Mike Leach explains why he doesn’t like using running as a punishment: “Legs aren’t a resource I’m interested in tapping”

A lot of coaches believe in using running to discipline players for a host of things from being late, to silly penalties incurred during a game, to everything and anything in between.

Mike Leach is one of the coaches out there that does not believe in that approach.

A coaching colleague of mine pointed out that Leach talked about his conditioning while managing to keep the legs of his players fresh after a practice last week. Instead of running more after a practice where they’ve been doing that a ton, Leach prefers to “roll” his guys.

“The conventional thing is sprints. But there are two things that I like about rolls. You need to save their legs, because you need their legs, and energy in their legs for tomorrow and the next day, and the next day, and the game, and so on it goes. So legs aren’t really a resource I’m interested in tapping,” he explains, starting about the 50 second mark.

“The other thing that I kind of like about it is, if you think about starting in grade school, it doesn’t matter really what sport, the great big guys get screwed because the little skinny guys can stride it out. Junior high, the same thing happens. High school, same thing happens.”

Leach then adds a quick, animated story about how he was a middle-distance runner in his younger days and how he would pace himself during sprints by looking at how the bigger fellas were holding up.

“Big guys can roll easier than the little guys. Little guys hate it more than big guys. So we’re just trying to level the scales a little bit, where we can.”

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Content manager - Doug took the reins in 2011 and the website has been better ever since. A former college player and small college coach, Doug now serves as assistant head coach / offensive coordinator at West Ottawa HS (MI).