Tag Archive for: American Football

Developing mobility for tackling and grappling sports

Tackling sports are dynamic and chaotic. Athletes end up bent and folded in seemingly unpredictable ways. Fortunately, the situations occur in recognizable patterns, and these repeating patterns can give us clues on how to best warm-up and prepare. The collisions and grappling requires a wide range of flexibility and mobility. If an athlete can not move into and out of these tight and jumbled postures, they will avoid them, they will not have the necessary awareness to see them, or they will be injured when they are forced into them. A well designed training program can prepare athletes for these collision positions. 

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Progressing to contact in training

No matter how we train, contact sports such as rugby will always have an inherent amount of injury risk. That’s part of the business when people run into each other at speed. As coaches we might not be able to eliminate that risk, but we can minimize it. This article offers a few ideas of how we can help mitigate many needless head, shoulder, and wrist injuries that occur during tackling practice and games by teaching players how to move better.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 270: Prepare for contact (with Andy Ryland)

In sports like rugby and American football there is the contact paradox. Players are bigger and collision forces continue to increase. However the amount contact allowed in training continues to decrease. So how do we prepare for something we cannot train much? Coach Andy Ryland has a few ideas. On this week’s podcast he discusses the skills involved in contact, and how to best physically prepare for them off the field.

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The speed grid and training speed in a large group setting

Coach Kelvin Giles once said “If your coach:athlete ratio is 1:25 then you are managing a crowd, not coaching.” It’s not ideal, but it’s reality for many coaches. As I’ve worked more with field sports I’m often tasked with working with up to 50 athletes at one time. In such a setting, you have to make concessions as you transition from theory to practice. But with the right adjustments it can still look like coaching rather than crowd management.

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Memories of Sam Cunningham

Sam was a great athlete that I was fortunate to coach in my first-year coaching when he won the California State Meet in the shot put. I have fond memories of Sam the athlete. In 1970 in my first decathlon Sam also did his first and only decathlon. After that he turned his attention to football, where he was a legend. Looking back through the prism of time my fondest memories are of Sam the person.

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Finding transfer in training the legs for team sports

In most team sports, the ability to withstand high ground reaction forces with the lower limbs is one of the important keys to top level performance. The legs have to be strong. Thus begins the pursuit of heavier loads to build strong legs through to two-legged, high resistance exercises. Read more

Two books and a movie

Physical Intelligence: The Science of How the Body and the Mind Guide Each Other Though Life by Scott Grafton is one of the best books I have read in quite some time. Very well written in a style that makes a complex subject very understandable without dumbing it down. If you are coach, teacher or therapist this is a must read. I wish I would have had this book years ago, just clarifies mind-body relationships and the things we do every day in coaching to improve athletes’ movements. Read more

GAINcast Episode 183: From data to speed (with Matt Rhea)

American football is a bastion of tradition. In some areas, such as strength and conditioning, that can hold the sport back. Many coaches, however, are working to change the traditions and they start out by asking simple questions all over again like how do we make our players better? On this week’s GAINcast, Matt Rhea explains how the forward-thinking setup he installed at Indiana University helped turn their program around using a practical data-driven approach. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 196: Send in the clowns

There is something wrong with strength and conditioning in American collegiate football. The field is being overrun by clowns, and no one is speaking up about it. A lot of trust has been placed in the strength and conditioning coach, but that has only caused more scandals rather than better athletes. Vern Gambetta joins us on this podcast to talk about the problems facing the field and potential solutions to move the profession forward. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 189: Reflective coaching (with Xavier Roy)

Coaches need to reflect and debrief, but translating the theory into practice can be difficult. Xavier Roy recently completed his PhD on the topic and as part of his research he worked hands on with a Canadian football team to see how coaches reflected on training, and what steps they took to implement changes. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to discuss his research and also share thoughts on training for football and current trends both north and south of the border. Read more