CrossFit football is run under the Crossfit-Kids banner providing foundational athletic training for student athletes in preparation for youth and high school football. Crossfit’s definition of an athlete is “a person who is trained or skilled in strength, power, balance, and agility, flexibility, health and athleticism.”
When a young athlete is trained using movements such as the clean and jerk, snatch, squat, deadlift, push-press, bench-press, and power -clean, in addition to lateral movement training, and plyometrics, they are prepared for any sport or position in a sport of their choice.
Specific instruction to football players includes football-style warm ups, closely monitored skill work, drills used to illicit hip explosion, and the work out of the day (or WOD). Our goal in providing CrossFit to children and adolescents is to challenge them and create strong and powerful athletes. At the same time monitoring each lift or movement, and ensuring proper form. When form is lost, weight is decreased, and form is re-taught. Intensity is built into the program as athletes show ability increases.
Children do not get hurt while lifting weights from lifting weights. Children get hurt lifting weights while fooling around near weights, while becoming competitive with other children instead of their own accomplishments, and from unsupervised lifting. (Kids &weightlifting: Dispelling the Myths. 2008. Crossfit Kids Magazine, 27. February. http://catalog.brandxmartialarts.com/pub/CFKKids&WeightligtingFeb2008.pdf)
None of those things are allowed in the CrossFit environment.
The football prep program is held in the summer three days a week in one hour sessions. Each athlete is expected to attend every session. Basic skills are taught originally and afterwards, other skills are built on that foundation. Each movement/ skill is adjustable or “scaled” for athletes who do not yet have the necessary strength and/or coordination needed to complete that movement as prescribed.
All the workouts are recorded and benchmarks are revisited to look for improvement. Most workouts are time based, meaning that there is a set time to accomplish as many rounds or repetitions as possible in that given time.
Moral is kept high by recording each athlete’s score and giving them the chance to better it in an identical work out later in the program. Athletes have come from up and down the shoreline, and have seen dramatic improvements in production and playing time from previous years. The football program also serves in most cases as the “On ramp” class and athletes can join regular classes after their seasons’ completion.