PITT Panthers

We had the guys Mon-Fri in the summer leading into the 2008 season and I was able to go three speed sessions per week M/W/F; however, it’s been M, T, Th, F since then so speed is M and Th.

Speed work over this summer was power during Blocks 1 and 2 and capacity during Block 3.

Block 1 hill sprints (adapted from CF GPP on Monday only)

Block 2 sled sprints on the field

Block 3 capacity sprint series (no sled) on field for veterans and capacity with sled on field for new freshmen

I must note that none of my skill players are required to do the assigned workload for the day. I only require that they communicate to me what they are ready for and give me 100% on whatever that is; be it in actual intensity of best or via focus/mechanical execution of a reduced intensity workload (ergo power speed instead of sprints).

As a consequence, over the 12 weeks of summer I had one single player (scout team) sustain a minor hamstring pull because he did not communicate to me that he was tight and pushed himself too far. As I stated it was a minor pull though and he was back running tempo in less than a week.

Excerpts of interviews with some of the coaching staff, Buddy, and myself along with excerpts of the training session we had that day.

It’s produced very well.

I finally get to have a look and it’s gone into cyberspace?

Thanks for posting the video. I have a couple of questions:

  1. Can you compare and contrast, in terms of what you’re looking to get out of them, the hill sprints with the sled sprints?

  2. Is there any flat sprint work done in the power blocks?


What are you referring to?

  1. At the risk of pointing out the obvious: both the hill and the sled reinforce the acceleration position, strengthen the associated musculature, and possess a default intensity limit; by bringing the ground to the athlete in the case of the hill and allowing the athlete to maintain the acceleration position in the case of the sled- both means overloading the start and acceleration.

  2. Not this summer. I mentioned the default intensity limits that the hill and sled provide. This was used to ensure that my guy’s outputs were slightly reduced because they had a high volume of 7 on 7 before our Mon and Thu sessions and I wasn’t willing to risk it by following with high output speed work out to 30yds or more.

So I allowed whatever outputs they generated during 7 on 7 to play their role in the process.

The video has been removed by user. nothing there

It’s good to go:Video


Are any of the sprints you program in the first two blocks un-resisted or do you utilize the 7 on 7 work to serve in that role?

The latter; however, this is only because this summer included much more volume of 7 on 7 relative to previous years.


Thanks for the response. A follow up question would be why hills in block 1 and sled in block 2?


Whats the reasoning behind the veterans doing Capacity work without sled? Is it because of the intensive nature of the work and veterans ability to handle loads?

Also during the capacity block do you set general work:rest ratios or are they based on the bio-energetic struture of positions?

The hill we sprint is fairly steep; not sure of the exact degree however. Thus, relative to the dynamics of sprinting on the field, the continuum of specificity goes from hill sprints, to sled sprints, to unloaded sprints.

Got it this time, I like the way we have a job to do came across rather than the norm build them up hype.

It is necessary that the veterans finalize their preparatory training in a fashion that most closely and seamlessly transitions them to the demands of training camp.

On the other hand, I start the new arrival freshmen with the sled for capacity work because many of them come to us with injuries from the Big 33 game and other post-season injuries and the sled sets the protective intensity limit as well as reinforces good positioning. This coupled with their more limited role in the 7 on 7 equates to a smooth enough preparatory combo for training camp.

The work:rest intervals for capacity are based upon both positional dynamics as well as collegiate play clock.

There is no hoopla, rah rah, false motivation to our approach.

What you see in the video, while limited, is how we coach. There was no ‘acting’ for the camera.

We coach in small groups, speak clearly, always mindful of efficient movement and only instruct where instruction is necessary- not to hear ourselves speak.

Do you and Buddy or the positional coaches dictate the 7 on 7 volume?

Buddy and I have nothing to do with it. It’s a voluntary effort on behalf of the players; however, they do game plan with the position coaches before hand in order to ensure that the session is organized in terms of reps and schemes.

Now that you guys are in camp and two-a-days I assume, are they mostly on a a weights and active recovery schedule-tempo, mid-section etc.?

Is the the capacity work (if that’s how the football specific training would be categorized?) they do now derived from the scrimmaging and drills eliminating the need of such training from you and Buddy?

You are correct.

The focus of my efforts are now to support their heightened readiness for practice via any number of combinations of restorative/regenerative, rehabilitative, maintenance, and developmental modalities.

What’s simpler to discuss is what we don’t have them doing and that is: speed work and other alactic field based drills that take high priority during the off-season.

Any running we do during camp is extensive tempo post-practice.