Nike Football Training Camp Do’s & Don’ts
The Nike Football Training Camps are right around the corner with the first one of the 2013 tour to take place March 10 in Los Angeles, Calif. With that, we are starting a series that will help those participating know what to expect, how to come prepared and perform at peak levels.
Today we focus on five key things to keep in mind as the big date approaches…
No. 1: Don’t neglect sleep and proper food/hydration intake
The day before the event make sure you eat healthy, stay off your feet and get a good night’s sleep. You wouldn’t practice for 3.5 hours the day before a game, so approach the camp the same way. That way you will prepare your body for a full day of intense workouts. You want to perform your best and make sure your body is prepared for the day.
Just as important, make sure the morning of the camp you eat something good for you. The worst thing you can do is not eat anything that morning or take in junk that will make you feel sluggish and crash when you need most a boost of energy.
Stay hydrated throughout the day starting when you first wake up. You get breaks so take full advantage of them to get Gatorade products or water.
Some of you may be at camps when it is hot and humid. Stay hydrated to make sure you perform at peak levels and don’t unknowingly put yourself at risk of dehydration or worse.
No. 2: Do be coachable
You have to have an open mind when attending a Nike Football Training Camp, ready to soak up the great advice and tips you’ll receive at every corner.
The coaches have played and coached at the highest levels of the game and are a good source of information. Drink it all up and ask questions so you remember properly what you need to know when you implement at home or at school workouts.
Realize you don’t know everything so be open to the information you are going to get and look at how it can be used in your training and workouts to make you a better athlete and football player.
Players should have a positive attitude at the camp and compete, but in a productive way. Nothing good will come of trying to hurt another athlete or cheat in the drills.
The level of competition is great so take advantage of going against players who are likely as good or better than you. Go hard on every play, you never know who may be watching, but effort and positive attitude is definitely noticed by those in charge.
No. 3. Don’t take lightly the testing, training and position drills
We all know that participants look forward to the one-on-ones at the end of the day, but don’t underestimate the value and importance of the testing, training and position work that comes first.
Take everything you do seriously and go full speed. You want to stand out so give maximum effort from the time you show up including the dynamic warm ups.
Don’t rely on the one-on-ones solely to make you standout. Make an early impression on the coaches.
Since you are at the NFTC, are probably one of, or even THE, “top dog” on your team and you don’t have to prove yourself on your campus. At the camp, everyone is good so you may have to compete for reps against others who are at your level. Try and be first in line and get in each of the drills as much as possible.
On the flip side, don’t sit out certain drills if you’re able to go. It is a waste of your time, the coaches’ time and the other players’ time. You’re on the field to compete, so participate in everything!
No. 4: Do be realistic in what you want to get out of the camp
Why are you going to the NFTC? Is it to get better? Learn new drills and techniques to bring into your game? Get exposure and maximize your visibility to coaches and media?
All of these can and do happen, but they’re not going to be automatic and come by the end of that day. Progress and improvement take time and as you better yourself the results will likely come.
Along the lines of expectations, and this goes beyond the camp, be realistic on your skill level and where you see yourself playing at the next level. The camp will allow you to see how you stack up with your peers so be honest with yourself on where you stand and where you need to improve.
Also, be sure to work out at the position you are going to be recruited to play at the next level. If you’re a quarterback, but will likely be a receiver or corner in college, look at where your long term prospects will be and take the info learned during the NFTC home with you to get better at that position.
No. 5: Don’t forget what to bring (and not bring)!
Leave expensive headphones and phones at home or at least in the car. There is no need for them at the camp and you risk them getting lost, left behind or stolen. You aren’t going to compete with them and will only ending up leaving them with someone there or, worse, leave laying around on the field or in the stands.
Make sure you wear gear you are comfortable in, especially shoes. It’s generally a bad idea to come with new stuff that you haven’t broken in and could be a detriment to your performance, be it a new ball to throw for QBs or new gloves for receivers.
Finally, do remember to bring any necessary paperwork including the waiver if you haven’t sent in advance.