View Full Version : Advice on motivating players and workout

06-02-2006, 10:33 AM
I am a JV defensive coordinator and strength coach at a small school in NY. We have done very well the past two seasons, but now we graduate all of our key players. The next group coming up thinks we will win because of the success the past two seasons. We will get beat badly if the kids don't start working, but I can't get them in the weightroom. I don't work at the school so I only see them if they show up. The other coaches have had meetings, but it hasn't changed the mindset. Any advice would be helpful. I am hoping to have a meeting next week and I really don't know what I can say that will change their thinking.

Secondly, I run the in season conditioning and need to think of an in season lifting program. Here's the twist. I will have the kids one night a week after practice for lifting. Our coach doesn't want practices longer than they already are. I have used circuit routines before just to maintain, but with a young group of new lifters I want to capitalize on newbie gains during the season, so the next wave of kids will see the rewards.

06-02-2006, 10:57 AM
High school, right?

I think your best intentions won't mean diddley if the football coaches (JV and varsity) aren't on-board with the strength and conditioning program. You and the FB coaches need to sit down and come up with a list of expectations for the players and then communicate those expectations to the players.

The strength and conditioning sessions should be no different than practice time. There should be consequences for not showing up. Yes, I realize there are rules about off-season practices, but almost all of the best (of the schools I know) do not follow them.

As far as your in-season conditioning goes, it is as critical to the program as your off-season work. If you're getting paid for this position, you should be able to come up with something on your own.

IMHO, you are going to have to convince the coach to give you two training sessions a week. I don't know how many HS programs I've seen where the players get smaller and weaker throughout the season and usually they don't make it to post-season championships.

06-02-2006, 12:05 PM
Yeah, high school. I have talked to the coach about consequences and we have expectations that have been communicated to the kids. They just don't care. We went 10-2 last year and 9-1 the year before so they think they can just show up. It is hard to enforce consequences when the entire team isn't lifting. We have Sunday "practices" and only fifteen kids from the entire program show up (modified, JV and Varsity). They just don't get it and aren't committed to getting better.

I am paid for football, not as a strength coach. I have routines for the season, but they are more than one night a week. I don't want to bury the kids when they are already tired from practice, but I have to do enough so they see results. I have some ideas, but a few months before I need a solid program and was just looking for tips. I could run a program now that would work, but it never hurts to have input from some of the people on this site. It was more of "got any ideas" than a "write me a workout" question. Should have made it clearer.

Two nights is doubtful simply because of the size of the weightroom. It is too small to have the entire team in there and accomplish anything. This year I will have two JV groups and two Varsity groups lifting.

06-02-2006, 12:37 PM
I'm sorry, but I just can't imagine what a bunch of lazy***es you have. If you don't enforce consequences, it is worse than not having any at all. A meeting with the parents might be a good place to start adjusting the kids attitudes - the parents tend to be a little more understanding of the need to have structure and consequences. You might not keep your job for long, but I say bench the entire team if necessary.

Try to keep the weight room/conditioning training times as flexible as possible. I don't know if the coaches can commit enough time or not, but it will be easier to enforce consequences for not attending out-of-season practices when they can't use the "I-can't-train-because-of-blah-blah-blah-no-time" as an excuse. I'm not surprised you had so few show up on a Sunday...

Have minimum numbers that you want kids to hit to be able to play in certain positions. I'm not sure what you will want to establish as far a benchmarks, but it should be something you give thought to. The kids need to see the relationship between their work in the weightroom and speed/agility work and their performance on the field. Have a record board that is VISIBLE by everyone in the weightroom and perhaps by the entire student body.

It was more of "got any ideas" than a "write me a workout" question. Should have made it clearer.It will be easier to give ideas if we have an idea of what kind of facility, time, numbers of athletes, game schedule, etc. and current training plans you are working with rather than just spitting out ideas and you coming back with "Well, that won't work because...".

Two nights is doubtful simply because of the size of the weightroom. It is too small to have the entire team in there and accomplish anything. This year I will have two JV groups and two Varsity groups lifting.
IMHO, you're going to have to get creative about time and resources here. I don't think one training session/week is going to be enough. You might consider an active-recovery session on Saturdays (presumably following Friday night games) and a more intense session sometime early/mid-week.

