Collegiate Strength and Conditioning


I don’t know them well enough to comment one way or another - but my point was that drills have a specific purpose and any coach no matter the level can interpret and use them the wrong way.[/QUOTE]

Absolutely! Trust me I get athletes all the time who once they start doin there drills its almost like I have to reprogram them not to do them wrong or at full speed all the time.

I kept waiting for the crossfit > all joke ;).

James Smith, this is off topic, and hope you don’t mind…just curious if you are recieving email from the address used on this site, as, I emailed a few times during the past week.


Rick I haven’t received anything from you. You may contact me through the university email or the email on my site, however.

Happened to go back through this thread and realized that I missed your comment here. Very well stated.

I’ve always maintained that the drills, and training in general, are a means to an end.

Thus, in my view, it’s critical to always maintain site of the ultimate objective; which in the case of training for speed is speed/sprinting itself.

So in my program, the drills are always performed under the influence of sprint mechanics versus what may or may not feel like the most natural way to perform the drill in a vacuum.

Having said that, and again, I rarely come across an athlete that naturally heel strikes and remember that my athletes are almost always introduced to the drills without shoes on in order to foster, and typically re-familiarize them with, the most natural and efficient possible movement.

Also, having been heavily influenced by Charlie in many ways, his stance on drills resonates strongly within me in that he always maintained that drills are so useful for resolving mechanical sprint issues in that they present the possibility to ‘fix’ a problem without the athlete knowing it. It then stands to reason that in regards to training for speed it is logical to instruct the drills in a fashion that most effectively transfers to the sprints.


I’m right with you…but I’d like to know how you can efficiently implement the barefoot drills as a team. Do you have a high end grass field? (I thought you may have turf)

My school only has access to a field-turf field. The three grass fields are not of high quality, and I would hesitate to do anything there.

I have NOT done any barefoot/sock work on the turf, but I have not read anything in favor of turf running yet. Do you have an opinion on the subject?

Our indoor facility, which we share with the Steelers, is field turf. In addition, we have one outdoor field turf field and another grass field. All three are very well cared for and excellent for shoeless training.

My guys perform all tempo and warm up without shoes on during the off-seasons; however, some opt to keep the shoes on as it’s their choice.

Some even perform linear speed work barefoot; however, most have shoes on for the speed work.

The field turf is great from a pliability standpoint in that, at the most, I may have one guy out of 50 or so that ever deals with shin splints.

Thanks James, I appreciate the advice.

BTW, you kept writing “shoeless”. Can I assume that some players leave their socks on, or does that make an ass out of me;)

You are correct, most remain in socks with usually just a few going barefoot.

The small few who might go shoeless for linear speed work will go barefoot to avoid slipping.

Some of my kids like the Vibrams to keep their feet safe from any sharp objects that may have found their way to the turf.