on my last rep of 400s. My legs are dead tired and breathing is heavy. I can’t bend over or show any type of pain or exhaustion or else I’ll cost the whole team extra running or “up-downs”.
400-meter sprints are extremely difficult, especially after eight of them. When you hit the 300-meter mark your legs start to burn profusely and feel as if they are caught in cement. Definitely one of the hardest types of running you can do because it is sprinting for a full minute and ten seconds. It’s funny though when everyone is running together in a big cluster. You feel guys fight for an inside position like it’s the Kentucky Derby and draft behind the pace setter to conserve energy. More strategy is involved in summer conditioning than you may think. Unlike the youngsters of the teams, the veterans of the group know how to run sprints and not die out early.
6:45 am - Conditioning is finished. “Everyone down! Ab circuit!” Coach Moorer barks out more commands (no pun intended) for the team. Just when you think the workout is finished, you are blindsided with something else.
Abs aren’t too bad though and core strength is a must for any athlete, especially the quarterback position. Good core strength equals a stronger and more accurate passer.
7:00 am – Back at the stadium. Time to get ready to lift at 7:15 am for an hour and a half. Morning has just started.
7:15 am - Weight room time. Well, after looking at the workout posted on the weight racks, it seems as if Coach Moorer has no recollection of the intense, hard, exhausting run we just had less than an hour ago. We have about fifteen exercises to complete. No time for crying and complaining though. Let the grind begin!
Tune in later for the rest of my day!!!!