Athletic Performance: Off-Season Program 2018 (part 2), Testing and Power

It’s that time of the year again. The footballs are locked away in the equipment room and your staff is starting to meet again. As a coach, you’re hitting clinics and the AFCA Convention. But you still have a job to do. Your job from January through early August is to get your players to be more athletic, while still respecting their other sports they play and their grades. Your staff needs to sit down and meet to figure out the following, but here are my tips for each section:

Click here for Coachspeak episode 28 “Off-Season Program 2018”


Testing

Kneeling Medicine Ball Pass- Athletes can use the same weight or varying depending on experience level. I would use the same ruler used for the broad jump. My rules are the athlete must be on their knees, chest pass the medicine ball, and their hands cannot hit the ground (must stay up). This safely tests the bench press. 

Broad Jump- The broad jump will test the athletes’ on their explosiveness. The broad is a great tester for cleans and snatch. Very safe way to test clean and snatch. It’s also a method used by the NFL Combine for us football coaches.

Vertical Jump- The vertical jump is a test that will test an athlete on their explosiveness as well. It’s a very safe way to test an athlete’s squat numbers. It’s also used by the NFL Combine for us football coaches. 

40 Yard Dash- In football, we all know what the 40 is and have our differing opinions on its importance. If the NFL Combine is using it, I’ll use it (we only don’t bench because we can’t do it on day one). It does show straight line speed and if you can test the 10 simultaneously it’s a great tool as is the 10. 

20 Shuttle- I like the 20 shuttle mainly because it requires change of direction and discipline. It forces the athlete to reach down and touch and to be able to stop and turn instantly. Your better athletes are better at the 20 shuttle.  

Alternative agilities…

Kurt Hester’s drills from Combine 2.0 (find the video HERE). Kurt is the S&C Coach at Louisiana Tech and his Combine 2.0 video really hit home with me. I use many of the drills in my individual period now and we will test them at times in the Athletic Performance program. 

Power

In the weight room I’m focusing on increasing stability, flexibility, injury resistance with a final focus on power endurance. I believe that if you’re requiring an athlete to play, for football, 135 snaps a game they have to take 135 reps in the weight room every time they lift. It just makes sense. I also want them to lift how they play; off balance and having to use their brains to balance, I need to make the ankle/knee/hip more stable, and I need to get players resistant to injury. 

I use 5 styles of workout to focus on flexibility, balance, and stability while increasing our power endurance: 

 

1 – Yoga/Pilates/Body Weight-I love incorporating a day a month that eliminates the use of weights and reminds our athletes how difficult it is to push and pull their own weight, to balance, and how important flexibility and stability are to resist injury. 

Equipment: yoga mat, physioball, block

Programming: Body weight: 3 sets of 30 seconds with no rest interval between 10 exercises, and a 120 second transition rest interval before re-starting the rotation.

Body Weight, ex: squats, lunges/lateral lunges, push ups, crunches/alternating crunches, planks/side planks, boat/bend-ups, Russian twists/pass throughs, (all-fours) knee and elbow to chin, burpees, jumping jacks

Yoga/Pilates, ex: I use Yoga With Adriene (access her YouTube page HERE)

 

2- Bilateral- both arms and legs are involved but there is a a focus on balancing your chakra by making both arms and both legs equally as prepared

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, medicine balls

Programming: 3 sets x 30 seconds (reps) with 10 second rests (rest interval) and 90 seconds to rotate between 8 exercises (transitional rest interval)

 

3- Unilateral- one arm or one leg workouts designed for creating stability and balance

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, medicine balls

Programming: 4 sets x 20 seconds (reps) with 10 second rests (rest interval) and 90 seconds to rotate between 8 exercises (transitional rest interval)

 

4- Snatch Practice- We may never snatch but we will practice the parts of the snatch

Equipment: Barbell + Medicine balls

Programming: 3 sets x 2-4 reps or 10 seconds, or 4-6 reps or 20 seconds, or 6-8 reps or 30 seconds. Add stress (weight) and lower volume (reps) or vice versa.

 

5- Hang Clean Practice- We will hang clean even if we rarely power clean

Equipment: Barbell + power bar

Programming: 3 sets x 2-4 reps or 10 seconds, or 4-6 reps or 20 seconds, or 6-8 reps or 30 seconds. Add stress (weight) and lower volume (reps) or vice versa.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Warm Up: We warm up with a handful of body weight exercises, one set of 30 second reps. Ex. Squat, push ups, crunches, planks, burpees, jumping jacks

Cool Down: We always cool down with more core work. with core work, ex: Russian twists, boats, pass throughs, side planks before Yoga enters our practice, ex: cat/cow, cobra, downward facing dog, butterflies, squat and hip opener.

Unilaterals 

 

Bilaterals

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