Training Football Players for Indoor Sprinting

Posted In: What Would You Do?

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #12505

        Another timely "what would you do?"

        Athletes: Football players. All decent 100-200 sprinters in high school. None of them have run track for 2 or more years.

        Scenario: The football players just finished their season and the coaching staff is allowing them to run indoor track however they won't be allowed to run outdoor track because of Spring Football. You have 1 month to the first meet during which these athletes will be on Christmas break for 3 weeks. You have 3 months until your indoor conference championship. They could potentially be scorers or medalists if trained appropriately.

        Things to consider:
        *What would you focus on (speed, strength, flexibility, etc)?
        *Do you just throw them in with your sprinters who've been training since fall or do you start them on a different routine?
        *What events would you run them in…do you dare try to train them for the long sprints?
        *What modifications to the training program do you make?
        *Does having them only for the indoor season have any implications for your training plan?

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        pzale8018 on #60554

        If the footballers just finished their season, at least one week of active recovery is probably necessary before starting hardcore track training.  Since the athlete you are getting is most likely a skill position player (RB,WR,DB) then they probably have a good amount of speed endurance, at least SSE, already based on the work done during football.  Assuming you can get them to workout regularly during xmas break, I would probably spend those first 2 weeks after recovery working on acceleration, and the next 2 weeks on max V (it can safely be assumed that a skill player is pretty fast already, so large amounts of max V is probably not necessary).  Once the semester starts back up, focus on speed endurance for 2 weeks before spending the remaining 5 weeks on event specific run and race modeling.  Early in the competition season, I would stick to the 60 with most of them, moving out to 200m about 4 weeks out from conference.  I would be wary about trying to get any of them prepared for anything longer than 200, and i would be careful with even that.  Only having the athlete for 3 months of an indoor season really limits the events he would be able to do, so sticking to the 60 and 200 seems the only viable option, unless you have just a stud athlete who can walk out and run 47 from day one.  I know we all wish we had a guy like that, but lets be realistic. 

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        utfootball4 on #60555

        why soo much speed end work for a fb guy, someone who may not be able to do lots of speed end work??  most fb players have pretty good acc ability so i would continue to work on acc and top speed, and refine overall running mech.

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        Dave Hegland on #60556

        Above all else, I'd be extremely conservative and work around the strength and conditioning staff's lifting.  It's been my experience that the S&C folks will require them to do the FB lifting routine and maybe even some morning workouts, even if they're fine with the guys doing track.  Just don't get the star RB hurt!  I think you'd have to be very flexible.  E.g. you had a speed day planned but the S&C coach had them do 6 x 15 on heavy squats and run 8 all out 200s in the morning.  In that case – see you tomorrow!

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        utfootball4 on #60557

        Above all else, I'd be extremely conservative and work around the strength and conditioning staff's lifting.  It's been my experience that the S&C folks will require them to do the FB lifting routine and maybe even some morning workouts, even if they're fine with the guys doing track.  Just don't get the star RB hurt!  I think you'd have to be very flexible.  E.g. you had a speed day planned but the S&C coach had them do 6 x 15 on heavy squats and run 8 all out 200s in the morning.  In that case – see you tomorrow!

        in most cases u r right,now if he runs for a top track school he will only do track for example lsu, and tenn i know for sure just let there fb guys do track, univ of Miami u have to do both.

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        gin2312002 on #60558

        [quote author="duck" date="1165554716"]
        Above all else, I'd be extremely conservative and work around the strength and conditioning staff's lifting.  It's been my experience that the S&C folks will require them to do the FB lifting routine and maybe even some morning workouts, even if they're fine with the guys doing track.  Just don't get the star RB hurt!  I think you'd have to be very flexible.  E.g. you had a speed day planned but the S&C coach had them do 6 x 15 on heavy squats and run 8 all out 200s in the morning.  In that case – see you tomorrow!

        in most cases u r right,now if he runs for a top track school he will only do track for example lsu, and tenn i know for sure just let there fb guys do track, univ of Miami u have to do both.
        [/quote]

        thas rite at da U of M they do both…a good mix of top-speed workout and ladders

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60559

        This scenario is actually one I've got right now. I've got 4 FBers coming out. I've never seen them run and have no idea whether they are fast or not…our FB team isn't really a speed team though and they were never recruited for track.

