After the San Francisco 49ers 2013 season ended just one game shy of the Super Bowl, it didn’t take long for
It took less than 48 hours
On the very first day after “exit day,” when players depart the facility to get some much-needed rest, Kaepernick’s car was in the parking spot nearest to San Francisco’s training facility in Santa Clara. The quarterback was in the weight room at 6 a.m., his sights already set on the season ahead.
"To me, that’s just part of how I deal with things,” Kaepernick told 49ers.com. "I get back to work, I try to make sure I correct those mistakes for next year or the next time I’m on the field so those things don’t happen again. As a quarterback, that’s something you have to do to set the tone, show your teammates and everyone around you that you’re here to work toward that ultimate goal.”
After a few weeks training at the team’s facility, Kaepernick headed to Miami.
This was not a vacation.
This is where he’s working.
"It’s something where everyone is conscious of what we really want to get done,” Kaepernick said. "We know it’s the offseason, we know it’s time to rest, take care of your body and have a little time to yourself."
Pete Bommarito, the training facility operator, has been impressed in his first offseason working with Kaepernick.
"He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever seen, ever,” Bommarito said. "I’ve worked with numerous pro athletes in many sports. You’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who works harder than that. It’s incredible. He’s a natural leader. You can see it easily.”
Kaepernick’s work ethic developed at an early age. He learned what it takes to be successful from his childhood coaches.
"I think that’s the mentality the coaches, from the time I was young, have instilled in me,” Kaepernick said. "I remember when I was nine years old, my football coach was a drill sergeant. From the time I was 9 until now, my coaches have had that 'we’re going to work to win (mentality).’ That’s something I’ve carried with me throughout because it’s helped me to get here."
In a group with other top athletes during Bommarito’s workouts, Kaepernick stands out not only for his athletic ability but also for the tone he sets.
"Even though you see players from different teams, you see how they push each other and come together,” Bommarito said. "He’s easily a leader in every group he’s been in. We should probably pay him to be here because he’s like a second coach for us. You see him lead off every drill with intensity. It’s not like he’s a rah-rah guy. People feed off that intensity and work ethic and it makes my job a lot easier."
Bommarito works in conjunction with 49ers head strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama, making sure the training program is in line with the team’s goals.
“You have to be very careful,” Bommarito said. “You can’t do too much position specific stuff. It’s too early in the offseason. They don’t want that. I don’t want that. Kap needs to be able to train the muscles, not the motion.
“Even though we’re looking at the different joint angles and the specificity of his position, we’re mainly training the musles to be powerful, to decelerate properly so when he gets into those positions, he has something to work with.”
It’s an ideal situation for Kaepernick, who said he’s looking to improve in all facets of his game entering his second full season as an NFL starter.
"The end goal is to make sure I’m getting better at everything I’m doing,” Kaepernick said. "From throwing to running to the mental work I do on the side, just make sure that I’m completely prepared for this upcoming season to try to make a Super Bowl run.”