Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Early in the Morning!

Posted by admin August - 5 - 2015 - Wednesday

This is probably being posted too late for some of you! But… if you haven’t started August practice yet at your school, I want to strongly endorse early morning practices vs. late afternoon. Oh my gosh!!! If only I would’ve done this years ago.

It all started rolling around in my head about a month ago. It was July 8th. I was riding to a restaurant on the same highway I take to get to our school. It was 11:45 am. I glanced at the thermometer on my car’s dashboard as I turned into the restaurant parking lot. It shows the outside temperature. It was 86 degrees. I thought to myself, “Hummmmm…. not too bad for the first part of July.” Then my mind went to what I’d be doing in one month— football practice would be starting! I returned down the same highway 4 hours later on my way to our summer workouts at school. I passed the restaurant where I’d stopped at 11:45 that morning (now it was 4 pm) and thought to look at the thermometer again. Now it read: 97 degrees! UGH!!! That was when it hit me!!! WHY… are we practicing in late afternoon????!!! Why am I putting these players (and coaches!) through this???!!! It’s oftentimes too hot to even wear full gear; we drag around cuz it’s so hot and… thunder storms roll in and we’re forced inside! The temperature is 10-15 degrees cooler in the mornings. That’s when I decided that we’re going to practice in the a.m. and not the p.m.!!!

My coaches have been ribbing me: “Lew, you didn’t even know that there are two 5 o’clocks in one day, did you??!!!” (I like to sleep in late since I retired!) Yes, it’s kinda rough getting up and driving to school while it’s still dark but… to go out on the practice field at 6:30 am when it’s about 78 degrees and a bit cloudy is wonnnnnnderful!! We go from 6:30 am till 8:30 am. We come inside for a Break and then back out from 9:30- 11:30 am. Everyone’s gone by 12:30. I have the rest of the afternoon and evening to stay inside in the AC while most of the other schools in the area are out sweating in that heat and humidity!!

I highly recommend practicing in the mornings. Never again, will I practice in the afternoon in Tidewater Virginia in August!!!

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