Football is a way of life in Texas and No. 5 Katy (Katy, Texas) is a perfect example.
In this suburb west of Houston, approximately 400 players are part of the Tigers football program. The team owns six 5A state championships, the last of which came in 2008.
This year, the Tigers are more ready than ever to update their collection of hardware. At 11-0 following a 77-7 defeat of Westbury (Houston), Katy could very well be on its way to doing so.
Part of the team’s success is credited to ongoing dedication in the weight room.
“We’re not in there to mess around,” says senior defensive end Matt Dimon. “It’s business.”
Under the guidance of strength coach Richard Slater, players hit the weights three times a week during the season.
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday training sessions are rooted in Olympic lifts. Each full-body workout focuses on core exercises like the bench press, incline and power clean.
Slater says workouts are designed to maintain strength gains from summer training, and the program is structured to be less intense on the legs toward the latter part of the season.
“We’re trying to stay as fresh as we can,” Slater says.
And sometimes that means jumping into the school’s swimming pool. Depending on the heat and intensity of the previous night’s game, players might trade their training sneaks for swim trunks and perform 20 minutes worth of laps to loosen up and help muscles recover.
Dimon doesn’t mind it. In fact, the Oklahoma commit enjoys it. Working out is always high priority, one that even took over his social life during the summer.
“When friends wanted to hang out, I wanted to work out,” Dimon says. “I put my mind into it.”
Part of Katy’s training recipe includes the squat, a lift that works the thighs and hamstrings and is key for helping the body move explosively on the field.
Slater stresses correct technique early, and as freshmen, players are schooled on meticulous details. Slater isn’t concerned with the amount of weight a player lifts. Rather, he emphasizes the following:
- Stand with feet flat and slightly wider than shoulder-width
- Lower until legs are parallel so the top of thighs are even with knees
- Keep chest up and shoulder blades together
- Look straight ahead and take a deep breath when descending to help stabilize the back