I had a chance to watch a bowl practice lift. Coach Sisk and his staff required the players to get two lifts in three days choosing between two different times. I was very impressed with the effort and intensity of the lift. I had a great “Chalk Talk” session with Coach Sisk that revolved around the following three concepts:
Demands of School – It is so easy to forget that these athletes are students first. During bowl prep these guys are scrambling to finish projects, study for finals, and prepare for a bowl game. As strength coaches we have to account for that and set up our training in a way that is efficient, effective, and enjoyable. These guys don’t have the time to come to the facility multiple times, or do a two hour lift. We need to simplify the program to what is needed to prepare the athlete for competition. Lastly, if done properly the training session can serve as a great stress reliever. It must be enjoyable. If not, you are fighting a losing battle.
Demands on the Body – At Georgia Tech they have a mile walk to practice everyday and a 120yd walk from the locker room to the weight room every lift. Late night study sessions, tutor appointments, rehab, bowl practice, lifts, etc. are all stress on the body. Our job is to help educate our athletes how to put themselves into a positive energy balance. Spend time creating educational materials and discussing with your athletes the need to get sleep and eat correctly during this time. Account for the extra demands such as the walk to practice in your training volume.
Call To Action for Leaders- This time of year is a great time to start to empower your future leaders. The younger players on the team have just witnessed Senior Day, and a change in demeanor by those guys as they focus on life after football. It starts to put their football mortality in question. This is a prime time to get in the young players ears and help them to understand how precious this time is in their lives.
My wife told me that I was driving her nuts doing projects around the house, so she kicked me out and told me to go find a weight room somewhere. I want to thank Coach Sisk and his staff for allowing me to come down and learn and stay married.