        I've given them workouts focusing on acceleration development and very short end maxV. Kind of a crash course of sorts. Unless one of them shows extraordinary potential I don't intend to run them seriously in anything longer than a 60m. This is both due to the short preparation time period and the current depth we have in the 200m.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        utfootball4 on #60560

        This scenario is actually one I've got right now. I've got 4 FBers coming out. I've never seen them run and have no idea whether they are fast or not…our FB team isn't really a speed team though and they were never recruited for track.

        I've given them workouts focusing on acceleration development and very short end maxV. Kind of a crash course of sorts. Unless one of them shows extraordinary potential I don't intend to run them seriously in anything longer than a 60m. This is both due to the short preparation time period and the current depth we have in the 200m.

        that would be a smart idea, i know when the U had many fb players running track thats what they did 55-60 and some jumpers like santana moss. i would keep them in the acc to top speed zone and really focus on running mech bc most fb players dont know how to run.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60561

        Yeah. Most fb guys tend to run really squatty with low knee recovery and excessive backside mechanics.

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        utfootball4 on #60562

        Yeah. Most fb guys tend to run really squatty with low knee recovery and excessive backside mechanics.

        lol, ur right. so how are you gonna fix that. i know when coach eric campbell was at Miami he said it was a long process.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60563

        I'll just take what I can get. It would be foolish to make major changes. Playing around too much could yield initial performance dropoffs and we don't really have enough time for that. Many times several problems are all symptoms of a single bigger issue. Hopefully this is the case as these scenarios are much easier to clean up and yield results much sooner.

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        utfootball4 on #60564

        I'll just take what I can get. It would be foolish to make major changes. Playing around too much could yield initial performance dropoffs and we don't really have enough time for that. Many times several problems are all symptoms of a single bigger issue. Hopefully this is the case as these scenarios are much easier to clean up and yield results much sooner.

        well i hope u can make those guys faster bc it really would help the fb team, im surprise that bobby ross are letting them run track.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60565

        Apparently he's been very hesitant to do it in the past and this may be the first year since he's been here that any have been allowed to sprint.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60566

        I wanted to update this thread…as I actually ran in to this scenario. I had 3 football guys come out for indoor track. They did all football weight training and skill work and then came to me. They ended up running 6.96, 6.97 and 7.02 for the 60m; and mid 22s for the 200m. The average improvement was 0.15 for 60m and 0.45 for 200m over the course of the season. In comparison, my regulars improved slightly more for the 60m and by about 150% more for the 200m.

        While they improved over the course of the year there performances were much more erratic and far less predictable than my non-footballers. This was largely due to the often mis-matched weight training and sprint work. Most of the time I ended up cutting their workouts really short with sprint volumes of less than 240m on average. Typically we only sprinted 2x / week (3 if you include the meets). My regulars would do another day (albeit of relatively low volume). I monitored their physical readiness on a daily basis and made changes as necessary. This was done much more so than even with my regulars. We never ended up doing more…always less than prescribed for my regulars. This was largely due to them already coming to me tired, banged-up, or tight. I attribute most of their improvements to improved hip and pelvic mobility and improved mechanics. There overall training program was pretty much the same with the subtraction of a sprint day, an overall reduction in sprint volume, and no control over the weight training.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        burkhalter on #60567

        I wanted to update this thread…as I actually ran in to this scenario. I had 3 football guys come out for indoor track. They did all football weight training and skill work and then came to me. They ended up running 6.96, 6.97 and 7.02 for the 60m; and mid 22s for the 200m. The average improvement was 0.15 for 60m and 0.45 for 200m over the course of the season. In comparison, my regulars improved slightly more for the 60m and by about 150% more for the 200m.

