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Football Conditioning Drills: Pattern Running Intervals by Position

Football Conditioning Drills Should Be Position Specific

When thinking about conditioning football players, there needs to be an understanding of the specific demands of the sport.  The football conditioning drills used in your program should not only cater to the unique demands of the sport, but also the demands of each position.  A defensive lineman experiences a very different conditioning demand than that of a wide receiver. Consequently, our preparation needs to address those differences and set up each player to succeed come game day at his position.  If I’ve trained my defensive tackle to carry the conditioning and agility attributes of my wide receivers, I’ve probably set that athlete up for failure in the trenches.

Introduction to Pattern Running

Pattern Running is a sport-specific conditioning program, involving the use of those movement skills that players use at each position. These football conditioning drills are designed to simulate the football movements athletes would use in a game. These movements are then placed in a running pattern which requires them to perform a set of 10 specific movements or patterns in rapid succession.

The charts below carry the 10 patterns for each position. Break up your players by position and distribute the charts to your coaches, if possible, to facilitate each pattern.  Upon completion of each drill, the athlete has 20 seconds to jog back to the start line, assume a set position and perform the next prescribed pattern.

Follow your workout manual, as you will have a prescribed number of sets to complete in a designated amount of time with a rest interval between sets. If you are not completing the set in the prescribed amount of time, you are either taking too long between repetitions (> than 20 seconds) or you are not performing each movement at a high enough intensity or speed. It is essential that you practice excellent technique on all of these drills. Intensity is very important in this program! Think of each repetition as a play that will WIN the game.

Defensive Backs Sets 1, 3, and 5

Defensive Back Football Conditioning Drills

  • 5B,5SR-Backpedal 5 yards, Plant & break forward to right 5 yards
  • 5B,5SR- Open left hip & shuffle at angle for 3yds, open right shuffle for 3yds, open left shuffle 3yds, break forward to start line
  • 5B,5SR-  Sprint 5 yards, touch line, sprint back 5 yards touch line, repeat
  • 5B,5SR-20 Yard Sprint
  • 5B,5SR-Backpedal 5yds, Open Rt hip & crossover run 5yds at angle, stay facing forward open left hip and break left
  • 5B,5SR-Backpedal 10 yards, turn Right & crossover run 10 yards, plant and Sprint back 5 yards
  • 5B,5SR- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 5B,5SR-  Backpedal 5yds, Open Rt hip & crossover run 5yds at angle, open right hip again (speed turn) turning toward opposite sidelines then immediately plant with the left foot and break back to the right.
  • 5B,RS10- 5B,RS10 Backpedal 5 yards, Open Right & sprint straight ahead 10 yards
  • 5Bp,LX5,L- Backpedal 5yds, Open Lt hip & crossover run 5yds, Open Lt hip again (speed turn) turning toward opposite sidelines

Defensive Backs Sets 2 and 4

Defensive Back Football Conditioning Drills

  • 20yd Sp- 20yd Sprint
  • 5B,5SL- Backpedal 5yd, Plant & break forward to left 5yd
  • 5B,LX5,L,L- Backpedal 5yd, Open Lt hip & crossover run 5yd at angle, open left hip again (speed turn) turning toward opposite sidelines then immediately plant with right foot and break back to the left.
  • 5B,LX5,R5- Backpedal 5yds, Open Lt hip & crossover run 5yds at angle, stay facing forward open right hip and break right
  • 40yd sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 10B,LX10,5SL-Backpedal 10 yards, turn Left & crossover run 10 yards, plant and Sprint back 5 yards
  • 5B,RX5,L5- Backpedal 5yds, Open Rt hip & crossover run 5yds at angle, stay facing forward open left hip and break left
  • 5B,LS10-Backpedal 5 yards, Open Left & sprint straight ahead 10 yards
  • 20yd Sp-20 Yard Sprint
  • 5Bp,RX5,R-Backpedal 5yds, Open Rt hip & crossover run 5yds, Open Rt hip again (speed turn) turning toward opposite sidelines

