Program Components: In-Season Football


Here are some recommendations I made for a friend who is a head football coach of my old High School. I hope this makes sense and helps you out!


  1. Specific order of exercises/drills on any given training day
    1. Dynamic warm-up (include mobility work)
    2. Prehab/Rehabilitation
    3. Speed/agility development
    4. Power development
    5. Strength development
    6. Energy Systems development
    7. Stretching
  1. Ideas for session development
    1. Speed/agility development

i.      Cones

ii.      Bags

iii.      Ladder

iv.      Hurdles

  1. Can use sprints as a part of these drills, as well as cuts
  2. Use reactions to different stimuli (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic)
  3. Add drills together (Cones + Ladder, etc.)
  4. Make drills competitive (Interposition or Intraposition)
  1. Power development

                i.      Sprints

               ii.      Olympic Lifts (and variations)

              iii.      Vertical Jumps

              iv.      Split Jumps

               v.      Squat Jumps

              vi.      Any lift performed faster w/ less weight than normal

  1. Strength development

                i.      Basic lifts (squat, bench, deadlift)

               ii.      Multi-joint lifts

              iii.      Increased time-under-tension

  1. Energy Systems development

                i.      Specific to football

a.  Short burst activities of high intensity

b.  Average play lasts….?

1.  So how long should players run?

2.  Running players for punishment is not always smart

a.  You have to realize this may impact their performance negatively on the field and in the weight room

b.  Instead, make them do community service! Ha!

                  ii.     Should be a part of the program…

1.  Sprints of varying distances

2.  Decrease rest as players become better adapted to stress

3.  Use work : rest ratio

a.  If your players take 10s to sprint X amount of yards, you would give them 20s rest before they run their next sprint

b.  This represents a 1:2 work to rest ratio

c.   Can still condition players well without running long distances

1.  Short burst sprints (10-60yds) with decreasing rest time between sprints

2.  Putting different high-intensity activities back-to-back

Sample Day 1


Hip Circuit, Frankies, Spiders, Butt Kickers, Arm Circles, Arm Swings, Leg Swings, Reach Lunge = 1×10-15 of each


Prehab/Rehabilitation (Pick 2)

Ankle work: Resisted ankle circles x 20 ea. direction

Shoulder work: I, Y, T x 3 sets of 5 each

Hip work: Hip Hikers x 50

Knee work: Heel Taps or Terminal Knee Extension x 2×12

Neck work: Neck Machine – 2 x 12 ea. direction



Figure 8 cone drill + 15yd sprint on whistle

Speed Ladder drills: Carioca, shuffle, backwards, Icky shuffle, etc.

Hurdle course: 3 DL jumps + 2 SL jumps + Sprint to direction coach points



Snatch/Clean Pull + Split Jumps: 3×3+5

Speed Bench + Clap Pushups: 4×3+3



Back/Front Squat + Broad Jump: 4×5+3

Press: 3×5

Nordic Hamstring: 2×5

Abs: Plank x 2×45-60s, Hanging Knee Raise x 2×12


Energy Systems Development (ESD)

Chaos Runs x 20-40s x 4

Ladder Sprints (up to 40-50yds) x 1-3


General Rules for Programming

  1. Always perform quicker movements before slower movements, except when done in a complex
  2. Lower-body before upper-body
  3. Try to hit mostly multi-joint, compound movements (more specific to sport)
  4. Don’t condition (ESD) until after lifting is done
  5. Make smart jumps in weight with players; don’t be worried about the weight they’re doing at firstInclude Single Arm/Leg exercises from time to time to work on stability and balance of body/muscles, as well as balancing any strength deficits between sides
    1. The players must be able to perform the lift with the proper mechanics before they can move up in weight
    2. This is where most weight room injuries occur
  6. Include exercises in all planes of movement
  7. If players seem a lot slower than they should be…either give them more rest between sprints or cut out some of them completely to allow for more rest
  8. Part of getting stronger and faster is REST! Allow your players to rest from time to time. This is where adaptation occurs.

       9.  Try to hit the entire body in your whole program. Don’t leave anything out because that may be what becomes injured.

10.  Include Single Arm/Leg exercises from time to time to work on stability and balance of body/muscles, as well as balancing any strength deficits between sides


Recovery Methods

Water contrast therapy

Take showers with hot water (as hot as you can stand) for 30-60s, followed immediately by cold water (again, as cold as you can stand for 30-60s). Repeat as many times as needed. Always end on cold!

Foam Roller

Static Stretching

Active recovery days

Can be lighter lifting, dynamic stretching, jogging, etc.

Just use as a light day of movement to get the blood flowing

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