        While they improved over the course of the year there performances were much more erratic and far less predictable than my non-footballers. This was largely due to the often mis-matched weight training and sprint work. Most of the time I ended up cutting their workouts really short with sprint volumes of less than 240m on average. Typically we only sprinted 2x / week (3 if you include the meets). My regulars would do another day (albeit of relatively low volume). I monitored their physical readiness on a daily basis and made changes as necessary. This was done much more so than even with my regulars. We never ended up doing more…always less than prescribed for my regulars. This was largely due to them already coming to me tired, banged-up, or tight. I attribute most of their improvements to improved hip and pelvic mobility and improved mechanics. There overall training program was pretty much the same with the subtraction of a sprint day, an overall reduction in sprint volume, and no control over the weight training.

        Mike which day did you drop? I am assuming you had the following hi intensity days.

        1-accel, 3-maxv, 5-accel, 6-speed end.

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        barto on #60568

        Mike,

        You certainly don't need my advice on this subject, but for anyone else reading this thread I'll chime in.

        Speed skill.  Speed skill. Speed skill.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60569

        Mike which day did you drop? I am assuming you had the following hi intensity days.

        1-accel, 3-maxv, 5-accel, 6-speed end.

        It all depended on what condition they came to me in. As I said I didn't have any control over what they were doing in their football strength sessions and as a result they would often come to me already beat up. They did a lot of higher rep stuff that made them very sore which made attempting to do competition phase speed-work impossible or counter-productive.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        utfootball4 on #60570

        [quote author="LR1400" date="1190303116"]
        Mike which day did you drop? I am assuming you had the following hi intensity days.

        1-accel, 3-maxv, 5-accel, 6-speed end.

        It all depended on what condition they came to me in. As I said I didn't have any control over what they were doing in their football strength sessions and as a result they would often come to me already beat up. They did a lot of higher rep stuff that made them very sore which made attempting to do competition phase speed-work impossible or counter-productive.
        [/quote]

        how long were the high reps done for?

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60571

        They were doing them for all of indoor season. I believe the strength coaches philosophy is a little different than mine. Not bad just difficult to integrate.

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        utfootball4 on #60572

        They were doing them for all of indoor season. I believe the strength coaches philosophy is a little different than mine. Not bad just difficult to integrate.

        i could see high reps making them sore in the early weeks but once the body adjust it should help the speed work, i think higher reps are easier on the CNS. i have been during higher reps for the past 6 weeks and haven't experience any soreness since week 2.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60573

        I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your points but I can tell you they were 'beat up' many times by the time I got them. I don't know EXACTLY what they were doing with the football strength coach but I know the effect it had on their bodies by the time I got them. I knew better than to try and do speed work with them. Also, this wasn't a case of them trying to get out of workouts because these guys did anything I asked.

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        utfootball4 on #60574

        I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your points but I can tell you they were 'beat up' many times by the time I got them. I don't know EXACTLY what they were doing with the football strength coach but I know the effect it had on their bodies by the time I got them. I knew better than to try and do speed work with them. Also, this wasn't a case of them trying to get out of workouts because these guys did anything I asked.

        could it have been there military duties or the fb conditioning?

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60575

        It wasn't the military duties because everyone was dealing with this. It was definitely there off-season football workouts.

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        burkhalter on #60576

        It wasn't the military duties because everyone was dealing with this. It was definitely there off-season football workouts.

        Maybe after the see your results on the track you can talk him into letting them out of the off-season workouts.

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        utfootball4 on #60577

        [quote author="Mike Young" date="1191182363"]
        It wasn't the military duties because everyone was dealing with this. It was definitely there off-season football workouts.

        Maybe after the see your results on the track you can talk him into letting them out of the off-season workouts.
        [/quote]

        not gonna happen.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #60578

        Maybe after the see your results on the track you can talk him into letting them out of the off-season workouts.

        As UT said, it wouldn't happen. This year though, they are all seniors and will be done with FB in Dec / Jan so I'll have them full time for the indoor and outdoor seasons.

