The Moffat County High School football team was on the outside looking in for the second straight year last season when it came time for the state playoffs.
Not wanting a three-peat, the Bulldogs enlisted the help of MCHS grad Brandi Babin to run players through plyometrics this offseason.
“The coaches wanted me to do some speed and agility training with their players,” Babin said. “I run them through some quick and powerful movements that help make them quicker on their feet.”
Babin, who graduated from Louisiana State University in May 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, started the program June 16 and will run a 30- to 45-minute session every Thursday for seven weeks.
With the help of hurdles, cones and parachutes, Babin said she has the players doing explosive jumps, dragging sleds and exploding into sprints.
“Doing these kind of workouts is especially important in the offseason,” she said. “The coaches don’t want their players to get hurt during the season, so we are doing more of the strenuous workouts now. This will help them become bigger, faster and stronger than the other teams they face.”
Incoming junior Michael Samuelson said the first workout was “definitely tough.”
“We had a lot of sprints to do and when you got to a certain extent, you got tired,” Samuelson said. “But, it also was great conditioning. I think it will get us in shape faster than almost anything else.”
Lance Scranton, MCHS defensive coordinator, said the speed and agility training works on multiple levels.
“With Brandi, we have a good opportunity for the players to compliment what they are doing in the weight room,” Scranton said. “But, on its own, the training serves a lot of functions we do it football. It improves our strength and it helps keep us low and in a good athletic position.”
The first workout brought in about 10 players, Scranton said, but with drier conditions he expects between 25 and 30 athletes every Thursday.
Besides the workouts themselves, Scranton said having a “fresh face” coaching the players is always a positive.
“Brandi can do drills with the guys maybe us coaches haven’t done before, or even some we have but it is coming from someone else,” he said. “The guys get a different perspective that us coaches sometimes can’t coach and it helps everyone involved with the team.”
After the first night, Babin said she heard different feedback from players.
While some were tired and exhausted, others seemed to enjoy the drills, she said.
“There were definitely a few who were thinking, ‘Oh my, what did I get into?” she said. “But, there were some who liked the intensity of the workouts. It is all a matter of fitness levels, and I think it will grow on the players as we continue along.”
Ultimately, Samuelson said, the training with Babin will help the team in the long term.
“If we can get everyone there it will make us quicker and get us in shape faster,” he said. “When the three-a-days come around, they won’t be so hard and we can get into plays quicker, and keep us focused on football and not conditioning.”
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