Change of Direction-A Football Must



As every football team across the country gets ready for a new season, the one question burning in every coach's mind is How Good Was Our Off Season Program?  We are all so excited to see our returning players on the field anticipating the tremendous improvements in speed, strength, conditioning and agility.   The beginning of every new season is our first real chance to evaluate the effectiveness of our off season program and more importantly, figure out where we need to make improvements in our program to maximize our efforts and returns on investment.  A lot of coaches go into the off season with specific goals in mind.  Some teams need to focus on speed, some teams need to focus on strength, some may want to focus on conditioning and mental toughness. The obvious answer is the program that can achieve all these things is the one we want to use, but just like in football, there is no "magic bullet" in strength and conditioning.  To be honest I think the effort of the player is way more critical to the success of the program than the actual program itself.

The one thing I will say for sure though is we have to make sure all the gains we are making can be applied to the football field.  We have to make functional improvements.  One thing I always keep in mind is a piece of information I learned at a clinic 10 years ago.  THE AVERAGE FOOTBALL PLAYER CHANGES DIRECTION 3-5 TIMES ON ANY GIVEN PLAY.  Now, obviously that will change based on the nature of the position and the nature of the play but you can be sure your players are going to constantly be changing directions.  I have been a client of SPEED TRACS for 3 years now, and we incorporate their speed and agility equipment and ideas into our off season program.  Loren Seagrave is a consultant and advisor for Speed Tracs and he gained his national fame for the dynasty he built with the LSU LADY TIGERS track program. He has also worked with several NFL teams and is the Director of Speed and Movement at the IMG Performance Institute.  He believes that the strength and power developed in the weight room is useless unless it can be transferred onto the field of play. Through the speed trac system it is his goal to integrate plyometric regimens with resisted running drills and technical running drills that capture the power developed in the weight room and apply it to not only straight ahead speed but also multi-planar movements used in the game itself.

What Speed Tracs has done, is given the Head Football Coach at the Pop Warner, Junior High, and High School ranks the ability to train multiple athletes at the same time while also providing software that has a curriculum for your programs and the ability to track and monitor the progress of your athletes in your program.  One of the challenges I am faced with all the time is having 45-65 athletes and 2 or 3 coaches to train them.  We also have to figure out during different times of the year the availability of fields and gym or weight room space.  Speed Tracs has created some interesting solutions to those problems with portable stations that can be moved very easily.

I have video taped some of my defensive backs doing standard footwork and transition drills, and then also some of the speed trac drills we use with them to assist with the functional movements of a defensive back.  If you are interested in changing some of your agility drills, or adding to your agility drills I suggest you give speed tracs a look.  The end goal will always be the same, we want to PLAY FASTER so lets TRAIN FASTER.  As coaches we can accomplish these goals by coaching and training smarter.


No comments:

Post a Comment