Defensive Line Sets 1, 3, 5

Defensive Line Football Conditioning Drills

  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • CUT L- Shuffle 3 steps to the Left, Do an Up Down, Sprint 5 yards
  • USL- Sprint 3 yards upfield, turn Left and Sprint 20 yards
  • Sht Climb L- Sprint 5 yards, Dip Shoulder & Touch ground, sprint 5 yds Left at 45 degree angle
  • 40yd Sp -40 Yard Sprint
  • 5SL,P20- Face opposite direction, shuffle down line to left 5yds, open left hip & pursue downfield 20yds
  • Sht Climb R- Sprint 5 yards, Dip Shoulder & Touch ground, sprint 5 yds Right at 45 degree angle
  • USR-Sprint 3 yards upfield, turn Right and Sprint 20 yards
  • 20 S-  20 yard Sprint
  • 10 SHR-10 yard Shuffle to the Right

Defensive Line Sets 2, 4

Defensive Line Football Conditioning Drills

  • 20yd Sp-20 Yard Sprint
  • CUT L- Shuffle 3 steps to the Left, Do an Up Down, Sprint 5 yards
  • USL-Sprint 3 yards upfield, turn Left and Sprint 20 yards
  • Sht Climb L-Sprint 5 yards, Dip Shoulder & Touch ground, sprint 5 yds Left at 45 degree angle
  • 40yd Sp -40 Yard Sprint
  • 5SL,P20-Face opposite direction, shuffle down line to left 5yds, open left hip & pursue downfield 20yds
  • Sht Climb R-Sprint 5 yards, Dip Shoulder & Touch ground, sprint 5 yds Right at 45 degree angle
  • USR-Sprint 3 yards upfield, turn Right and Sprint 20 yards
  • 20 S-20 yard Sprint
  • 10 SHR-10 yard Shuffle to the Right

Linebackers Sets 1, 3, 5

Linebacker Football Conditioning Drills

  • 15AL-  3 Shuffles to Left, Sprint 15 yards
  • 10DR- Drop Right 10 yards, Plant, Sprint up 5 yards at a 45 degree angle
  • 5,5,5,5sp- Sprint 5 yards, touch line, sprint back 5 yards touch line, repeat
  • 20yd Sp – 20 Yard Sprint
  • 5BFR- Backpedal 5 yards, Plant Right foot and Sprint forward 10 yards
  • 5Bp,Rt5-Backpedal 5yds, open 90 degrees to right run 5yds(eyes forward), go into Backpedal for 5yds, open 90 to left run 5yds(eyes forward), plant w/left break forward
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 10DR,5Sh,Bk- Drop Right 10yds, Shuffle left 5yds, Sprint forward 10yds
  • 30Xrun- Crossover Run to left 5yds, crossover run right 5yds, repeat & turn & sprint 10
  • FFR10-  Face sidelines, buzz feet for 3 seconds,  turn and sprint to right 10 yards

Linebackers Sets 2, 4

Football Conditioning Drills for Linebackers

  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 15AR- 3 Shuffles to Right, Sprint 15 yards
  • 10DL- Drop Left 10 yards, Plant, Sprint up 5 yards at a 45 degree angle
  • 5BFL- Backpedal 5 yards, Plant Left foot and Sprint forward 10 yards
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 5Bp,Lt5- Backpedal 5yds, open 90 to left run 5yds(eyes forward), go into Backpedal for 5yds, open 90 to right run 5yds(eyes forward), plant w/right break forward
  • 10DL,5Sh,Bk- Drop Left 10yds, Shuffle right 5yds, Sprint forward 10yds
  • FFR10- Face sidelines, buzz feet for 3 seconds,  turn and sprint to right 10 yards
  • 20yd Sp-  20 Yard Sprint
  • FFL10-  Face sidelines, buzz feet for 3 seconds,  turn and sprint to left 10 yards

