This article is going to be about football. If that sort of thing interests you in the slightest, I encourage you to keep reading.
With that being said, WOW, I’m so ready for spring football to start! Excuse my excitement, y’all. It’s just that these next ten practices are going to be the last football practices I will ever have in the spring.
After those practices, it’ll be summertime, and then I’ll be in my last football camp... ever.
I don’t have any plans to play football past my college career. I love this game so much, but I don’t think my body needs to endure any more punishment from it after this year. However, I know that I am going to exert my body as much as possible so that I’m in the best physical shape possible. After all, it is my last year playing football. I might as well have the best body I can possibly have for my last football season.
What’s the preparation process for practice? (Wow... say that sentence five times fast!)
Well, I know that I will have to wake up at around 5:30 in the morning. Most of the practices will start at 7:00 in the morning, but there are usually 6:30 meetings before those practices. My room is nearly a mile away from the stadium (Many student-athletes don’t have this problem. I just chose a SUPER far dorm smh...) so I have to wake up earlier than everybody else. I also like to wake up an hour before I have to leave my room so that my body wakes up and also to ensure that I have myself together. When I leave my room, I put my headphones on and play some upbeat rap music to get my mind right. I’ve been listening to a LOT of Charlotte rapper DaBaby’s music, so I’ll probably be playing his music for those long walks to the stadium this time around. (Side note: I’m listening to him as I’m writing this...) The walk is usually relaxing. I do a lot of thinking and reflecting on what I need to get done for the day. Usually, we get dressed in our jersey and shorts before meetings, so I have to go to the locker room first. When I walk into the locker room, I usually see quite a few of my teammates in there. There are many jokes and handshakes exchanges during this time. I can’t get too engaged with it though! I have to make it to my meeting on time, or there will be... *gulp* consequences. I don’t want to go into detail with what those consequences are, but I can say that my body will feel a LOT more tired from whatever the consequence is than the actual practice. Anyways, I walk into meetings, I turn off the music and make sure that I’m focused for however long the meeting lasts for. We’ll talk and listen to whatever coach has to say, and then we’ll head out to practice.
Practice can be so much fun to me. This is when we can finally play some football.
We usually have to go back to the locker room to switch our shoes out for cleats. Someone will usually have some music bumping in the locker room as well, so it’s another opportunity to get my mind right before I head out. Then, I put my cleats on and head out to the field before we do our warmups. Usually, the warmups consist of some light cardio and stretching to get our bodies ready for practice. After we get our warmups done, we start practice. It gets pretty competitive at times. We usually have drills that involve the offense facing the defense. I play center, so snapping the football between my legs and blocking is what I mainly focus on. Technique is one of the most important aspects of being an offensive lineman. If I don’t put my body in the perfect position to make a block, it’s highly likely that the defender will slip off and make the tackle. That’s why I have to engage with tedious movements consistently. It’s all an entire process that isn’t mastered overnight. It takes a lot of repetition, focus, and effort to be good at the sport, just like most other skills in general. Practice is usually very competitive as well. It is football, after all. Guys are going to get after it on the field. I know that one of the most useful ways for me to get into the competitive spirit is trash talking. I discipline myself to make sure that I don’t go too far with it. I don’t say anything personal... to my teammates anyway. On actual game days in the fall, the circumstances are a bit different. When it comes to my mouth, all bets are off. I’m smart enough to make sure that it isn’t enough to get a penalty over. That does nothing positive for me or my team.
There are ten spring practices left in my collegiate career. Just ten.
It seems too crazy to even think about. My “football clock” is ticking closer and closer to my last ever football game. Until then, I know that I have to grind harder than ever. There’s no feeling quite like rocking the cardinal and gold on a fall Saturday afternoon. All the spring practices are extra preparation for those games in the fall. I’m so excited for what’s ahead for the Yeomen. Hopefully, this team will have a very successful spring leading into the summer. When we come back to campus in August, I know we will be ready for action. Stay tuned... and as always, Go Yeo!