How 49ers' Robbie Gould is navigating offseason workouts, home schooling children

Chris Biderman, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Football

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- 49ers kicker Robbie Gould is one of many NFL players trying to navigate an uncertain offseason that includes being stuck at home, home schooling children and preparing physically for the upcoming campaign.

It's all a bit hectic, particularly because there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

"Right now, the biggest problem for us is, when's everything going to start back up?" Gould, 37, said in a phone interview from his home northwest of Chicago this week. "You're normally training with a certain perspective to have yourself ready at certain stages of the spring and the summer -- mini camps, training camp -- and you just don't know when that's going to happen."

The league this week announced it was delaying the start of the offseason conditioning program because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that's forced people to stay home. This week would have marked the normal start of conditioning programs for teams that hired new coaches like Carolina, Dallas, Cleveland, Washington and the New York Giants with all other teams, including the 49ers, starting next week.

Instead, the league and the NFLPA are working out ways to handle the offseason proceedings as all team facilities have been closed until further notice. It includes doing the three-day NFL draft starting April 23 virtually with executives and decision-makers operating from their home offices.

The quarantine orders from state governments haven't dramatically impacted offseason life for all players. Tight end George Kittle has been regularly working out in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife, Claire, which they've documented on social media. As has receiver Deebo Samuel, who's been working out in his home state, South Carolina.


Gould has three children ranging from 1 to 6 years old, which has forced the veteran kicker to get creative when it comes to daily scheduling and his workouts.

Once Illinois announced its statewide lockdown last month, Gould built out a home gym in a storage area in his basement to complement his kicking work. He purchased a squat rack, free weights and free-motion cable machine. He does his morning workouts with a trainer virtually through video conference on an iPad, which has gone well given the unusual circumstances.

"The nice part is, I've been able to train the way that I need to," he said. "It's just a matter of finding the places to kick. But the nice part is, before I left (the Bay Area) ... I've had the ability to kind of pick up where I left off and what I wanted to do based on being in the backyard, having fun with my kids kicking out there, or having them shag for me."

Gould doesn't have goal posts at his house to kick through. Instead, he targets landmarks like trees. His backyard has some 60 yards to work with.


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