Football team prepares for next season

Damian Mirizzi leads the linemen on to the push press exercise.

Omar Ortega

Damian Mirizzi leads the linemen on to the push press exercise.

Vlad Korobkin, Staff Writer

With the last year’s season behind their backs, Carlsbad football players enter the off-season phase of their training, preparing for the upcoming season.

Considered the hardest part of the year by many high school and professional athletes alike, off-season requires not only physical output, but also a tough mental capacity. The football players have now rigorously trained for a month.

Their muscles strained, their callouses hurt and their joints aching, despite such setbacks, the players push to reach the goals they set for themselves.

I love working out with my fellow linemen,” junior Damian Mirizzi said.

Every week, the team works out three times after class, while most athletes also train together or individually on the weekends in order to get ahead of the competition. The training consists of a two-hour routine with an acute focus on muscular strength and endurance, overall speed and a strong core.

Practice starts with the whole team gathering in the “Turf Room” above the new gym and dividing into two groups: linemen and skill players. After that, both groups warm up with a jog around the track and split up into their respective stations. One group starts of in the weight room first, while the second heads to the core training station. After fifty minutes at each area, the groups switch rooms and proceed with a different work out.

“Its time for us to get better and develop the program,” freshman Alan Murphy said.

In the weight room, the players focus on gaining muscle mass and building endurance in the core areas of the body. Bench press, squats and power cleans are among the hardest and most exasperating exercises, but all of the players find them to be the most productive. Meanwhile, the core room focuses on strengthening the secondary muscles, such as the shoulders, abdominals and many more.

Some people take these muscles for granted, yet, they are not only instrumental in a well-developed body, but prevent many common injuries that players can receive during the season as well. After a grueling two hours of tearing muscle, the players go home to what can be called the most important part of the training: food.

While most people diet to lose weight, football players follow strict regiments to gain healthy muscle weight in order to put more in on the field.

“I not only prepare my body, but also my mind by watching film,” sophomore Christian Lehman said.

To build muscle, football players much watch everything they eat. The players eliminate all fat, carbohydrates and unhealthy foods. Instead of fast food, they feast on salads and protein to maximize the effects of the workout.

All of this happens for half a year, with little breaks in between. Sometimes it becomes monotonous and players begin to feel like no end is in sight. That is when mental endurance comes in. They refocus, ignore the soreness, persist through the pain and push their bodies to new limits.

“We get stronger by lifting weights,” junior Hayden Mortimer said. “The off-season makes us into better, tougher athletes.”

The common football saying goes, “Championships are won in January.”