By now, you’ve received your football conditioning manual, and, more than likely, you’re looking at classics like the Gasser, 300-Yard Shuttle, 110-Yard Sprint, and Repeat 40. These drills make up the meat and potatoes of nearly every football summer conditioning program, but they may not be the best options for getting into “game shape.”
The closer you can match your training with the intensity, duration and recovery of a football game, the better you’ll perform late in games when your opponents are running out of gas. Meet with your position coach to establish a list of routes for your position. Run these routes as agility drills one day a week. Then, on non-consecutive days, perform sprints with changes of direction, resisted sprints, jumps into sprints and reaction drills. Feel free to get creative with your drills, but remember, the closer these drills mirror your position, the more effective they will be.
Use this six-week game template as a starting point to time your drills:
Six weeks before camp
Two quarters of 20 minutes, 17 and 18 reps per quarter and 2:30 minutes between quarters (35 plays with 40 seconds rest between plays/drills)
Five weeks before camp
Two quarters of 20 minutes, 20 reps per quarter and 2:30 minutes between quarters (40 plays with 38 seconds rest between plays/drills)
Four weeks before camp
Three quarters of 15 minutes, 15 reps per quarter and 2:15 minutes between quarters (45 plays with 36 seconds rest between plays/drills)
Three weeks before camp
Three quarters of 20 minutes, 17, 17 and 16 reps per quarter, and 2:15 between quarters (50 plays with 34 seconds rest between plays)
Two weeks before camp
Four quarters of 15 minutes, 15, 15 and 10 reps per quarter, and two minutes between quarters (55 plays with 32 seconds rest between plays)
One week before camp
Four quarters of 15 minutes, 15 reps per quarter and two minutes between quarters (60 plays with 30 seconds rest between plays)
If you can’t meet with your coach, try some of the suggested routes below. Remember to work on improving your footwork on both offense and defense, and practice each pattern on both sides of the formation. For best results, combine your conditioning on the field with a strength-training program in the gym.
Check out Coach Taylor’s SMARTER Team Training podcast below.