OTAAA OTAAA!!! Are you listening to another interesting hooting term in the world of football?
Well, during the off-season, this is the one event that keeps players in shape.
If you are not ye pro in the world of football, you might take it as another new term which is commonly heard these days called OTAs which is an acronym for Organized Team Activities and known as Umbrella term.
So, let us catch up with the real phase of OTA in the life of players!
The National Football League wants teams to undergo offseason training formally called as OTAS to develop and train players better in all aspects. Football teams are expected to attend up to a certain number of permitted OTAs.
Football lovers usually hear about teams and players attending or not attending these OTAs which is a superset of activities and not just a single activity. These activities could range from anything technical in terms of the game, personality development, motivation, or just training camps.
Well, another fascinating fact is, it is not just for fun.
OTA works on a methodical structure with a design such made that it is beneficial for the players, teams, and the league with a purpose and schedule. Let’s see what we mean by OTA Purpose and OTA Schedule.
It is designed by keeping in mind that offensive and defensive both schemes should be introduced to the new players. Similarly, the new offensive and defensive coordinators should share the new schemes with all the players. P
As rightly said, ‘practice makes a man perfect’.
Practices of OTA are to give a sneak preview of what they will be living and learning in training camps as well as a part of the routine.
OTA practice dates are published well before in time by National Football League along with the practice schedule. May and June are the two months in which OTA practice dates are scheduled.
Football OTAs are spread over nine weeks, it is ten days of organized team practice with voluntary camps in late May and mandatory minicamps are held for the first 15 days of June. All coaches can come to the ground and no player is penalized if for any rhyme or reason if he is not able to attend the football OTA.
Players are not given salary during OTA however they are paid a stipend in voluntary camps so that the meals and living expenses can be met while attending the camp.
Apart from the resident coaches, instructors, and trainers’ veterans of the game, fresh players out of college and athletes are given invitations to join OTA. As teams also gauge where they actually stand while attending football OTA less live contact is preferred, however, some tickets for fans are also available through individual team’s website or box office.
It is indeed not so comfortable journey.
A usual day at OTA would kick start at 7:30 am with meeting amongst the team or within the team along with coaches, trainers, and instructors. There is limited time so coaches are forced to talk about formation and plays which are a must.
It might be considered as a capsule course on game fundamentals. By the end of the day, players go out to the field with helmets and drills follow with position groups and team practice which includes seven on seven drills, no-huddle practices, and eleven on eleven practices.
OTA calendar consists of three phases namely phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3.
OTA Phase 1:- It focuses on weight and strength training of players and allowing injured players to attend some alternative activity meanwhile.
OTA Phase 2:- Football professional teams are allowed to practice and do activities around the same barring defense vs. offense in the first five weeks.
OTA Phase 3:-Two weeks of non-contact practice is allowed in the final four weeks of football OTA. There is no limitation on defense versus offense here however full speed blocking and tackling are not permitted.
All other parts of the play are allowed but with some restrictions on speed and intensity. Compulsory veteran sessions are scheduled in minicamps which generally lasts for four days and are a part of the contract.
No heavy contact is permissible here except drills which are to be carried out in pads with some easy bumping here and there.
Seven-day rookie camps are for Rookies where more contact is allowed but the speed has limitations. The idea behind such camps is that Rookie understands the basics of the systems before the main training begins.
OTA Contract Strategy and Media Coverage:
There are warning symptoms which a player exhibits by not being regular to OTA when he wants to either go for renegotiation with a contract or just want to be out of the contract.
There is no formal agreement between National League Football and the player’s union to compulsorily attend OTA as per the bargaining agreement. However, it is a matter of pride to attend OTA and is not seen in a good light by fans, teams and fellow players are somebody does not attend the same.
National Football League’s policy allows local media to have access to OTAs and minicamps. Media can cover OTA once in three days which makes it a total coverage of four days out of ten. Mandatory minicamps need to be opened for media for coverage of all practices. Media can speak with coaches and players the day they are covering the activities.
Why OTAs are important:
Team Bonding is another factor for the best performance and so players get a fair chance in this journey.
Players and teams come to Football OTA with a definite purpose to attain strength and health before the formal season takes off without any injuries.
It is also a place where veterans connect back again with the fundamentals of the game to uplift their conditions. It’s a place where teams gel with each other and veterans and rookie share a bond.
In a nutshell football, OTA is a period where players learn, earn, and also rest enough and also feels motivated before the start of demanding and tiring National Football League season. With so much goodness brought to National Football League OTAs will stay for a long time without a doubt.