NFL Inuries

Coaches and athletes,

This is an excerpt from an article at the website

[i]Also, studies – including one conducted by the Chiefs – have found that overtraining leads to worn-out players and a greater susceptibility to injury.

That’s why 49ers strength and conditioning coaches Terrell Jones and Jerry Attaway, respectively, cringe when their players go to personal trainers, which is a league-wide trend. Often, these self-styled training gurus don’t have the credentials to condition NFL athletes.

"I see some of these trainers who get guys sweating, throwing up and crawling back to their cars and they say, 'I’m getting the most of the player, ’ ‘’ said Jones. “No, they’re not. They are not going to get the most of them the next day. The body doesn’t recover that fast.”

It seems to be a point of pride and competition in NFL locker rooms to have the most arduous workout. Players like to say that other players “couldn’t survive their workouts.”

And the media touts the workout freak. When the Jets and Dolphins played on Monday night, the halftime show was about New York running back Curtis Martin running stairs in the offseason.

Rigorous training is a must for most players, but it should be supervised, at times curtailed, and coupled with other factors. [/i]

I know some injuries are caused by overtraining and/or incorrect training methods. I am interested in your thoughts.

Football Coach

Thank you for bringing this article to our attention. Football coaches are amongst the worst at overtraining their athletes. Interesting that they’re finally realizing it.

I have read of NFL players that talk about how they go into training camp in superb conditition, and leave it underweight, exhausted, aching and in general less ready to play.

I heard an interview the other day with Dan Fichter, a speed coach, and he spoke of how annoyed his professional athletes get when he send them home after a short workout. They don’t understand and are confused. Fichter tells them that they haven’t recovered from the last workout and aren’t ready. The idea is alien to them.

The key with elite coaches is trust and explaining what the program is on paper or over dinner in advance so they agree to what you are doing. Having them show up will only lead to onsite questions that can’t be answered well enough.

It is true that many players are at risk of overtraining by outsiders- and this will be noticed the most by the teams with the best in-house programs, as there will be the greatest contrast in results. The one thing NFLers have in their favour is their basic understanding of the ground they cover. This positional awareness allows them to know right away when they are moving better- or worse- something that runners often lack.
If they listen to the cues their body is giving them, they’ll be ok. If they override their instincts to follow the shouts from these killer Gurus out there, trouble is sure to follow. They get injured- and, like night follows day, the Guru blames an “imbalance” for the injury.
Remember, the higher the player level, the less the player should stray from the speed qualities, and the NFL is the pinnacle.
So, if you’re a player, and one of these gurus tells you to run sand hills or repeat 400s, just say to him what you’d say to the guy across the line from you in a game!

Is there a way of changing this for runners?


So Charlie, Football coach,

When is the Football training guide due to be published :slight_smile:

Some sprinters have a pretty good idea how they’re going without timing etc but football players are so used to being exactly where they’re supposed to be that it’s second nature. They know their position on the field and can tell right away if they’re getting there sooner.

It’s a project I’m thinking about as we speak, though I’ve got to get my current stuff done first! The current E-material does apply to football but a more specific project is very possible. Things ARE actually getting done.


Very flattering. However, Charlie can link up much, much higher profile coaches than me.

Thanks for the thought,
Football Coach

P.S. I have been thinking about your private message and how coaches out there can possibly build a business doing what they love. I’ll start a new thread and post what I do and hopefully others will contribute.

Its too bad there are not more football/strength coaches around. Especially at the smaller school level. I am actually suprised that more coaches dont look into this type of coach to have on staff. A coach who can maybe be a positions coach and double as the strength coach in the off season. Whats an awsome job and what an asset to your team to have a coach that can competenly do both!!! I have seen this at a few schools but the coach wasnt as qualified as a strength coach as he was a football coach. I know many D2-3 coaches and many of these schools dont have strength coaches, or the A.T. is the strength coach(who has no time because they are always in the training room).


I agree. It used to be the case at one time where a guy would coach both. Back in the day programs were based on squats, deadlifts, semi-straight leg deadlifts, glute-ham raises, bench, chins, dips and actually practicing the position you played (what a novel concept).

Now coaches feel the need to have certification in balancing on a ball while barking for fish like Skippy the Wonder Seal. In addition, football coaches spend so much time on film work (can’t miss the fact that your opponent likes to run 34 BOB out of Red Right Over Z motion in the 4th quarter while up by 6 when the ball is inside their 20 when it is snowing slightly in November and the temperature is between 35 and 36 degrees with a 15-20 mile an hour wind coming from the NE and the coach just spent 18 hours today coaching and watching film and thought he should phone his wife only to find out she left him 6 months ago and took their 3 children because he only remembered having 2, which makes me wonder when did football turn into baseball) that they don’t feel they have time to do the strength and speed program without realizing that the hardcore stuff is the way to go and you don’t need a degree in rocket science to figure it out. Especially with all the information that is now available.

It can be done. The head coach has to be willing to allow his position coach the time to run the strength and speed program. Perhaps we will return to that someday. But, since many DI and NFL programs still use HIT, thanks to the approval of their head coach, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Thanks for the opportunity to rant,
Football Coach

I agree. (Barking like a Seal? Hmm, don’t know how I missed that drill. I never seem to be able to keep up with the latest trends!)

