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An Answer to Raising Ohio’s Football Recruiting Numbers

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Spring football practice! Spring football practice! Spring football practice! I hear this all of the time. Even from the legendary coaches like Urban Meyer. Spring football practice! I also read the reasons for spring practice. Just two weeks.

These same coaches preach play more than one sport. Don’t try to specialize in one support. Totally agree. My thinking is more like two sports for sure. Really feel that the body needs some rest. But there are athletes who can play three effectively. Where would spring football practice fit in?

This blog is not about playing multi sports. Really it is not about spring football practice – the pros and cons. For what it is worth, Ohio does not need two weeks of spring football practice. Pads or no pads – spring football practice sounds big time, but it is not needed.

One of the biggest reasons college coaches want spring football practice is that they can see college prospects in action. Probably good, because it makes their job easier.

After watching guessin 75 high school players workout in Cincinnati yesterday afternoon, and on the three hour drive home I am convinced that Ohio’s biggest need to improve the high school football is the responsibility of the educational systems. Every school district should require every student participating in football to take four years of physical education.

The physical education class should be a strength training program, with emphasis on football. The class would meet everyday. On the two light days, agility drills and quickness drills would be taught.

1. The class or classes would be taught by a qualified athletics(preferably football) strength trainer. Obviously, if a female is qualified, she could teach the class. Teachers have to be certified to teach academic classes, so a required athletic strength training certification would be a must.

2. No coaches who are just trying to get an extra dollar. They have to work and teach the class. The cannot drink coffee and serve as guard. They will get evaluated by the athletics director.

3. Regardless, even if a football player is playing another sport, he must be in this class. On game days he would not have to lift weights, but he would be required to watch some type of instructional video. BTW – only football players or athletes(maybe). NO – “getting a credit guy” No trouble makers. Only football players. No deadbeats.

4. No footballs from December until March 1. Quarterbacks do not have to be throwing during this time. For them, developing “core” muscles would be huge. A major emphasis. Skilled players would work on quickness and speed and burst and re-direction drills. Footballs flying around are a distraction.

5. Football players would “dress out” every day. No days off. Always something to do. Hopefully, the class would be at least 45 minutes long. A “block class” would be ideal.

6. No getting up at 5:30 to attend a 6:00 workout. I have always thought that those were silly. We ask a player to get a good night’s rest and eat a good breakfast, but we expect him to attend an early workout.

7. There would be no after school strength practices. No after school games. Better yet, players get an opportunity to do other school events. Some could even work after school. Definitely no conflicts with other sports.

8. Although some personal strength guys are really good, this physical education class wold possibly limit the chances of a football player working with a money-grabber, with little actual strength training ability.

When I see ” high profile recruits,” most are big and defined. Skill guys are fast. Many of the Ohio kids I see need to get much bigger/stronger and more defined. Too many “sloppy” linemen. Too many “puffy” guys. Players do not seem to want to work hard to get bigger/stronger/faster.

Actually some schools in Ohio have strength training programs set up. Some are last period of the days and go five days a week. No study hall days. Academic classes do not take off. Why should football strength and agility classes?

I know – money? staff? schedules? other sports? favoritism to football? I hear the complaints now, but if Ohio wants to start getting FBS or Power Five players recruited, getting bigger/stronger/faster is the deal. All begins the 9th grade year. Ohio is so far behind other states in producing Power Five football prospects.

Football players who want to play college football have to take core classes which include four years of math, four years of English, and four years of history. Of course, there are more. Why not require four years of football strength training and agility?

Please no emails or texts or hate mail! I know it is not feasible. Just providing some interesting reading.

 

 

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