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Off-Season Training for Performance

The August 10 ESPN the Magazine features an article about the Detroit Lions titled “Revenge of the Fallen.” The article describes new head coach Jim Schwartz’s efforts to make the team tougher and stronger:

He revamps the weight-lifting program, emphasizing squats, deadlifts and clean-and-jerks over Nautilus work. “We can’t be a physical team,” he quips, “if we do step aerobics in the off-season.”

The new weight-lifting program has jacked the Lions’ overall strength by 21%.

I cannot imagine a football program NOT emphasizing squats, deadlifts and Olympic lifts. However, I spoke to a strength coach who works with a number of NBA players, and he said that few if any teams really challenge the players with high force movements, instead focusing on stability and balance exercises.

I do not understand programs designed to enhance players’ development and performance which fail to challenge and push players with high force movements in high force, explosive sports.

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