As a strength and conditioning coach you must develop a strategy for an athlete first then determine tactics based on the sport and the player’s current fitness level. The fitness requirements of the sport need to be evaluated first, then the requirements of the position, as well as developing an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete. An effective training program can only be developed after this type of evaluation takes place.
Let’s look at American Football.
The game consists of 2 halves lasting about 24-30 minutes dependent on the level of play. (College, NFL. High school). Halves are separated by 15 minutes of halftime where no play takes place.
Each quarter lasts about 15 minutes and there is 1-2 minutes between the quarters.
There is typically 45 seconds between plays and each play last on average 3-6 seconds. There are a number of other clock stopping events such as penalties, time outs, moving chains, first downs etc.
Evaluating the work/rest ratio shows that there are multiple bouts of high intensity work for very short durations with brief recovery in between most plays and then some intermittent longer duration rest.
The high intensity efforts vary from position to position. Some players are not even in the play and some are in a high majority of the plays with a 100% effort. There is a high requirement for anaerobic capacity and the ability to recover quickly from these high intensity efforts. As a result of the short recovery time between efforts the athlete is often times in oxygen debt. Recovery from these types of efforts is improved (speed of recovery) with a stronger aerobic capacity. In addition some of the positions are more of a battle with an opposing player. These positions have a high strength and power component.
Training for American Football would require training that would focus on high intensity efforts with short rest. All positions require a minimum amount of strength and power. However some positions may rely more on speed, acceleration, lateral movement and change of direction. Other positions may require movement in a very short distance, with great amounts of strength and power production.
So if you are trying to improve your ability to play football, or any other sport, you must evaluate the sport, the position, and the player in order to develop an effective training program. Break down the movements and energy systems necessary to support the highest levels of output and then train accordingly. The strategy becomes very clear after performing this type of evaluation.
At Sirens and Titans Fitness we go through this process with every player or client, every sport, and every position. Also remember that training is dynamic and must reflect increases or decreases in fitness and level of play.
All roads will eventually lead to some type of power need to be produced in a movement. Power is different than strength. Strength is the force component of power, it must then be married to velocity. Bio-mechanics, balance, rate of force development plus a number of other metabolic needs go into producing the power. Once we establish the need then we have to evaluate the level of sustainability. Most programs often just focus on the need of absolute power and neglect the need to sustain the highest percentage of this power the longest. That is what wins a game! Are you accurately evaluating your strategy and tactics?
Truth in Fitness,
Jacques DeVore, CSCS, Primal Health Coach