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        meat on #60579

        Well atleast this year they'll be done with football so it can happen.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #68107

        I’ve got 2 of 3 football guys back out. The third tore his ACL and won’t be back until spring. In their first meet of the year the 2 guys ran 7.22 and 7.10 over 60m. They both had only 1 week of track training prior to the meet. Both are rusty and lacking sprint fitness so hopefully there times should drop considerably in the coming weeks.

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        Beau Brehm on #72540

        I think a major problem with football players in general is that most of them use their quads as their primary mover when they sprint. This is a result of all the “strength & conditioning” work they do where basically all their lower body work targets the quads. So my first priority would be to get them using their glutes as their primary mover as opposed to their quads.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #72543

        How do you identify the overuse of quads relative to hamstrings and what would you do to go about fixing it?

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        Beau Brehm on #72548

        You can tell if they’re running with their quads if they’re “bouncing” up and down as they run. They use their quads to try and actively “push” off the ground as opposed to “pulling” themselves down the track with their posterior chain. Push runners usually have longer ground contact times also. I learned this all from reading Chris Korfist article and, having played high school football last year, I would say he’s just about dead on with most of his stuff. This quad overuse happens with a lot of football players because their coaches completely neglect the posterior chain and have their kids squatting almost exclusively. Personally, I have found ISO HF Squats (bulgarian split-squats, I think) to be the best lower body strength builder. I know Chris himself likes to use ISO Single-legged deadlifts for glute work.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #72555

        You can tell if they’re running with their quads if they’re “bouncing” up and down as they run. They use their quads to try and actively “push” off the ground as opposed to “pulling” themselves down the track with their posterior chain. Push runners usually have longer ground contact times also. I learned this all from reading Chris Korfist article and, having played high school football last year, I would say he’s just about dead on with most of his stuff. This quad overuse happens with a lot of football players because their coaches completely neglect the posterior chain and have their kids squatting almost exclusively. Personally, I have found ISO HF Squats (bulgarian split-squats, I think) to be the best lower body strength builder. I know Chris himself likes to use ISO Single-legged deadlifts for glute work.

        I’m gonna stay away from this one…at least for the time being. 😉

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        utfootball4 on #72556

        [quote author="beau_zo_brehm" date="1221973826"]You can tell if they’re running with their quads if they’re “bouncing” up and down as they run. They use their quads to try and actively “push” off the ground as opposed to “pulling” themselves down the track with their posterior chain. Push runners usually have longer ground contact times also. I learned this all from reading Chris Korfist article and, having played high school football last year, I would say he’s just about dead on with most of his stuff. This quad overuse happens with a lot of football players because their coaches completely neglect the posterior chain and have their kids squatting almost exclusively. Personally, I have found ISO HF Squats (bulgarian split-squats, I think) to be the best lower body strength builder. I know Chris himself likes to use ISO Single-legged deadlifts for glute work.

        I’m gonna stay away from this one…at least for the time being. ;)[/quote]

        Why? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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        Beau Brehm on #72598

        I would also like to know what you think…

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        Daniel Andrews on #72599

        I am not huge Korfist fan. He did do some things at the high school with the largest enrollment in the state of Illinois, but it wasn’t something special and he received way too much credit. I think he’s a bit off on his science and biomechanics analysis.

        By implying Quad overuse one can reason excessive backside mechanics are going to be prevalent and not front side. It’s excessive pushing that causes the symptom of excessive backside mechanics. Excessive pushing results in a longer gct and it hinders the ability to reposition the limbs for maximal velocity mechanics. However with football players, I would tend to think of lower center of gravity, shorter front side recovery, and long gct’s that allow for change of direction and straight line acceleration which are important to football players. Which I believe results in the following quote from Mike earlier in this thread.

        Yeah. Most fb guys tend to run really squatty with low knee recovery and excessive backside mechanics.

        As for helping the footballers, stay away from pushing cues and concentrate on transition cues and use sprint-float-sprint(ins and outs) almost exclusively with them. I am pretty sure Mike and many others on this board would be able to identify muscular imbalances that might present problems and if there are no imbalances then it’s a motor learning problem. Something that is not easy to overcome with athletes at the age of 22. Their problem ends up being a track and field training age of 2 years compared to 6-10 years that is typical of collegiate track athletes.

