Packers hold 'Feel-Good Fridays', get massages instead of practice

Thursday November 20th, 2014

The Green Bay Packers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL through Week 11 and the team may owe its success to the newly instituted "Feel-Good-Fridays," which focuses on deep-tissue massages and other restorative treatments in place of practice.

The Wall Street Journal's Kevin Clark reports that the Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles are at the forefront of a new movement in the NFL to change up the traditional practice schedule by holding a Saturday practice, and allowing players to rest earlier in the week.

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The Saturday practices go against conventional thinking that players should be in full rest mode the day before a game, but Shawn Arent, an associate professor at Rutgers University in the field of exercise science, told the Journal that scaling back the work week may be the best move for many teams.

"A lot of coaches say, ‘We need to work harder,’ where the better coaches say, ‘Maybe we are working too hard’,” Arent said. “I’ve seen a lot of players who can’t get into their upper heart ranges because they are exhausted. If a coach says, ‘We’ve reached our threshold for the week; time to back off,’ I’m a big fan of that.”

Both teams are 7-3, so the new schedule seems to be showing some positive results, which is good news for players who would like less tackling drills and more massages.

Brendan Maloy

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