Most sports have optional conditioning periods; however, football has mandatory training nearly year round.
Starting in January, players train towards Spring Ball, a period in spring that starts after spring sports end. Rob Polous, the head coach of Sequoia’s football team, says the integration of Spring ball is necessary to introduce new players into the sport and insure that old ones maintain their abilities.
“Every other sport has an out-of-season equivalent to continue training [outside of Sequoia], but football doesn’t,” Polus said.
Before a player can be invited to spring ball they must complete a certain number of specific gym workouts in the weight room—players involved in spring sports are told to attend roughly 40 percent of workouts and the rest are asked to participate in 75 percent. Only after completing all requirements are players able to play Spring Ball.
“Spring Ball is an introduction to the season. It’s like dead week: you go over the [fundamentals of football],” sophomore Rahul Chaudhry said.
Workouts are held before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, after school every day except Wednesday and on Saturday mornings.
“We’ve tried to do everything we can to make it flexible. We used to have an official start time, but we’ve tried to make it easier so that kids can come in and get out,” Polus said.
Some players feel this additional part of football is unnecessary, as it gets in the way of other responsibilities.
“Getting all the workouts in on time is really hard. With school and doing another sport, it’s really difficult,” sophomore Jacob Walker said.
Two years ago coaches established a system to reduce academic pressure put on students while going to practices.
“There was a reward system where your grades would change to commitment points,” said junior Duncan Stewart. “The higher your GPA, the more commitment points you could get, but [it was taken] away because [it was] said that kids would use that as an excuse to not workout.”