The Plyos Behind Michael Vick’s High-Powered Performance

November 17, 2010

Remember when Michael Vick relied on his feet to make plays? Well, he’s adjusted his game, and if you watched the Philadelphia Eagles roll over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, you saw that Vick is more than capable in the pocket. The Eagles quarterback was 20 of 28 for 333 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions during the Nov. 15 game.

MNF analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden started calling him “Michael Flick” because of the way Vick was zinging balls with a flick of his wrist (corny, we know).

Not to say that the playmaking QB has lost a step in the speed department, although many predicted that he would after not starting for three years. In 2009, Tom Shaw, Vick's long time performance coach, said, “This kid could shock the world when he [makes his comeback debut].” Shaw trained the high-powered QB before he joined the Eagles.

In the MNF booth, Gruden raved about Vick’s pocket awareness, keeping his eyes downfield and working through his progressions. And when the pocket collapsed, Vick displayed his quick burst, lateral speed and innate cutting ability, picking up 80 yards on eight carries and scoring another two touchdowns.

For Shaw, the principles of speed training have remained the same since he prepared Vick for the NFL Combine back in 2001. It’s all about producing explosive power, whether to lower your 40-Yard Dash time or produce the kind of quick bursts and lateral speed that helped Vick evade the rush and escape the pocket.

Plyometric exercises are prime for developing explosive power. The following plyos not only up your power, they also help correct lower-body strength deficiencies, such as one leg being stronger than the other.

Alternating-Leg Bounds

  • In athletic stance, explosively jump from one leg to the other in running fashion
  • Extend jumping leg behind body and drive front leg into high-knee position
  • Repeat for specified distance

Sets/Distance: 2-3  x 10-20 yards
Coaching Points: Quickly explode off ground // Cover as much ground as possible

Skips For Height

  • From athletic stance, forcefully extend leg and drive knee to skip as high as possible
  • Land and alternate legs; repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2-3 x 10-20
Coaching Points: Work for height // Explode off ground into skip as quickly as possible

Skips For Distance

  • From athletic stance, forcefully extend leg and drive knee to skip as long as possible
  • Land and alternate legs; repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2-3 x 10-20
Coaching Points: Work for distance, covering as much ground as possible for each skip // Explode off ground into skip as quickly as possible

If you’re an athlete training to shave time off your 40, definitely check the vid above for tips from Shaw.

Photo:  newshopper.sulekha.com

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
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