Houston High School football coach David Williams doesn’t believe in pressuring players to attend offseason workouts. Instead, his message is a simple one: I’ll be here if you want to be here.
Four days a week this summer, Williams and his coaching staff have opened the football facilities for training. The two-hour sessions consist of weightlifting and speed and agility drills.
The workouts are voluntary — a message Williams makes clear to his players.
“Summer time is a difficult time because there are so many things going on,” Williams said. “I’m one that believes they need to be kids. I’m not going to try to dominate their time. They’ve got a lot of stuff going on.
“So we say, ‘Hey, we’re going to be here four days a week, come in and join us. We’re going to try to make you better’ and leave it at that.”
Williams, who enters his second season with the Tigers, said participation has been strong this summer. Since the training sessions began May 30, he said an average of 20-25 players have attended each day.
The workouts are open to all male athletes in any sport.
“Most of those kids have had weight training during the school year, which is great that we have those in our curriculum,” Williams said. “If we took two months off in the summer, everything they gained in the fall and winter would be for nothing. It’s important that you don’t regress from what you’ve gained.”
Williams said he is especially pleased with the number of younger players participating this summer.
“That’s what is encouraging,” he said. “We’re getting middle schoolers in there every day learning how to lift and what we expect.”
While the conditioning and weight training are important, Williams is especially focused on team camaraderie. He said it was a missing ingredient for last year’s squad, which failed to win a game.
The Tigers begin team camp Monday before a two-day session at the end of the month in Bolivar. Fall practices begin Aug. 8.
“The weight training is great, but what I saw last year is we didn’t have a strong concept of team,” Williams said. “We’re trying to build togetherness.
“I’m starting to get the feeling that we’re accomplishing that.”