Your body is an investment and you think, "Where do I focus my efforts? Do I do speed, agility, and quickness drills? Should I lift weights explosively? Are plyometrics the way to go?" You fumble around the gym, pretending to know what you are doing and hopefully not get hurt in the process. And soon football is something you used to play. Career over!
It really doesn't have to be that way if you know what to focus on. First, erase everything you've learned about exercise and working out for football. Keep it simple, get good at the basics and start by avoiding these 5 bad habits!
1. Combining skill training and strength training
The right approach is to build strength in safest and most productive way in the gym by doing proper weight training, then go out to the football field and practice your skill for your sport and position. This means that if you're a quarterback working on throwing mechanics and footwork, do so in helmet and pads on the football field and not on a beach in the sand with a bungee cord strapped to your waist.
2. Avoiding Exercise Machines
If you're using the best machines available (which few teams do), machines are far more productive than free weights because they give the proper resistance throughout the range of motion. In understanding the limitations of free weights you can adjust your strength and conditioning program accordingly to the most productive exercises.
3. Taking a Fast & Furious Approach
During weight training, take 4 seconds to lift and 4 seconds to lower the weight and pausing in the contracted position. When you're lifting the weight slow and controlled your muscles actually do all the work, not momentum which not only builds strength faster but is much safer as well.
With 4 preseason games, 16 regular season games, playoffs, not to mention all the camps and practices you get more than enough explosive work in. Nothing prepares you for the explosive moves on the football field better than just playing the game of football. You barely have enough time to recover from normal football life let alone additional wear and tear of explosive plyometrics.
5. Using Speed Gadgets
Changes in stance, footwork, hand placement, and eliminating unnecessary movement is by far the productive way to increase your speed and quickness. Also take time on a regular basis to practice running technique and running fast. Yes, I said practice running fast! I know it makes too much sense doesn't it?
I apologize for not keeping up on my writing...it's been an extremely busy off season...too many people to help and so little time....I'll be writing in depth articles on each of these topics in the coming weeks.