The first 53 seconds of this video from Arkansas State on their off season work is highlighted by stuff you’d normally expect to see and hear as a football coach.
But then something different pops on the screen at about the 54 second mark. It’s not video of guys going through normal agility work, or loading weight up on a bar like you’d expect to see. Instead, it’s the entire team in orderly lines, equally spread out, moving to cadences, striding from side to side before jumping as high as they can, and doing some other “wacky” movements and jumps.
It’s not something most football coaches are used to seeing, but strength and conditioning coordinator Matt Shadeed explains the approach, and first acknowledges how different it will look to some.
“We do a lot of skill development. Now, if you watch it, you may look at it and be like ‘this is really wacky, and they’re getting in a lot of weird positions and doing things on cadences and commands that don’t necessarily mimic a certain positions skill in football.
“But what we are trying to do, and remember the period that we’re in, we’re in the winter off season and we don’t need to be in tip-top shape, and we don’t have to be super specific for a skill position. We’re in a general period. We want to work on general skills. So we’re trying to maximize athletic ability while really trying to create really sound, bio mechanical efficiency for guys.”
As fall gets closer, Shadeed notes that their focus will shift to more position specific type stuff, but the winter is concentrated on helping every position do a bit of everything.
Shadeed goes on to explain their mental toughness training circuit that they do as well, called the Rodeo.
“Rodeo, is really a psyche test. It’s really neat too, because our guys understand this, and they really believe that being in great shape and being well conditioned is simply an attitude,” Shadeed explains.
“No matter how you break up the work, it’s 50 minutes. It’s a warm up and then it’s eight stations, four minutes a pop and it’s going to be tough. You’re going to be in small groups and you’re going to be doing competitive reps. No matter how you dice it up, it’s going to be a challenge and the large majority of how you succeed, or how you overcome the obstacle in front of you, is going to be based on your mentality and your approach and your attitude towards the work.”
Check out the clip for more.