06-02-2006, 03:47 PM
Quick breakdown- 25 Varsity, 30 JV. All with little to no lifting experience. Gym is small, but well equipped and has everything for a solid workout. JV plays on Thursday, Varsity on Friday. Each kid has had a meeting with a coach and given goals for lifting and running as well as weight goals. Myself and another coach have opened the gym at all hours. Before school, later at night and it is open everyday after school until 5. I have talked to the Head coach about Saturday and morning sessions during the season, but the parents said it wouldn't work for them. There is a total lack of committment to winning in the district outside of the staff. I don't know if I am trying to find a solution to a problem that can't be fixed, or if there is something that I have not tried. The head coach has talked to the parents, didn't matter. Told the kids we wouldn't win if they didn't start working, didn't matter. Told them they won't start if they don't start working, didn't matter. I am pretty sure it is just this group of kids, but I don't want the next group to inherit their attitude. This is a school that has had three winning seasons over 20 plus years, my senior year and the last two. There is just a losing mentality that we are trying to get rid of. The seniors bought in and won a lot of games, but this next group just isn't.

06-02-2006, 05:22 PM
One more thing about the kids. Most have been in a different sport throughout the year. They weren't made to lift for those sports other than what they wanted to do. Since I am not the strength coach for the school, I had little or no say to what they were doing. Now that the spring sports are over they are in football training. Basic compound lifts three days a week for those that come in. I am hoping that a parent meeting and one more meeting with the kids will wake them up, but not sure.

06-02-2006, 08:01 PM
Well, like I said, I think you are going to have to bench some (or even most) guys before they take any talk of consequences seriously.

Is there a strength/conditioning coach at your school at all? Do you ever have coaches meetings with the AD? If lack of effort in the weight room and speed/agility work is prevalent, it needs to be addressed by ALL the coaches, not just the FB coaches.

As positive reenforcements, you should think about the record board idea. A team poster of some sort, perhaps lifting-related might be an idea. Also, you might consider having a bench, squat or deadlift contest at the school at some point during the year.

06-02-2006, 10:15 PM
There is not a strength coach at the school. There is a former football coach who opens the weightroom after school for the kids and lifts himself, but doesn't have the kids on a program. Keep in mind that this is a very small school, under 100 kids per class. Few of the schools in this area have strength coaches, even the bigger ones. The football coaches know football, but very little about weights or agility/plyo work, so it is really put on me to run that aspect. They realize the importance and are willing to run the routines, but aren't great at giving the kids any advice.

I do like the board idea. Before they moved the weight room there was a board with bench and other records on it. I will have to see if they can find the board, or just make one and put it up. Thanks for reminding me. If I was the head coach I would have no issues sitting the kids that are missing workouts. The head coach now is a very good coach, but I don't see him doing anything like that. He looks at the effort and says it is their season they are wasting. I agree with that, but I think we need to push them and if telling them they won't play unless they workout does it, great. We are having a coaches meeting this Sunday and I will bring up the ideas you have. I have talked about meets before and doing a Strongman type of competition. They are also things I am going to bring up. I just feel like I need to do something to motivate these kids so in ten years they don't regret their high school playing days. Thanks for the ideas, bro.

07-05-2006, 01:20 PM
That happened to the kids a grade below me in HS. We went 8-3, 10-2, and 12-1, so they thought they could do the same. Unfortunately they didnt work for it and went 2-8. Next couple of years they've been a 5-5 type team. You just have to remind them how haed the kids before them worked to get what they deserved. Trey morning workouts for JV and afternoon workouts for varsity, since being on varsity has its perks. Dont work on building muscle during the season, its too much on the body with practice and games, just a maintenance phase. Find the team captain and put it in his mind to organize some team lifting. He will be highly respected as a leader, and you will see improvements with attitude when orders come from peers rather than consequences from the coaches. Good luck!

07-05-2006, 09:43 PM
so simple i play jv and i know that if u make a sort of "hell" day where you tell them that todays practice will consist of just running because of their attitudes and make them run up and down the biggest hill until YOU get tired. after that "hell" day tell them that if their attitudes don't start changing, that there will be a lot more practices like this.
I guess wat i'm trying to say is run them until they're attitudes start changing because it's better to have tired kids than unmotivated kids.

07-21-2006, 08:16 PM
A board posted where the whole HS can see will do wonders. Then another for wt room.