PITT Panthers

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?

The ‘art of coaching’ is a phrase that exists for a reason.

Aside from that, a baseline must be established in terms of the athletes work habits and trainedness. There’s no way I would have provided the current leeway in previous seasons. We have now come to the point in which the majority of the program runs itself.

You would be hard pressed to accomplish this at the high school level because there is so much physical development that lies ahead.

In my case, while the player’s development is varied, I have a handful of players who are as physically developed as they’ll ever need to be at this level or the NFL.

That’s not the end of it, however. The players who have much more room to go are aware of it and I like to think that the way that I interact with them inspires the proper courses of action to be taken.

Don’t think that it’s a free for all though. Our program is very well run and I provide more structure for those players who have not proven themselves to be as responsible as I require.

Remember, January up to Spring Ball and May, June, July, are highly structured months of training. So we can afford to loosen things up, appropriately, during camps and the season.

As I stated earlier, while auto-regulatory options are in place, there’s more structure when the game season starts.

For any deeper discussion I’ll direct you to my two most recent lecture DVDs as they contain charts, graphs, and example sessions.

Thanks for your insight, your DVD is definately a resourse on my to get list… :slight_smile:

On the subject of resourses. Do you have a contact at the NSA in bulgaria, I have emailed Prof. Daniela desheva enquiring about a translated copy of ‘training and adapataion in sport’ is available to order? I haven’t herd a reply and resourses like that are hard to come by in australia

Yes I have a close associate at the NSA. His name is Svetoslav Andonov.

That is how I obtained my copy of Training and Adaptation in Sport. Incidentally, Tsvetan Zhelyazkov is the co-author.

The issue is that Svetoslav took it upon himself to make me a copy, as a gift, and send it to me. This was a few years ago.

Please understand that I’m not comfortable providing his contact information in this regard.

are you aware of any other means to get a copy?


Have you had any success in influencing the structure of camp and practice training loads in a manner that you find more appropriate and perhaps untraditional by football standards?

If so, in what manner, and if not, do you see this ever happening at the collegiate or professional level?


I would prefer to not discuss this, as it pertains to my role at PITT, on an open forum. Feel free to email me

Regarding the future of the collegiate or pro level,perhaps; however, the key is that all coaches, physical preparation and technical-tactical alike, are more well informed and that the physical preparation coach has the complete trust of the head sports coach to truly manage all physical stressors.

Thanks. I understand.

Pitt got themselves a ball game…

Tough lost for Pitt…

don’t sleep on utah. They could be an 11 win team

pitt too, for that matter