PITT Panthers

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.

Stole this from Jason Pegg. Congratulations to James and Buddy Morris.

For having 3 First team and 1 Second Team All American according to Rivals.com

First Team

RB Dion Lewis(5- 8/195, Soph.)
WR Jonathan Baldwin (6-5/230, Jr.)
T Jason Pinkston (6- 4/305, Sr.)

Second Team
DE Greg Romeus (6- 6/270, Sr.)

Speaks well of what these guys are doing down there and the level of talent they get at Pitt. Congrats guys


From viewing practices, do you guys ever decide to forego previously planned tempo work due to the workload the players encountered?

Yes and vice versa as well.

For example: During training camp, we alternate 2 practices a day with 1 practice a day and our training sessions fall on the 1 practice days, in the morning, at least twice per week.

We had low volume tempo scheduled post-practice a few days back and ended up scrapping it.

A day or so later Buddy and I decided that the players were too lethargic for our morning training session, even after a low structural impact dynamic warm up, and I suggested that we perform a very low volume amount of tempo to start the next scheduled training session to get them going.

That was this morning. So we had down line go 60yd, big skill 80yd, small skill 100yd all of them for 6 reps then we got into the rest of the training session. It worked very well. The players were more alert and focused for the session and performed well this afternoon’s practice.

I’m taking a highly individualized approach with my skill guys training this camp and in-season based upon information I presented in my most recent lecture DVD.


With your athletes what is the maximum volume of speed work you would perscribe in each block? i.e. CF states the maximum amount in a Track sprinter speed session would be no more than 700m but rarely over 500m.

I believe I have read somewhere on the forum for non-track athletes i.e. football/ rugby players there is no need to go above 300m as they recieve stimulus via sport practice.

With that being said in the prepartory period when sporting pracitces are at minimal what is your opinion of maximum sprint volumes? and do they change with regard to the training means e.g. hill and sled work?

It depends, as you alluded to, where we are in terms of power, capacity, hills, sleds, flats, and so on as well as how much 7 on 7 (skill work) I have to account for.

In general, however, the highest volume we performed was on the hill (ala Charlie’s GPP) in going 10yd x 10, 20yd x 10, 30yd x 10; which we handled very well.

As the summer progresses the volume of 7 on 7 increases so I reduce the volume of the sprint drills accordingly; although we can increase it during alactic capacity simply because the intensity is less (not so dissimilar from the large volumes associated with a sprinters special endurance sessions)

Its really going to depend on the length of the off-season training phase and the competition for CNS stress - would you not say James?

Some of the sports I train - like hockey for instance - there is a 3-4 month block where there is no team training occuring and I can control all of the CNS stress during that period.

Yes, I fully agree.

[QUOTE=James Smith;240209]Yes, I fully agree.[/QUOTE

How long have you been at the university?


This is my 4th season with the team.

In terms of individualization, at what stage do you decide that persuing increases in GPP most importantly strength and power in the weight room will fail to be realized on the field? are these key markers subjective or based on experience? and at this point what means of SPP do you utilise and how do you dilineate these means to be a form of SPP not GPP?

I’ve always maintained that training is an organic process.

The individualization of the training, for my players, is realized both in terms of them having greater and greater amounts of input on what they feel is right for them to do in the weight room in conjunction with what I know they must do in terms of their individual and positional requirements within our tactical and philosophical structure.

I provide them with the greatest amount of input during training camp and the season due to the enormous volume of CNS, and other, stress they incur from sport practice and competitions.

For example, during the past few weeks of training camp I instructed what was to be done during warm ups, power speed, and explosive med ball throws based upon the practice load and, for all intents and purposes, told them to do whatever they felt they needed/wanted to do in the weight room.

The blueprint they were given is the ~15 different training options I outlined in my most recent lecture DVD for any given session during camps and the season.

If they have difficulty in deciding what to do they come to me and we discuss it; otherwise they do what they want and I walk around and monitor their decision making-making suggestions here and there.

Once the season starts it will become more structured because our weekly schedules are fixed. Training camp, on the other hand, includes many changes on the fly and fewer training opportunities throughout.

GPP and SPP, in my programming, are more categorically subdivided into Bondarchuk’s classifications of:

  • general
  • specialized preparatory
  • specialized developmental
  • competition exercise

Thus, I must possess a comprehensive understanding of the biodynamic and bioenergetic structure of positional requirements as they exist throughout competitions in our tactical and philosophical structure.

With so much auto reglatory periodization how do you ensure that players are not slacking in the same terms how do you develop the menality of the players to continualy push themselves and not give a way out?

This is a problem I am constantly faced coaching high school footballers.

How do you determine an athlete is ‘strong’ enough, to then decrease strength volume and increase specialized development?