I have recently been chosen to prepare a 5'11 245 lb. tailback for the upcoming 2003 NFL combine. I know J. C. Santana has experience with professional football players. My question is two fold:
- Where to find the skills and requirements the players will be tested on.
- What sport specific programs will be more specific for his position. I particularly need something to help prevent fumbling.
First of all let me suggest that if you're not sure where to start you may want to refer this athlete to a more experienced performance professional.
That being said, to answer your first question, "Where to find the skills and requirements the players will be tested on?" I would suggest simply asking your athlete to contact his coaching staff and ask exactly what he'll be evaluated on. However, it is safe to assume his ABSOLUTE STRENGTH will be tested on the bench press, squat, and possibly power cleans; and his SPEED will most likely be tested in the form of the 40 yd. sprint.
The beginning of your second question, "What sport specific programs will be more specific for his position," requires a lot more information before I can be very specific. These are questions you need to be asking yourself as well:
- How much time do you have until pre-season?
- How long will YOU have with him, (i.e. days/weeks/months, this will help you determine how much time/priority to spend/give to each phase of the periodization)?
- How many sessions a week is he spending with you?
- Does your client plan on doing other workouts without you, or are you in charge of every facet of his training (i.e. flexibility, strength, speed, etc.)?
Once you have the above information, I would suggest the following steps:
- Begin with your interview/assessment.
- Fill out an Activity Demand Analysis Profile (ADAP) such as the one offered by the NASM in the diagram below. This will help you determine what areas of training will be most vital to consider.
- Conduct at least a basic Kinetic Chain Assessment, which would at minimum consist of:
- As well as the above, it would be wise to assess what was mentioned prior - bench press, squat, power clean (not because they nece reflect athletic ability, but because your client will be expected to perform well on them - an oxymoron of sorts.), as well as speed, agility, and explosive power
- An integrated FLEXIBILITY protocol should be the cornerstone of your program. This will help greatly to reduce soreness, fatigue, and most importantly, chance of injury and pain
- Assuming you have enough time, I would use a STABILITY---->STRENGTH---->POWER periodization plan. For specifics on assessments and exercises, please see the suggested readings below
Finally regarding the last portion of your second question, "I particularly need something to help prevent fumbling," my question to you is, are you truly in charge of developing this "SKILL?" The strength and conditioning specialist has the incredibly challenging task of conditioning the athletes body, and preparing it for the season at hand. The coaches are in charge of developing the skills. If your athlete has a problem with fumbling the ball, you may want to once again go to his coaching staff for ideas.
- A SIMPLE GUIDE TO STRETCHING by Lenny Parracino
- ESSENTIALS OF INTEGRATED TRAINING (SERIES) by Mike Clark and Alan Russell
- SCIENTIFIC BALANCE TRAINING (SERIES) by Paul Chek
- PERIODIZATION OF STRENGTH (SERIES) by Tudor Bompa
OTHER RECOMMENDED READINGS:
Diagram was referenced from "Optimal Performance Training for the Performance Enhancement Specialist," pp. 156. by Clark and Russell
- INTEGRATED TRAINING FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM by Mike Clark (NASM)
- AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO HUMAN MOVEMENT SCIENCE by Mike Clark (NASM)
- A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING KINETIC CHAIN DYSFUNCTION by Mike Clark (NASM)
- ADVANCED PROGRAM DESIGN CORRESPONDENCE COURSE by Paul Chek (C.H.E.K)
- MUSCLES TESTING AND FUNCTION by Kendall, McCreary and Provance