Yesterday I heard a conversation between two coaches that went something like this: “Have you looked at the record board lately? Other coach says no. First coach says they are getting so strong I can’t believe it! He goes onto say to say how much better they will be because they are so much stronger.” I had to bite my tongue and not say anything. This group has to be one of the most unathletic groups I have seen anywhere. They are unfit and sloppy looking. I wanted to ask if they could move. I will bet that although these players are putting up some pretty good numbers in the weight room that they would struggle to handle their own bodyweight in pushups, pull-ups, lunges, crawling, in short any movements that forced them to control their bodies through three planes of movement. I am not opposed to weight training, a football player who does not weight train will not survive on the field because they need to add mass for protection and they must move their opponents. I do however think that most football strength coaches do not get it! If the strength developed in the weight room cannot be applied on the field then than it is not useful strength. This may seem contradictory but it is not. It is really about proper program planning. It still goes back to one of the fundamental Functional Path Principles – Body weight before external resistance. In other words prepare for the heavy lifting. Make sure the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints are prepared and than a strong muscular corset around the core is developed. This takes time, but when they finally do lift heavy, they will be able to lift more weight safely and apply that strength to the field. Movement ability must be developed in parallel to the strength development, it is not an either or proposition. The weight room is only one part of a much bigger picture.