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June 10, 2019 • CoachingFootball

Keeping players’ good habits built during the school year

{Sponsored} Summer is the time when good habits are often derailed. That’s why it’s important to get your team on board by keeping up the good habits made during football season, so next season doesn’t begin as a struggle. Accountability partners (as outlined here)  can make or break habits. If possible, using a fitness tracker also helps athletes hold themselves accountable. If your student-athletes don’t use fitness trackers, they can track the progress they are making with a spreadsheet.

The important stuff

The duration and quality of sleep student-athletes get has a direct impact on athletic performance. Summer is an excellent time to get on a solid sleep schedule and get in the habit of sleeping enough hours. Encourage your players to put away the mobile devices and aim for at least eight hours a night.

Summer is full of ice cream, pizza parties, cotton candy and other junk food. A healthy diet is a practice that will follow your student-athletes not only from summer into fall, but for life. Encourage them to consume a balanced diet with lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and veggies.

Hydration is the easiest thing for teens and young adults to overlook. Discourage sugary beverages and energy drinks, and consider initiating a water gallon challenge by marking increments on a gallon container and challenging them on how much they can drink. This is especially important when it is hot out.

Exercise might be a no-brainer for your student-athletes but getting them to work out when the sun is out can be a challenge. Recommendations for the types of exercise your student-athletes can enjoy in the summer months are outlined here.

Keeping calm, reducing stress and improving mental health are tough tasks for young people. Encourage accountability partners to provide positive feedback to each other and inspire each other to take care of mental health over the summer.

Keeping track of good habits

Outside of accountability partners, consider creating a team message board where the whole team can easily check in with one another. In the fall, try to connect each of the good habits to better performances at the start of the season.

The biggest thing a coach can do for players during the summer is to trust that they will hold themselves accountable. Telling student-athletes you trust them to make choices will encourage them keep good habits over the summer.

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