The nation’s best and most consistent high school football programs are always evolving, adapting new techniques and practices while making sure they haven’t been left behind. Now one of the premier programs on the Florida Gulf Coast is going new age to try and improve.
As reported by Tampa Fox affiliate WTVT, Plant High in Tampa has hired certified yoga instructor Carmen Sargeant as an assistant coach to teach the team yoga in an effort to encourage better flexibility and recovery.
The benefits are clear and obvious, with some particular benefits Sargeant was all too happy to extrapolate upon.
“Football players have really tight hips and shoulders,” Sargeant told WTVT. “So we’re working on shoulders and hips. When you’re more lengthened and flexible, there is less injury.”
And there are mind-body benefits as well, Plant linebacker Christian Carvajal told WTVT:
“It not only stretches us out but mentally it relaxes us before football,” he said.
Perhaps that last little bit of mindfulness, or flexibility, will be the difference between a strong season or state title number five for the Plant Panthers.
Even if it doesn’t lead to a title, the Panthers who learn yoga will get peace of mind from the knowledge that while they’ll eventually have to stop playing football, they never have to stop practicing yoga.