Going to Camp

The calendar doesn't quite read August yet, but some athletes have already started acting like it is football season. It will be more than a month until pro teams play their first games, but the next couple of weeks could go a long way in deciding who will be raising-up this year's championship trophies.

Training Camp: In pro football, the pre-season is an extremely important part of the schedule. Before the regular season kicks off, players need to be in peak physical condition in order to play their best. After nearly six months without games or practices, players might be a little rusty. Training camp, which takes place for about three weeks in August, is when players work hard to get ready for the season.

Daily Workouts: During training camp, players eat, sleep and breathe football. Teams typically practice twice a day, for two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. In between, they work out in the weight room, attend meetings and eat meals together. More than any other point in the season, players work on conditioning to make sure they are in proper game shape.

Teamwork: Training camp is not just important in terms of physical fitness; it also plays a key role in getting all of the players to work together as a team. At camp, veterans get to know the rookies and the new players who were acquired through trades or free agency. It gives all of the players a chance to learn the plays and make sure that everybody knows what they are supposed to do on the field. Training also gives players on the same team the opportunity to compete against each other. A team may have two quarterbacks trying out for the starting spot. Training camp is the time when these players show why they deserve the job.

Exhibition Games: One key part of training camp is the exhibition schedule. Teams will play full-length games against other teams, which is a great way to practice for the season. It gives coaches a chance to try out new plays and to see how players react to game situations.

Pro football is much more than big stadiums, cheering fans and bright lights. It involves hard work, dedication and intense preparation. That's what training camp is all about.

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