Training athletes to become proficient at specific drills by mimicking the patterns they do over and over in competition is part of a well conceived agility program. There are also particular agility tests that athletes must practice, as coaches and teams use these tests to evaluate their abilities and talent. Endless possibilities of movements and body positions are part of competition. Constructing an agility program with this in mind will enhance an athletes abilities.
As important as the development of movement patterns in a program is the effort given by the athlete in each drill. Agility is not a jog or middle distance. Agility is a stop and go, twist and turn, bend and hop, shuffle and leap, backpedal and drop all out sprint. There is one speed when doing each agility drill ........FULL.
The 5 Yard Agility Program is easy to set up. It was created to be done by one person, in groups, or together as a team.
Place six cones or objects (t-shirts) 5 yards apart, in the manner illustrated below. The distance between the row of cones 1, 2 & 3 and cones 4, 5 & 6 is also 5 yards.
Run the following drills either by sprinting, backward running, shuffling or carioca. Some drills also may include hopping over the object or quick stepping. The drills shown are by no means all the possible combinations you may do or the order they should be done in. Drills can be started in a position stance, on the ground facing a cone, laying on ones back, on a knee or any conceivable position. Running can start from right to left or left to right or done in any other manner. Be innovative and configure your own drills, adding or subtract cones as needed. Each drill must be run at full speed and finished leaning forward to win.
Example 5 Yard Agility Program:
Drill # 1 8
Sprint a figure 8 twice. Start at cone #5 sprint around cone#2. Do the drill twice.
Drill #2 Low L
Sprint a Low L. Start at cone #5. Sprint around cone #6 and back to cone #5. Turn and sprint around cone #2 and back to cone #5.
Drill #3 Hop Shuffle
Hop over the cone bringing your knees to your chest. Lateral shuffle quickly between cones. Hop again. Continue for 30 seconds. Count reps.
Drill #4 Hop Sprint
Hop over the cone bringing your knees to your chest. Sprint between cones. Hop again. Continue for 30 seconds. Beat the reps in drill #3.
Drill #5 V
Sprint to cone #3. Carioca to cone #1. Backward run to cone#5.
Drill #6 V Hop
Sprint to cone #3. Hop over it with knees to chest. Carioca to cone #2. Hop over it knees to chest. Sprint to cone #1 and hop over it. Backward run to cone#5.
Drill #7 Carioca V
Carioca to cone #1. Carioca to cone #3. Carioca to cone#5.
Drill #8 Backward V
Backward run to cone #1. Backward run to Cone #3. Backward run to cone#5
Drill #9 Shuffle V
Shuffle to cone #3. Shuffle to Cone #1. Shuffle to cone#5
Drill #10 4 Corner Spin
From cone #5 sprint to cone #6. Spin and sprint to cone #3. Spin and sprint to cone #2. Spin and sprint to cone #5.
Drill #11 Triangle
Sprint to Cone #4. Sprint to cone #1. Sprint to cone #5.
Drill #12 Sprint Hop
Hop over cone #5 knees to chest. Sprint to cone # 4 hop knees to chest. Sprint to cone #1 and hop. Sprint to cone # 2 and hop with knees to chest. Sprint to #6 hop and finish at Cone#5.
Drill #13 Star
Add one cone. Start in the center at #7 touch cone #5 and return and touch cone #7. Touch cone #4 return and touch cone #7. Touch cone #1 and return and touch cone #7. Touch cone #2 and finish at cone #7. Perform the drill twice.
Drill #14 N
Sprint from cone #5 to cone #2. Sprint from cone #6 to cone #3 and finish.
Drill #15 Skier
Hop, back and forth, over cone #5 for 1 minute. Count repetitions.
Drill #16. Shuffle Step Over
Step over, back and over cone #5 and shuffle to cone#6. Step over, back and over cone #6 and shuffle to cone #3. Step over, back and over cone #3 and shuffle to cone#2. Step over, back and over cone #2 and shuffle to cone#1. Step over, back and over cone #1 and shuffle to cone #4. Step over, back and over cone #4 and shuffle to cone #5.
Rest intervals are to be set by the coach or athlete based on fitness.
Get Strong on the Pendulum Leg Extension
Sprinting across a football field and touching the opposite sideline with your foot and sprinting back is called a half-gasser, making the same trip twice is a full-gasser.
• The normal rest interval is 45 seconds between each half-gasser
• Start in position-specific stance behind football field sideline
• Sprint across field to the opposite sideline and touch with the foot
• Immediately sprint back through the starting line
• Complete each rep in a position-specific time
Once in shape take advantage of the stadium steps to challenge your fitness level.
