High school football can be incredibly demanding with training being a regular part of players’ routines, but how often do teams hit the field?
How Often Do High School Football Teams Practice?
High School football teams hit the field at least 4 to 6 times per week, for an average of 3 to 4.5 hours per day. During the high school football season, players are expected to commit to weight training, cardio, on-field practice, and game planning.
After extensively researching high school football guidelines and regulations, I have gathered enough information to determine how often teams practice. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the routines that high school football teams carry out for their practices.
How Often Do High School Football Teams Practice?
Most high school football teams practice anywhere from 4 to 6 times per week. However, the types of practices and training can greatly vary depending on the school and coach.
Once the high school football season is in full swing, players are expected to practice for 4 to 5 hours per day. The coach needs to decide which practice schedule suits their team best so that they can create an organized routine for their high school athletes.
All of this practice is intended to help prevent injuries to high school football players.
On average, 3 to 4.5 hours per day at 5 days per week is very standard during the football season. The practice schedule may be modified throughout the season based on the performance needs of the players.
For example, teams that are advancing in games will likely need to commit to additional practice schedules to stay on top of their competition. The coach may demand additional training on and off the field to prepare their players for upcoming games.
This often includes two-a-days which is when high school football teams need to practice twice per day. All in all, this breaks down to most high school football players practicing for around 20 hours per week.
How Long Are High School Football Teams Allowed to Practice?
When you consider that high school football players are still technically students, the football season puts a lot of strain and pressure on them, mentally and physically.
The requirements to qualify to play on a team go far beyond in-game performance. Players are expected to show up for practices, perform on game days, and stay on top of their academics at the same time.
Given that practice alone can take up as much as 20 hours per week, many parents and industry pros are concerned about the amount of time that football takes up. Unfortunately, there is no governing body for high school football like the NFL or NCAA.
How long teams are allowed to practice depends on the coach and the school. Some schools have strict regulations and only allow practices to be 3 hours per day. However, many schools do not put such rules in place and leave it up to the coaches to decide what they think is best.
This can be particularly troubling for full contact practices which are extremely physical, and potentially even dangerous. That is why USA Football recommends that full contact practices be limited to 30 minutes per day and no more than 90 minutes per week to ensure the safety and well-being of the players.
What Do Players Do During High School Football Practice?
High school football requires players to be physically and mentally in the game. This implies that the types of practices and training that players need to commit to are quite dynamic, and often include a lot more than just getting on the field for two-hand touch.
Each coach decides on a practice schedule for their players, which generally includes the following types of training and preparation for games.
Hitting the gym is a very important part of a high school football player’s practice routine. Players need to be in solid physical shape, especially if they are on the line.
Weightlifting in the school gym is a routine part of this training, and most players need to commit to two sessions per week. The types of exercises can change depending on the position, but virtually every player is required to lift weights for strength training.
Much like weight lifting, cardio is an equally important part of football training. Although a lot of running happens on the field during standard practice, players must still practice cardio in the gym or on the track.
Cardiovascular exercises generally happen twice weekly, with running being the most common activity.
Running drills and carrying out plans for high school football games is the most common thing that players do on defining practice days. This is a critical part of a player’s daily routine and they will spend more time on standard football practice than anything else.
The day usually starts out with stretching and conditioning. Coaches observe their players and run them through drills while ensuring the safety of teammates. Football practices usually occur as a single 1.5 to 2-hour session or as two-a-day practices.
Standard football practice primarily focuses on running drills. However, full-contact practice means that players will be carrying out plays like in a real game with tackling and physical contact.
An equally important component of football practice is game planning. Football is a strategic sport and coaches need to get creative when thinking of plays to beat competing high school teams.
Once the high school football season starts, coaches will reserve at least a couple of hours per week to meet with the team to discuss plans for upcoming games. This is generally a sit down where all team members come together to agree on plays and run through strategies.
Do High School Football Teams Take Rest Days?
High school football players take rest days, but not many. Once the season starts, most players are only given two rest days per week to recover from practice, training, and games.
While the rest days schedule can vary based, players generally rest on days 2 and 6 of the week. Rest days are essential for recovery and require healthy sleep, a balanced diet, and minimal physical activity.
- High School football teams hit the field at least 4 to 6 times per week, for an average of 3 to 4.5 hours per day.
- During the high school football season, players are expected to commit to weight training, cardio, on-field practice, and game planning.
- USA football recommends that full-contact practice be limited to 30 minutes per day and 90 minutes per week.