Developing a Complete Football Player (Part 1)
By: Jason Fyda, BS, CSCS
As anyone who has ever watched an NFL or college football game can attest, football is a very dynamic sport. Not including the differences between each position, the term dynamic may also be used to describe what type of athlete a football player is or must develop into. For example, it is not enough for a running back to just be fast, he must also be quick, have great balance, ability to catch, and even block. Football athletes generally train for speed like a track athlete, strength like a wrestler, power like an olympic lifter or track and field thrower, mass (size) like a body builder, quickness like a soccer player, and the agility of a tennis player.
All football players need to balance these 6 different training variables to prepare to be the best at their respective position. It is important to remember that these variables work with one another. For example, developing lower body power will increase running velocity, but it will also increase vertical jump, and agility. All football players lift weights, they lift weights to get larger, stronger, and more powerful. All three of these traits will transfer into increased abilities in other skills as well as on the field. The athletes are typically prescribed a weight training program described as progressive overload, this type of programming ensures that the athlete is constantly challenged while avoiding over-training. This constant challenge in the weight room will illicit the desired adaptations. A football players’ off-season commitment to the weight room is typically 4-6 hours per week. How many hours do you plan on training in the weight room this off season?
Football players (even linemen) need to develop their speed, agility, and quickness to the highest levels possible. General speed training involves teaching/re-wiring of basic sprint mechanics, promoting a low center of gravity for rapid change of direction, and improving reaction time. The speed and agility development will improve at a much quicker rate when paired with a challenging and appropriate strength training program. Because of the high-velocity/high impact nature of sprinting/changing directions, training is limited to 2-3 hours per week. Are you just running in the off-season? Or are you learning how to run more efficiently?
Focusing on one or even a couple of these characteristics will create an imbalanced athlete. Football players need to maximize their abilities in all of these categories to play at a high level.
What level are you at in each of these 6 categories?
1) Speed 2) Strength 3) Power 4) Mass (size) 5) Quickness 6) Agility
Contact me now as the season is winding down to get a jump start on your off-season program.
Jason Fyda, BS, NSCA-CSCS JasonF@championsquest.com