Half-Gasser Test with Washington State Football

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"If you quit during a workout, the odds are you'll quit during a play in practice or a game. So, we create situations within our football training program where our players are forced to think about quitting," says Rob Oviatt, head strength and conditioning coach at Washington State University. "The key word here is 'think.' There's no disgrace in thinking about quitting; we've all been in situations where we've thought about it. The difference is that we didn't actually quit. We create a mental proving ground for overcoming the urge to quit so it doesn't ever happen on the field."

The Washington State football team's mental toughness is tested with a voluntary summer conditioning program that starts the first week of June and runs to the beginning of the season. On Mondays, the team runs half gassers to prepare for the 16 Half-Gasser Test, which is performed in the last week of the program. In the first week, Oviatt has his team run 10 half gassers, adding two in each subsequent week. However, a few weeks before test day, Oviatt decreases the number to keep the guys' legs fresh. Although the time allowed to complete each gasser is specific to each player's position, everyone rests for 45 seconds between reps.

"I like the half gassers better than conditioning drills like 110s, because you have to stop, change direction, turn around and get going again," Oviatt says. "Those are all part of football."

Oviatt enforces strict rules when his team performs the test: "You have to run through the line, and you can't jump offsides. We also have a stand tall rule; you're not allowed to bend over and touch your knees, lean on your teammates or show any sign of fatigue. The entire team does five up-downs for each individual infraction, which enforces group accountability, creates pressure and builds mental toughness."

16 Half-Gasser

Test

• Start in position-specific stance behind football field sideline
• Sprint across field to opposite sideline; touch with foot
• Immediately sprint back through starting line
• Perform 16 reps with 45 seconds rest
• Complete each rep in position-specific time

Group
Reps
Time (sec)
Rest (sec)
DB, WR, RB
16
16
45
LB, TE, DE, QB, P, K
16
18
45
OL, DT
16
20
45

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | MENTAL TOUGHNESS | ENDURANCE TRAINING | SPRINT