With Fall practice underway, I wanted to provide some useful commentary on the direction of the team. Unfortunately, the only thing I can think about practice is that it is HOT. Yes, it is miserable in August in Alabama. Iâ€™m sure that is a newsflash. It hasnâ€™t ever happened before.
But this got me to thinking about how the practice cycle for football and how it has changed, especially for high schoolers. Football is almost a full time job when you combine workouts, watching film, practice and gamesâ€”not to mention the academic requirements to stay eligible. In college the demands are high, but the demands are growing in high school football.
That is good and bad. Good in that it helps develop talent, so that it is better when it reaches the Capstone. Bad because more and more coaches are saying some teenagers are losing interest in football due to the demands.
The interesting thing Iâ€™ve been told by a few high school coaches is the new summer demands (workouts were one thing) with 7-on-7 camps, etc. caused more players to abandon football this summer. Many teenagers are dropping out because the new training schedules put a damper on summer.
It would be easy to lapse into the cliched rant against todayâ€™s lazy youth. However, Iâ€™m not going to do that, because sometimes it isnâ€™t a bad thing for teenagers to draw boundaries. I remember when football was fun. Sometimes adults rob the fun from athletics. We have to find a way to develop talent without stealing all the joy from football.
â€¨If you are a fan of Ezekiel Knight, then be sure to read this story in the Tuscaloosa News. Knight is a talented football player, and the story provides a glimpse into the struggles this young man has faced getting back onto the practice field.
â€¨Tim Gayle of the Montgomery Advertiser tells us Johns has learned two things from Nick Saban: to keep his mouth shut and study hard.
That is good advice for Johns. It is going to be interesting seeing Johns at fullback. It could provide a truly explosive and versatile backfield.