San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite is currently working out in Kansas City, as he prepares for the start of the offseason workout program next week. This past week he spoke with 580 Sports Talk in Topeka, Kansas (home of his alma mater, Washburn University). The 25 minute interview is wide ranging, and worth a listen.
The interview opens with a discussion about the workouts Wilhoite is conducting during his time away from Santa Clara. He works out a place called Prairie Life Fitness in Kansas City. He's not doing anything football specific, as that kind of on-field work will come with his time back in Santa Clara. For now, he focuses on cardio and weights. He usually has a pair of workouts, split up by some basketball. The AM workout is more cardio, a bit more high intensity, and generally faster. The PM workout is more heavy weights, with less speed. He also works in yoga on Wednesdays, and does some Pilates.
After those first few minutes, the next ten minutes of the interview is about basketball. Wilhoite is a big basketball fan, and he spends time talking about a friend of his who plays basketball in Germany, and then some time talking about the recently completed NCAA tournament.
At the 13 minute mark, he discusses his schedule for the coming weeks as far as heading back to Santa Clara for the offseason workout program. He'll fly back next Sunday, for the April 21 start of the program. The first few weeks of the program involve conditioning and meetings. There is usually 30-60 minutes of film, primarily going over stuff from the recently completed season.
Once they get into the OTAs, practices include a variety of work. They will alternate workout and practice days, and when they do have practice days, they'll have workouts in the morning. The OTA practices can last 2 to 2.5 hours. The practices include individual work, 7-on-7, some 1-on-1 and some team stuff. He compared it to spring ball for college football fans. He emphasized that there are limitations on the time players can spend with coaches, so they are usually done with things midway through the afternoon.
The hosts asked him about his workouts now and then during the official offseason workout program. They asked in part in the context of NaVorro Bowman's absence. Wilhoite is the early favorite to cover for Bowman while the injured linebacker rehabs. Wilhoite said that his preparations will be similar to last season. He works as hard as he can to make himself the best he can be. He figures the team will potentially bring in some competition, and the team already has other young guys along with Wilhoite.
He figures he just has to work as hard as he can to improve himself, and the chips will fall where they may. He mention an interesting comment from Donte Whitner that applies to this. Wilhoite said he was working out in the weight room by himself one day last year. Whitner came in, and during their discussion, Whitner said "Mike, you know what? We're independent contractors." And it makes sense. Yes, this is a team game, but when it comes to preparing one's self, a player has to focus on himself. He mentioned how staying late won't improve other players, but I would actually disagree to some extent. If one player sees another player staying late after practice, it might inspire them to stay late. They're all adults doing their own thing, but if it inspires someone to work a little harder, I'd say there's some added value to it.
You can listen to the whole interview HERE.