This is a touchy subject were the old school meets the new school! Football is a sport where you play 4-6 seconds at a time, yet strength coaches sometimes see the need for athletes to only “condition” doing 100 yard sprints and gassers! This really doesn’t make sense at all! Conditioning for Football should be done anaerobically, meaning; short fast bursts. Below I will list some of my personal favorites that we have used over the years!
Competitive Sprints – 10 YARDS ONLY. Make the athlete get from one spot to another as fast as they can, then give 25 seconds of rest. My favorite is to use a football fields, every other 10 yards we work. So we get five sprints for the length of the field, this mimics a drive and wont kills your guys.
Wave Drill – (Forward/Lateral/Backward) This one is old school, but it works! Make your athletes work for 5-6 seconds. Give them three different commands then make them burst for 2 steps on the way out of the drill.
Back Pedal + Turn – One of my personal favorites! Starts all your athletes in a back pedal then use a visual key to make them turn 180 degrees and sprint for 5 yards! This is great for DB’s and OL’s, I use this every chance I get.
Mirror Drill – Another old school throw back. This is great when you’re working with the whole team at once. Have two athletes work in a five yards box, one in the rabbit the other one is chasing try to stay in front. Only make them go about five seconds!
The most important part of conditioning in my opinion is to get your athletes the stamina experience in the type of job they are ask to do when the lights are on. There is no point asking an OL to do 100 yards sprints, because he would never do that in a game. Athletes need to be trained smart, not for your EGO!