Chargers and Chiefs prepping for the 2017 LFC campaign
In the fall, Friday night lights put high school football in the spotlight.
While games are played in the fall, outcomes are determined, in large part, in the off season when athletes are in the weight room, participating in conditioning programs and working on fundamental techniques.
Execution of plays and schemes also have a role but in many instances the success of those aspects of the game is based on the strength, condition and technique brought to the table by each individual athlete.
With just a few weeks remaining until the official start of high school football practice, many programs have started to gear up towards that day with team workouts.
In recent years, programs have been permitted to hold "helmets only" summer workouts prior to the start of pre-season sessions in August.
While every program has off season weight room work etc., some programs have multiple sport athletes doing off season work prior to the start of the school day.
So, a basketball player or baseball or track participant may arrive at school at 6 a.m., get in a regular weight room or agility session, shower, attend class then have basketball practice after school.
Some athletes play multiple sports yet still get some football-related work accomplished even if it's not a three or four day a week routine.
"Our weight room program is available throughout the off season," noted Gabriel.
"Most schematic work or technique work is covered in the spring and summer. Some kids go to camps for extra individual position work."
The vast majority of programs accelerate team sessions after the July 4 holiday.
Position techniques are reviewed and drilled and conditioning ramps up. The most basic moves per position are reviewed repeatedly.
LBs taking read steps, RBs doing jump cuts, DEs doing rip and swim moves, QBs reviewing footwork and ball position, linemen doing footwork and on and on and on.
Offensive and defensive schemes are also presented and reviewed.
The official start of practice is just weeks away. But, athletes and coaches are already preparing for the season.