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Football players should take time off during the spring seriously

Updated on May 18, 2012

While many football players play a different sport like lacrosse, soccer or track in the spring, there is a number of them who do not. They likely compensate for that with weight training, but that only improves one characteristic of a good football player. To be successful on the gridiron, athletes must not only be strong, they also need to be agile, intelligent and skilled.

Because of the tough nature of football, agility and awareness are often overlooked during offseason training. That being said, the players that take advantage of that extra time to to focus on those areas will be leaps ahead of players on other teams and their teammates who may be fighting with them for an open starting position.

Whether athletes are very young or more experienced, one unconventional way of improving both knowledge of the playbook and quickness is by playing flag football. Since full-contact football is taxing enough as it is during the season, it's unwise to practice with shoulder pads during the spring so that unnecessary injuries or fatigue aren't sustained.

While athletes who aren't participating in spring sports should do speed training exercises during the week, they should talk with teammates who are on spring teams and organize a weekly flag football game to take place on Saturday or Sunday. They should also speak with their football coaches and create a playbook of some actual plays that they will be using next season. Since some of these may be new, players can wear a football wristband playbook that serves as a cheat sheet for mastering complicated arrangements.

If players don't have flag football equipment available, they can find flag football belts, flags and markers on


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