(With more than 55 years as an athlete, coach, official, parent and spectator, I’ve gained some insights and perspectives regarding athletics. In this weekly column, I share what I’ve learned about sports from these multiple points of view.)
Daily Doubles, or two-a-days, begin the fall sports season, including Viking football. There are many skills necessary to safely and effectively play the game.
The many offensive and defensive positions require time to learn. The daily double has been around even before my first one in 1966. The break between twice-a-day practices allows players to rehydrate, eat and rest tired muscles.
Conditioning will vary, depending on the team’s fitness upon the start of doubles.
I have few fond memories of my daily doubles. I had three varsity coaches in three years. Each coach had a different philosophy, the result of which was a wide variety of daily double practices.
My sophomore coach conditioned us with running and more running; my junior
coach emphasized strength training.
Since we had no weight room or free weights, we used isometric exercises. We also pulled our teammates on tires for leg power.
My senior coach believed in contact drills. We hit from day one (which is no longer allowed by the OSAA).
We lost my brother for the year with a torn ACL on the second day of live punt coverage drills.
Changes have been made over the years to make daily doubles safer. Full pads
and hitting are not allowed until three days of non-contact drills.
Water breaks, once not even scheduled into practice, are now common. Even individual water bottles are now everywhere. The results are fewer heat related injuries.
Football players require a variety of skill development.
Daily doubles provide the time and instruction to achieve them.