Last updated: August 04. 2014 10:51AM - 669 Views
By Kathy Hansen

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A guy took his blond girlfriend to her first football game. They had great seats right behind the team’s bench. After the game, he asked her how she liked the experience.

“Oh I really liked the action but I just couldn’t understand why they were killing each other over 25 cents.”

Dumbfounded, her date asked, “What do you mean?”

“Well they flipped a coin. One team got it, and then for the rest of the game they kept shouting ‘ get the quarterback!’”

July is the time for high school football players to make sure they are rounding into shape for the upcoming season. My daughter’s boyfriend plays at Lumberton High School and just got back from a camp at Appalachian State University in order to get ready for August two-a-days.

The beginning of football season can be an exciting time for athletes. Strapping into full padding, putting on new uniforms, and getting down to the core elements of the game — blocking, tackling, passing and catching — undoubtedly feels good after the off-season. But to be ready for a season opener, an athlete needs much more than a helmet and a playbook. He needs to be in top physical condition; ready to compete for position and possession with every play.

Here are some fitness tips to get your linebacker ready for gridiron greatness:

Strength training: Football players need to spend the off season hitting the weight room. This is to build strength, size and power to perform on the field.

Power up the protein: Heavy strength training requires good nutrition. In order to pack on muscle, an athlete needs to increase their intake of lean proteins (poultry, fish or beans) by at least 20 percent.

Cardiovascular: Although football is more of start and stop activity, athletes still need to have good cardiovascular conditioning. Workouts that involve running intervals for speed and time can help an athlete avoid getting “gassed” in the second half of a game.

Flexibility: The explosive moves required in football can take a toll on muscles. A football player needs to work on flexibility to prevent injuries. Many college and professional players utilize yoga in the off-season to promote flexibility and muscle balance.

Football is a high-speed, high-impact sport that requires great strength and conditioning. Getting fit before the arrival of two-a-days in August will make practice somewhat less painful.

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