At high school and middle school summer workouts, the aim is often to get ready for the impending football season, but at Lindsay ISD, the focus is on more than just one sport.
New athletic director and head football coach Jeff Smiley stresses the need for a total program.
“The weights are designed, no matter what sport you play, to benefit the athletes,” Smiley said. “All the agility drills we do adds to the entire program. It’s to help all of our athletes in every sport they play.”
The first several weeks have seen a total of 80-90 kids per day and Smiley said he is pleased with the participation and commitment, especially during the summer.
“The summer workouts are just an extension of our offseason program,” Smiley said. “We’ve made good progress and are moving around pretty good. I also feel like we’ve gained strength. Obviously, those are the top objectives in the summer in strength in conditioning.”
Smiley said the workouts change week to week to keep the athletes on their toes, specifically movement-emphasized, footwork and speed drills that will pay off for more than just the football players.
To Smiley, the overarching theme of the workouts is the difficulty of them.
“Football physically is obviously the most demanding sport, so I want our offseasons and our summer programs to be tough,” Smiley said. “I feel like once we get to two-a-days that they will be easier to the kids that are committed to the summer program, so they’ll be in shape and acclimated to the heat.”
One of the main effects of the workouts to Smiley is preparing the athletes mentally for the grueling times of the season.
“To me, it’s just about doing things right when you’re tired,” Smiley said. “We emphasize that. You can talk about that, but if you don’t get put in that position, then it doesn’t really matter. We try to put them in positions to be fatigued, but have them maintain their technique and do things the right way.”
Smiley wants his athletes ready for when things go wrong and to see how they are going to respond.
Smiley moved over from Muenster, where he spent the past seven years and helped the Hornets to a Class 2A Division II state championship.
He said it has been a smooth transition.
“One reason I was really interested in this job is because I knew the expectations and knew the commitment from the community and the kids, which is not a lot different from Muenster,” Smiley said. “The expectations are we are going to be the best we can be and there is a lot of hard work that has to take place.”
With regard, to the Knights’ football future, Smiley is encouraged by the talent on the team and said the plan of the summer workouts was simple — to reach their potential.
“It’s about being as good as you can be individually and collectively as a team, we’re better,” Smiley said. “I think we have some good football players. We’re going to have to develop some players, but I feel like we have good enough players here to win.”
With fall football practice just around the corner, Smiley said he was excited about the work that has been put in during the summer and that he and the players can’t wait to get started.
“It’s been awesome,” Smiley said. “Everybody has been great. We’ve had a good summer program. Next week will be our sixth week of our summer camp and in three weeks we’ll be starting two-a-days. We’re eager to get to football. There is a lot of excitement and they’re ready to go. They know the work they’ve put in and they want to see it pay off.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip