Hell Week: Introduction

Hell Week

I used to call the first week of summer conditioning Hell Week.  It was a name designed to catch the kid’s attention because it meant it was time to get back to work.  Enough of spring sports, enough of the school routine, enough of the school weights classes…time to get to work, gentlemen.  Hell Week was a re-introduction of one’s body to what is means to prepare to play Tiger Football, Coach Lane style.

Body weight was the weight of choice for the first week.  Why?  The most important weight you will ever lift is your body weight.  You can lift a freight train, but if you can’t move your own body, if you can’t move your body around like a weapon, if you can’t hit folks like a cannon shot, then you are dead in the water on the sports field.  Body weight exercises and circuits, agility runs, lower and upper body plyometrics were the fare of the day, every day.

I found  the file containing a typical Hell Week plan and I thought it would be pretty cool to introduce a typical week with  a series of blog posts.  So the next five or six posts will be an attempt to give a glimpse of how we used to approach our business.

Before we  get to the meat and potatoes, a couple good anecdotes from the past.

Cutting the Cord

My summer conditioning program used to scare the living daylights out of the mothers.  Every year I would get calls and have meetings with mothers, usually mothers of incoming freshman, who were concerned about the well being of their boys if they “let” them come to summer conditioning.  I would smile a warm smile and tell them “Don’t worry, I promise he will be okay.  Your son will work harder than he has ever worked before, he will hurt more than he has ever hurt, he will be more tired than ever before.”  And when their eyes were as big as saucers,  I would add, “And he will be a better human being because of it.”

 “It must be June”

One early summer, I was talking to a local businessman while we worked a local swim meet.  He laughed to me that he always knew the week we started summer conditioning even though he didn’t have kids in the program.  I asked how he knew.  He said, he always knew because all the high school aged football players were so sore they walked around town like old men all week.  Needless to say, I took some pride in that comment.

After one morning workout, I came home to change before going to work and my kids were laughing at me.  They said they were out in the yard and heard me and Coach Lane yelling during the workouts.  We lived seven blocks from the field…

The Things They Remember

This almost made me cry.  A senior, who was a Bubba back when he was a sophomore, wrote this as one of his high school memories in the school newspaper.  He is a great kid.  He will grow up to be a fine adult and it makes me happy he remembered this act of Coach Hays stupidity.

“I remember my sophomore year and Coach Hays told us we were doing sprints until someone got sick. (They could not pull their heads out of their butts one day.)  Then, I think Kyler W. threw his helmet down, stuck his fingers in his throat and puked all over the place. Coach Hays looked at him and said, “Never mind.” and we didn’t do sprints!”

Oh, boy.  No wonder the moms worried…

Next up, Hell Week: Monday

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