Off-season Football Program: Preparation is Key

The off-season proves to be a key to the success of the three-time State Champion Hitter Program of Glenbard West.

The Hitters, under Coach Chad Hetlet, have won three titles (2009, 2012, 2015) and every season has the same process in common: the weightlifting program for players who aren’t in other sports.

This program is designed to provide improved athletic ability according to coach Rick Heckman, one of the coaches who runs the program.

“When we coach in the weightroom [in the off-season], we are usually stronger, more powerful, quicker, and unwilling to back down from people bigger than us [in the regular season],” Coach Heckman goes on.

The main point of the program is to make sure the one-sport athletes get a chance to maintain the Hitter build throughout the year instead of having to build it back up during the summer. The average attendance is 60 players from all ages. The camp runs Monday through Thursday at an early 6:15 a.m. to around the start of school.

Most schools that the Hitters play during the season are 8A, and Glenbard West tends to defeat a lot of these opponents. Coach Heckman says, “Preparation has a lot to do with this.” That’s the essential idea of the program: to keep players who aren’t playing another sport ready to take on the next football season as a Hitter.

Many players who are returning next year, such as Ryan Diver, last year’s running back, attend the morning program regularly. Diver has definitely seen results from this program and is predicted to have a breakout season for his senior year.

The off-season program puts the athletes in the right mindset to get things done for the summer during the longer hours of practice and training for the upcoming season. Preparation is the key to many years of success at Glenbard West, and the Hitters’ off-season weightlifting program is a great example of that.