        Personally I would hate having to do what I just wrote, but going whole-part-whole with the footballers maybe a problem and seeing if they grasp the concept of maintaining velocity works better.

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        johnstrang on #72600

        [quote author="beau_zo_brehm" date="1221973826"]You can tell if they’re running with their quads if they’re “bouncing” up and down as they run. They use their quads to try and actively “push” off the ground as opposed to “pulling” themselves down the track with their posterior chain. Push runners usually have longer ground contact times also. I learned this all from reading Chris Korfist article and, having played high school football last year, I would say he’s just about dead on with most of his stuff. This quad overuse happens with a lot of football players because their coaches completely neglect the posterior chain and have their kids squatting almost exclusively. Personally, I have found ISO HF Squats (bulgarian split-squats, I think) to be the best lower body strength builder. I know Chris himself likes to use ISO Single-legged deadlifts for glute work.

        I’m gonna stay away from this one…at least for the time being. ;)[/quote]

        Ive also seen people that run do the bouncing because their foot to ground contact happens out in front of their hips creating a breaking motion and causing them to almost bounce up and down as they run. Similar concept to the high jump where you plant that foot out in in front and create a vertical movement instead of horizontal.

        As far as football players go my own experience is just that they just need to re learn track form. I agree with that working on the transition and basically all phases of the race.

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        davan on #75079

        https://www.trackshark.com/features/tomborish/310/Indoor+track+&+field+training+update:+LSU+Tigers.html

        “Perhaps the most talented athlete you have on your team coming back this season is Trindon Holliday. How will you handle his transition from the football season to the indoor season? Does he have a different schedule to adopt to considering he’ll be joining the team at a later time in training?

        Trindon’s training will be determined after the football bowl selection has taken place. Generally speaking, I give him the option of taking one week off after the bowl game is completed, no matter when the bowl game takes place. Upon his arrival to training sessions, he does the same training the Group 1 sprinters are doing, but at a reduced volume and intensity level for the first four weeks. He normally experiences a high level of muscle soreness from the weight training and sprint training. I always have to remind myself and Trindon that he just finished a training program with football where the volume of training is extremely low and is joining a program where our intensity and volume is high by our standards in the month of January and February.”

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        utfootball4 on #75080

        Good information, interesting strength program.

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        utfootball4 on #75644

        what do you think about this article Mike, alot of differnt ol’s and speed squats in each training session.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #75658

        what do you think about this article Mike, alot of differnt ol’s and speed squats in each training session.

        Yep. Nothing really new to me though. Coach Shaver does much more ‘power’ development than ‘strength’ development in the weight room. His athletes tend to be beasts on the track but don’t put up huge weight room numbers.

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        utfootball4 on #75660

        [quote author="utfootball4" date="1230007279"]what do you think about this article Mike, alot of differnt ol’s and speed squats in each training session.

        Yep. Nothing really new to me though. Coach Shaver does much more ‘power’ development than ‘strength’ development in the weight room. His athletes tend to be beasts on the track but don’t put up huge weight room numbers.[/quote]

        His strength program look so random (speed squats for 8 reps, 3 diff ol’s etc) compare to DP or Boo. Just curious what are the %’s for those speed squats?

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #75661

        Not sure I really understand the question but as far as I can remember they were 1/2 or 1/4 squats with relatively light weight moving the bar fast and the athlete would move in to a position of hip tuck / posterior pelvic tilt at the top of every squat.

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        utfootball4 on #75662

        Not sure I really understand the question but as far as I can remember they were 1/2 or 1/4 squats with relatively light weight moving the bar fast and the athlete would move in to a position of hip tuck / posterior pelvic tilt at the top of every squat.

        Sorry, Just curious what are the %’s for those speed squats?

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #75663

        To be honest I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying because I never really looked over the training plans too much to know the precise %s…just watched what they were doing mostly. I’d say that 90% of the men were using between 135 and 225 lbs although there did seem to be some cycles where the load would go up a little.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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