|Why Football Players Hate Training Camp
||Tue, 26 July 2005 10:31
Registered: July 2005
Interesting read by former Viking Cris Carter |
Players look at training camp as part of the process. They understand that camp is crucial to a team's preparation for the season, and they are excited that the football season is closer. Still, no one wants to go through the dog days of summer.
Training camp has to be physical because there are only so many things in football you can't do without pads and your teammates. You need to have the coaches pushing you over the edge, too.
But camp isn't as overbearing on the body as it used to be. Guys are in such good shape all year round. And you do a lot more work improving technique to avoid getting hurt, so there's less contact. That's why I think training camp is a lot easier today than it used to be. It's still not easy by any stretch of the imagination.
After you leave camp, you really know you're ready for the season. No individual can get into good enough shape to start the season by working out himself. We've seen that through the years with guys getting hurt in camp after holding out because there are only so many things you can get done in camp.
Mentally, for the team, training camp allows everyone to know that they're paying the same price for the same goal. That brings the team together. I mean, where else can you get 80 professionals in one spot and you pretty much control when they get up and when they go to sleep? Those three weeks are really priceless.
THINGS I LIKED ABOUT TRAINING CAMP
1. It kept me hungry. Every year when I got to camp, I got to see all of the players the team had acquired in the offseason – and all of these new players were there to try and take my spot. So camp kept me motivated.
2. It allowed me to take inventory of my game. Camp allowed me to stay sharp. I evaluated the things I didn't do well the previous season and I got to focus on the things that I really wanted to improve.
3. It gave me new hope. I was always excited to see, from an organizational standpoint, the changes we had made – the players we added on both sides of the ball. I was anxious to see how those players were going to work out and make the team better to try and win the division and possibly contend for the Super Bowl.
THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT TRAINING CAMP
1. Sleeping in dormitories. The Vikings held training camp in Mankato, Minn., which is an hour and a half outside Minneapolis. It's always hard when you go from the confines of your own comfortable home to a college dormitory and a very, very, very average mattress. I didn't mind having a roommate, though. I always had great roommates – guys like Anthony Carter and Jake Reed.
2. Always feeling sore. You're always sore. No matter how much ice, no matter what kind of rehab you're doing, no matter what cold tub you sit in, your body is always sore. And that soreness doesn't go away until you break camp and maybe a week before the season starts.
3. Making $500 a week. There's a league-wide pay scale for training camp, and for a longtime it never changed. We made five hundred bucks a week, it seemed like, for 10 years. That's a lot of work for five hundred bucks. You don't get your game checks until the regular season, so basically everybody gets paid the same in training camp. Guys played cards with their camp money. Me? I used to put all of it in one drawer and give it to my wife to do whatever she wanted with after camp.