The dreaded dog days of summer are right around the corner. Those hot August days where all you want to do is sit right next to a fan and avoid the 90-100 degree temperatures while you wait out two-a-days. Those times before the season starts can get tiring on your players as they grind it out on the practice field with seemingly no hope in sight. Sometimes as a coach, you need to throw in a bit of fun, so your team doesn’t go totally insane during the pre-season. Here are some team-building activities your squad can participate in before the season starts.
The Egg Toss
Nothing stokes the competitive fire quite like this throwback to your grade school field day. For this activity, divide your players into groups of 8-10, and have them evenly spaced down the field. Each player should have one arm behind their back, and turn to the next player when they are throwing the egg. If a player drops the egg, he has to throw it back to the person who threw it at him. Check out how Southern Miss did it (1:28) during their bye week.
Your players might go pro in the NFL, but why not let them try their skills at something different? If you’re lucky enough to have a pool or aquatics facility nearby, take your players there and compete in races that would make Michael Phelps jealous. Aside from the usual 25-meter, diving, and swim stroke competitions, you can also crown the cannonball champion, or even play a little super soaker water polo.
Hula Hoop Race
We’ll go back to the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss again on this one. This game is yet another simple activity for your team. Have your players hold hands as they try to slink a hula hoop through their entire line- they can jump through it, slide through it. Anything goes, as long as they do not use their hands! It gets to be pretty funny when you’re watching a 350-pound nose takcle weasel his way through a small hula hoop.
Sometimes your players can tune out the sound of your voice. It’s unfortunate, but that’s 18 to 22-year-olds for you. So mix it up a bit- have a Champions Day, where former players and guest speakers come and speak to the players on any topic. How excited do you think North Texas players were when Sean Payton came to speak to them in 2012?
When All Else Fails…
Take it up a notch. If you’re lucky enough to have an Armed Forces base near you, contact them to take your players through some grueling boot camp training. Not a bad way to switch up some preseason training, right?
But Don’t Forget About Your Film
There is one thing you shouldn’t be neglecting during your preseason training, and that’s film study. Sign up for Krossover today and get all your clips from last season broken down individually, so you (and your players) can see what happened, and who was involved. It’s never too early to watch film!