Fast Break Offense Conditioning
The latest innovation in the evolution of sports like football, basketball and soccer is the fast-break offense. Some people call it the "hurry-up-offense." It's the "no huddle offense" in football and the "two-minute drill offense" in basketball.
Training for a fast-break offense typically employs some sort of interval training, with its change in tempo and pace; circuit training, with a variety of stations; and cross training a variety of skills in one workout. (Just like Drew Brees' Off-Season Training Plan.)
Fast-Break Offense Benefits
- Offense controls the tempo of the game
- Fatigues opponents
- Minimizes substitution of fresh defensive players
- Harder to defend since defenses can make fewer adjustments
- Increases offensive plays and improves scoring possibilities
- Practice periods now become a part of the conditioning program
Key Points to Consider
- Fast-break offense is not a good training strategy to use when learning or acquiring new skills. Sports skills should be mastered well before increasing tempo and variety in a conditioning program.
- A thorough warm-up period should be included prior to the training program, including an aerobic phase for the circulatory system and a dynamic mobility phase for the musculoskeletal system.
- A thorough cool down period should be included at the end of the training program to allow heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal levels and prevent a cardiac event (Abbott 2013, ACSM 2010). Similar to the warm-up, the cool down period should include an aerobic phase and then a static stretching routine or dynamic mobility routine.
- Adequate hydration breaks should be included as a part of the training routine.
- The coaching, conditioning and athletic training staff should constantly monitor the athletes to prevent any type of heat illness or overtraining. When an athlete's form breaks down during conditioning, he or she should be taken out of the training program and allowed to cool off gradually. An athlete who is tired and using poor form with a particular skill is more susceptible to injury.
- Adequate rest and recovery days after conditioning sessions to prevent overuse and overtraining injuries.
- A quality post-exercise snack, including carbohydrates and protein for optimal recovery.
Sample Football Fast-Break Offense Conditioning Program
- Dynamic mobility warm-up
- Circuit of Tempo Drills
- Run and block or mimic tackle
- Run and catch or defend
- Run and jump (including plyometrics)
- Run and lift (including isometric, bodyweight exercise, or weights)
- Cool down
• Abbott AA. "Cardiac arrest litigations." ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal. 2013;17(1):31-34.
• American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010.