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Summer Vacation? For NFL Players, Not Really

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post, a former NFL player, has a great look at how July is not really vacation time for most NFL players. At least not the ones serious about their craft.

Yes, players will head home, get in some time to relax, clear their minds mentally and prepare for the grind of training camp and the regular season. However, the players that show up for camp in football shape are the ones who use this time to not only work on their position specific skills, but continue to condition, improve their speed and maintain the strength they built throughout the offseason.

The month of July is crucial. Of course there is time left over in the day to grab a golf club, fish for walleye, hit the beach, etc. But, it has to be treated with care.

We have to understand that it is near impossible to recreate a training camp practice doing drills, lifting weights and so on. No matter how great of shape you think you are in when you report to camp, that first practice is still a beast—because of the hitting. But, to prevent an injury—hamstring, groin, etc.—you have to use this time to push yourself over the limit and finish each day without question that you treated it like a pro.