Football Coach,

I never understood the reason for so many films and “scouting reports” when i was playing in college. Especially at the small school level.
My team was primarily a passing team.
I think the coaches missed the fact that no matter what defense a team was going play against us, i was still going to go out and run the same pass patterns that i learned back in Pop warner football. You dont create a new pass pattern each week you play a new team.

On a side note, have you ever read dinosaur training? Its a down to earth nonscientific book about strength training. Its all about squats, deads, presses, cleans, and just hard work. Anyways i read that book my freshman year in college. Actually i read it about 5 times. But i made more progress just doing the stuff in that book, than any of those triple lindy periodized factor pump training programs out there!!! I hope to bring that back to some football players someday!!!


Depending on the level of competition, if your opponent has any idea how to competently do film review, they will be able to pick up every single thing you do. No, you don’t create a new pass pattern every week, but if you run and break into your route at the exact same point (yardage wise) then any competent defensive back will realize what options you have and (depending on the situation) which route you will probably make (for instance on a 3rd and 8 the defensive back knows you’re looking for first down yardage at a depth of 6-10 yards [unless you’re randy moss then they’ll just throw to you at the line and let you break 8 tackles]). Your coaches did miss the point if they didn’t teach you adjustments to make weekly. In the NFL, it is not uncommon for a wide receiver to change their breaks and fakes weekly because the defensive players will study film for your tendencies and can read and adjust very quickly. As far as the overcomplicated periodization schemes, a good coach should make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Football coach,

Thanks for the reply.


An ebook on team sport conditioning theories would be awsome. I know its still a thought in your head but, it would be cool if you could put actual stories of training NFL guys. Any stories of freakish strength or stuff like that. Kinda like speed trap.

Everyone else,

A question about training sessions. How do you handle large numbers of atheletes training all at once? Do you guys just go around making sure that everyone is lifting with correct form or do you prefer to work individual athletes?


what is exactly the premise behind HIT?

I definitally agree with you, and the higher level of competition you have to watch for tendencies in the teams you play against. In the NFL, you have such great athletes and football players that learning every scheme of the other team is a must. In the small time college football, i dont think its as important, nor do athletes have the time to watch films, etc.

As for making adjustments in running routes, that doesnt happen until you are actually on the field in the game. Every play is going to be different and a good wideout will make his adjustements as he sees fit. For example early in a game I would always run a fade on a d-back just to see if he can run with me and also to see where he lines up next play. Its a chess match and i am always trying to get that d-back in the wrong position. You can’t learn this stuff in films or in practice, it happens on the field and everygame is different.

When other teams watched our films, yes they could break us down and see what we did. That still didnt change a thing, weather a team ran a cover 2, cover 3, man to man, robber. we were still going to throw the rock, i still was going to run that post corner, hitch, slant. The adjustments will be made right then and there by the wide out and QB.

Nice post Speedkills. You can dumb down strength training, but just watch NFL matchup for a remote idea of how important film study is for all sports.

As I said, at the NFL level, film is must!!! At the small school level it is not!!!

So if all week you watched films and saw a team run a cover 3 man free, and then you suddenly lined up the first play and they were in an completely different defense all the film work you did all week, goes out the window!!!

Look at the patriots the year they won the first superbowl. They came out agianst the rams with 2-3 d-lineman, 4-5 line backers. It was a defense that nobody had ever seen before, and it worked.

As far as working with groups, it’s nice to be able to work with small groups or individuals, but when that’s not possible, it’s nice to use your mature and advanced lifters/athletes to delegate authority in your place. At a small school, you have to decide what level of success you’re happy with. Film study has more to do with your development than simple preparation for a game. Think more long term and film review makes more sense (if you have higher level dreams). Peyton Manning didn’t study film through college just to beat an opponent, it’s about learning the mentality of your opponent as a whole and learning flaws in technique and tendencies. My apologies though Frit, I only saw the first page of the post and didn’t see your response on page 2. That’s why my responses are to your older questions. But adjustments have to be made before the game as well as intuitively within the game, otherwise your QB will have no idea what you’re doing!! You can’t tell me the quarterback and you discuss your change when you see the DB lineup, at that point if you check off to another route or adjust the route that does mean you planned for it in the first place and the QB knows what adjustments you’re going to make!! :smiley: Otherwise the QB would have no idea where you were going to end up. The time to worry is when you place your bet, not when your chips are on the table.

A question about training sessions. How do you handle large numbers of atheletes training all at once? Do you guys just go around making sure that everyone is lifting with correct form or do you prefer to work individual athletes?

nycjay01, Like Speedkills wrote, small groups are great if you can get them. If large groups are all you have, you have to set the guidelines and rules before they get in the door. Teach the lifts to the newcomers before the actual training phase takes place. Your vets could help there. However only use the vets that can teach and use good form themselves. Helps with team unity as well. We use a mentor program.

Remeber not everyone coming to train really wants to be there, so maybe put your energy in motavating those athletes. The ones that use the worst form will be some of the rookies (depending on their prior training experience) and the slacker vets.