Run a half-gasser under the prescribed time given below .....then run your stadium steps as fast as possible to the top....you have two minutes -or- two and one half minutes (depending on the size of your stadium) to sprint and walk back down and run the next gasser under the allotted time. Your goal is five stadium-gassers …once you can achieve 5 gassers after sprinting the stadium steps within the sprint/walk/rest interval either keep reducing the rest interval by 5-10 seconds each new workout or add additional stadium-gassers.
Groups DB, WR, RB
Half-gassers - plus stadium steps
Half-gasser time - 16 Seconds
Sprint/Walk/Rest Interval- 2 minutes or 2 1/2 minutes
Groups LB, TE, DE, QB, P, K
Half-gassers - plus stadium steps
Half-gasser time - 18 Seconds
Sprint/Walk/Rest Interval - 2 minutes or 2 1/2 minutes
Groups OL, DT
Half-gassers - plus stadium steps
Half-gasser time - 20 Seconds
Sprint/Walk/Rest Interval - 2 minutes or 2 1/2 minutes
Half-gassers coupled with sprinting the stadium is not for everyone as it is extremely challenging and requires first being able to complete at least 10 half-gassers in the prescribed times before attempting to add the stair sprint. Stadium-gassers is a great way to Get Strong.
The University of South Carolina Power Squat Pro and Pit Shark
There is not a football coach that doesn't stress the importance of hips. Terms such has 'roll your hips', 'turn your hips', 'good hips' grace the language of athletic staffs. When Tyler Hobson built the Pendulum Hip Press it became the first and only leg press designed specifically to target an area that was difficult to strengthen with a barbell squat.
Boston College Hip Presses
Get The Hips Strong
Learning, practicing, and repetition are key to skill development as well as the development of strength. Executing a repetition better than you did before is important in progressive overload. If you are using manual resistance in your program, make sure each athlete learns the rules, practices the rules and performs each repetition optimally.
Manual Resistance Rules
1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.
2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing. In other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.
2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).
3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.
3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.
4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.
4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.
5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.
5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.
6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.
After you run your athletes always take a moment.
Mike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time. He explains, training after the run.
I always talked to the team after we ran. For me it was as important as the run. I brought them together as a group. We came together as a team. It was a great time to communicate. You have their attention as the heavy breathing begins to subside during recovery. Ending the run with something verbally significant develops the mind and spirit. After all it is college and they are student athletes.
On one occasion I introduced the players to 'Thomas Gray' - an English poet of the late 1700's. Gray was a professor at Cambridge University, he was raised by his mom who ran a milliner shop in London. What is interesting is that his collected works are less than a 1,000 total lines, yet they contain phrases which have entered the common lexicon.
* "Far from the madding crowd"
* "The paths of glory"
* "Celestial fire"
* "Kindard spirit"
Writing so little and achieving so much is a lesson in itself. A lesson related to the game of football, sport and life. I explained to the players that even if you play a little your contributions can become "the lexicon of lore". You may cause a fumble, you may recover a ball, you may make the game saving tackle, block, kick or turn the game in a mengerie of ways that is never forgotton historically. Or maybe your beneficence has nothing to do with playing, but is related to changing the effort of those around you during conditioning. Our contributions are measured by not 'how much we do,' but of 'what we do.'
Thomas Gray wrote "Full many a flower is born to blush unseen", many of the greatest men I have coached have been unseen by the public eye yet have changed our program through their participation in unexpected and unwritten ways.
Far from the 'maddening crowd' we achieve 'the path of glory' with a 'celestial fire' and 'kindard spirit' when Getting Strong.
Belted Chin-ups on the Pendulum Power Rack
The Big House has a Big Strength and Conditioning Clinic in the Glick Field House and the Schembechler Hall weight room. The clinic was run by Aaron Wellman and his strength staff.
Mark Naylor, former Ball State University Director of Strength and Conditioning and now Assistant Strength Coach at the University of Michigan, takes an athlete through a rigorous workout.
Neck extensions on the Pendulum 5 Way Neck
Dips on the Pendulum Power Rack
Pit Shark Belt Squats on the Pendulum Rack
Rope Pulls on the Pendulum Rack
The Pendulum Power Squat Pro
The greatest athletes are less than great if they do not perform optimally. You can have a difficult running program, but it is not necessarily a 'Championship Running Program.'
Mike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time. He explains, Championship Running requires rules.
