The other day I had a few athletes in the gym for some change of direction training for football. This means our focus will be on change of direction plyometrics paired with some acceleration movements. Then we’ll finish off with a bit of competition where I like to get the guys moving a bit more “athletically” to create game-like situations, off the field.
I’m going to leave you with the full session below. Try it out for yourself and check out my full football training program down below:
For a full sprint focused warm-up try this.
- Lateral shuffle – keep a wide stance as you quickly move laterally down the line. This will help you have better control over your footwork while tracking your opponent. Move the feet as quickly as you can to keep this fast.
- Karaoke shuffle – this is a classic movement pattern that I still love to integrate with my athletes. The karaoke shuffle teaches you as an athlete to not only have quick and coordinated feet, but to pick your feet up off the ground quickly using a strong knee drive at the hip flexors.
Change of Direction Work
- Turn and sprint w/ lookback – I love having my athletes incorporate a “look back” in their sprint drills. This element of looking over the shoulder brings in a competitive and game-like feeling that will allow you to improve speed and power while simultaneously being able to scan the game behind you.
- Lateral hop to rebound – this is a great drill for building lateral power and increasing the reactivity of muscles in the ankle and foot.
- Single leg lateral bound to pause – adding a pause element into these drills is a great way to teach the body to find balance in the midst of moving quickly.
- Single leg bound to low touchdown – build stability through the lower limb by touching your fingers down the floor following each jump and pausing for a moment to stabilize and then bound from a deeper range of motion.
- 45 degree single leg cone hop to sprint (both sides) – set up two cones, one at the starting location and the other about 2-3 feet forward on a 45-degree angle. Hop off just one leg to land
Competitive Change of Direction Training
- Skater jump to turn and sprint – These are a great drill to pair up with a teammate or coach to get a start cue. Start together on your skate jump, then you’ll turn 90 degrees and sprint down the line. This adds a little bit a race to it and gets you moving quick. Start out jumping nice and high for the skater jump to get a solid “arc” through the air and then continue to progress so that it’s a bit faster and you’re just hitting a quick touch with the back foot.
- 2 lateral shuffles to turn and sprint – again this is a race. Match up with a partner so that you’re facing one another. Both will take two lateral shuffles in one direction, immediately turning to sprint the other way.
Strength Work For Football
2 rounds of activation work before lifting. Try this football focused strength workout.
- Blackburns x 10
- Swimmers x 10
- Push-ups x 10
This entire series focused on change of direction training for football will help you build more agility, develop quick feet, and score more points on the field. Adding in that bit of competitiveness with a fellow teammate or athlete is one of the best ways to start integrating those lateral and linear movements into your plays on the field.
If you’re interested in a full football off-season program, don’t wait to check out the link down below: