Football coaches have plenty to focus on in practice, and proper conditioning can get lost in the shuffle
Training Time: Tim Rudd
Football season is right around the corner and that means summer football camp is going strong. So here are three of the most common conditioning mistakes coaches make.
Mistake #1: Not conditioning the correct energy systems
Football is an alactic-aerobic capacity sport by definition, meaning that each play is brief and intense by nature, lasting anywhere from three to eight seconds on average. This requires the use of the alactic (also known as ATP-CP) system that is responsible for power and speed, often expressed by the most dominant athletes.
The recovery or rest time between each play usually lasts 20 to 40 seconds; this brief rest period is where the aerobic system becomes vital.
In order to restore ATP-CP stores in that short amount of time, the aerobic system must be optimally developed to help clear biochemical wastes. The more developed the system is, the faster and better the athlete can recover in maintaining a high level of performance.
Mistake #2: Conditioning each position the same way
Conditioning every position exactly the same way is another mistake many coaches make. If you watch a game of football you should be able recognize that every position demands an individual, specific and different combination of skills, abilities and qualities.
Knowing this, you would also realize that each position should require a specific conditioning program in order to optimally prepare for the demands placed upon them.
The best way to prepare each position is to implement drills that are similar in time, distance, pattern and rest to the actual demand of each player’s position during a game.
Mistake #3: Thinking that more conditioning is always beneficial
First ask yourself “Why do football players condition?” The answer is simple: to prepare for the demands of the game. This makes a lot of sense, right?
Unfortunately, coaches usually make the mistake of conditioning their players just for the sake of conditioning. What does this mean? Usually coaches are disappointed with their teams’ performance in practice and conclude their players are out of shape. The most common solution is to condition more.
The fact is that a lack of performance during a practice is usually a result of fatigue and the result of extra conditioning is more fatigue, not a better-conditioned athlete.
Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.
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