As a young coach I often got lost in the drills. I thought the drill that you did was in some way responsible for the results. If I wasn't getting the desired conditioning my initial attitude was to require the athlete to do more. In actuality more is not necessary, running a drill better is. Drills have importance, how you do each and every movement is what running is about. The bottom line is that I was a Coach and my job was to teach the athletes to get the most out of 'themselves'.
'Themselves' is an important word as it also refers to the group, 'the team.' If each athlete gets the most out of 'themselves' then the entire team improves optimally.
The following are rules for a Championship Running Program. Athletes need to know what is required and if the program is run properly the upperclassmen will insure every drill is carried out. Each drill and each athletes' performance is what brings the group closer to a Championship.
The rules are simple, they are in no particular order with the exception of the first two.
1). Never miss a workout or fail to follow a rule.
2). The seniors are responsible that everything is always adhered to.
3). When starting a drill a hand or foot is never over the line.
4). When running a drill that requires you to run through a line, run through the line. You must also lean through the line to insure that you are getting across as quickly as possible.
5). Never slow down near the end of a drill. If you have doubt where you finish keep running someone will stop you.
6). You must run every step of a distance on any drill. The last cone, bag or rope is as important as the first or it wouldn't be there.
7). Never cut a corner or any object placed to go around. There are no short cuts to success.
8). Always run on the field. Once you are on the field run to each drill.
9). When there is a break, run to water and once you have completed drinking, run back to your drill.
10). During rest you are allowed to stand up.
11). Never complain about your workouts to anyone at any time. The workouts are necessary for competing for a Championship. A good attitude is required. Let your opponent complain.
12). Always stay low in drills that necessitate it.
13). Try to win each drill. An athlete should always try to win. If a person is faster, you can beat him somewhere, somehow. Win.
14). Never be late.
15). Never be reminded of a rule.
In the above photo the third athlete has two fingers over the line. This is unacceptable and a teammate should correct it.
The following is a program to prepare for a bench press repetition test. Begin the program six weeks prior to testing. On testing week, that is, the sixth week have the athletes do Day #1 only. The athletes rest until being tested on Day #3.
Pendulum Power Racks
After warming up the lifters goal is 3 sets of 5 repetitions. When this is accomplished the weight is raised 10 pounds.
The Rule: Day one is a 3x5 routine, but the athlete must also achieve 15 reps in the workout.
If the lifter does not get 3 sets of 5, the repetitions missed must be made up. Example: the athlete achieves 5 reps, 5 reps and 3 reps in a workout this means they are 2 reps down. The athlete in this example achieved a total of 13 reps out of the needed 15. The lifter must stay at the bench press until 2 more repetitions are accomplished.
The starting weight for the second day of training is a weight that the athlete has previously achieved 12-15 reps with great effort. Using this weight the routine begins by doing 5 reps. Once this set is completed the weight is increased 10 pounds and the lifter again does 5 repetitions. Continue the program of 5 reps and adding 10 pounds until 5 reps no longer can be achieved. Unable to accomplish the rep count of 5 the athlete decreases the weight 10 pounds and once again has a goal of 5 reps each set until the weight drops back to the starting weight. At the starting weight the lifter does as many reps as possible.
For the next five weeks the starting weight never changes.
After warming up the athlete uses the weight he or she will be using on the repetition bench press test. Four sets of as many reps as possible are to be accomplished.
A Great Way to Get Strong
Pendulum Vertical Chest Press
All-Pro Jake Long
In the United States we walk less than any of the Industrialized Nations. Fitness experts recommend that we should cover 10,000 steps per day, which is close to 5 miles. Through epidemiological studies it has been concluded the average American manages about 5,100 steps.
Walking as little as six miles a week is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, improved academic performance, a reduction in depression, lower blood pressure and even raising one’s self-esteem.
From 1991–2001 time frame, the percentage of students who attend PE classes daily has decreased from 41.6% to 32.2% - certainly not a positive.
Many off-season athletes not involved in organized activities often workout and then take a day off for recovery.
Doug Scott, Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Pingry School in Martinsville, New Jersey wants his students to keep an active daily life style. "When it comes to developing and maintaining a high level of fitness, there are no 'off days'. Every action you take is either leading to a “stronger you” or it’s not. This is why it’s important to perform physical work every day. Here is a workout to do on the days when you don’t have a weight room workout planned or sporting event scheduled."
50 bodyweight squats
50 bodyweight push‐ups
50 sit‐ups or leg raises
1-mile run or 1-mile jog or 1 mile-walk
Clip the Pit Shark on the Rogers Pendulum Rack and do weighted chin-ups, weighted dips and belt squats.
Photo Courtesy of Hard Pressed Chicago
Weighted chins on the Pendulum Power Rack is a great way to Get Strong.