Tight Ends & Full backs Sets 1, 3, 5

Football Conditioning Drills for Tight Ends

  • Y HankR-  10 yard curl over ball, turn sprint up field
  • ArrowR- 5 yard sprint to left at angle, turn to catch, sprint upfield 10yd
  • 5,5,5,5sp- Sprint 5 yards, touch line, sprint back 5 yards touch line, repeat
  • 20yd Sp –  20 Yard Sprint
  • LR BasicR- Left release to Basic Right
  • StickR- 6 yard Out Right
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 5Drt, 10 Sp- 5 yard Demeanor Right, 10 yard sprint
  • 30 Z- 30 yard Zig Zag (Every 5 yds.)
  • Shallow Rt- 5 yard Shallow right, catch, turn sprint upfield

Tight Ends & Full Backs Sets 2, 4

Football Conditioning Drills for Tight Ends

  • 20yd Sp-  20 Yard Sprint
  • Y HankL-10 yard curl over ball, turn sprint up field
  • ArrowL- 5 yard sprint to right at angle, turn to catch, sprint upfield 10yd
  • LR BasicL- Right Release to Basic Left
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 5DLt, 10Sp-  5 yard Demeanor Left, 10 yard sprint
  • CornerL-  12 yard Corner
  • 5D, 10Sp-  5 yard Demeanor FORWARD, 10 yard sprint
  • 20yd Sp-  20 Yard Sprint
  • Shallow L- 5 yard Shallow left, catch, turn sprint upfield

Offensive Line Sets 1, 3, 5

Football Conditioning Drills for Offensive Lineman

General Movement Notes

  1. Drop your hips! Bend your knees.
  2. Hands moving w/feet on all demeanor movements. Carry hands in front of body.
  3. On opening right or left to a demeanor (*) do not step forward but open first.
  • 5DRt,10sp-Open Right (do not step forward) Demeanor 5yds, Sprint 10yds
  • LDL, 10sp- Lateral Demeanor Left (Post or Settle Step), Sprint Upfield 10 yards
  • 5,5,5,5sp- Sprint 5 yards, touch line, sprint back 5 yards touch line, repeat
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • SkpPul5- Skip to Pull, Sprint 5yds
  • Dem Wave- On Coach Demeanor Drill (4-6 directional changes)
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • *5DLt,10sp-  Open Left (do not step forward) Demeanor 5yds, Sprint 10yds
  • 5Dr15s- Drive block 5 yards, sprint upfield 15
  • 10 PS- 10 yard Pass Set (Back)–SHOULDERS SQUARE, 10 yard sprint

Offensive Line Sets 2, 4

Football Conditioning Drills for Offensive Lineman

General Movement Notes

  1. Drop your hips! Bend your knees.
  2. Hands moving w/feet on all demeanor movements. Carry hands in front of body.
  3. On opening right or left to a demeanor (*) do not step forward but open first.
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 5PS,15SP- 5 yard pass set, sprint down field 15 yards (pass set according to position ie T, G, C)
  • *5DRt,10sp-  Open Right (do not step forward) Demeanor 5yds, Sprint 10yds
  • LDR, 10Sp-  Lateral Demeanor Right (Post or Settle Step), Sprint Upfield 10 yards
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • SkpPul10- Skip to Pull, Sprint 10yds
  • 5PS,15SP-  5 yard pass set, sprint down field 15 yards
  • *5DLt,10sp- Open Left (do not step forward) Demeanor 5yds, Sprint 10yds
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 10 PS- 10 yard Pass Set (Back)–SHOULDERS SQUARE, 10 yard sprint

Wide Receiver Sets #1, #3, and 5

Football Conditioning Drills for Wide receivers

  • 5yd Out- Out 5 yard Out
  • 10 SOL- 10 yard SPEED OUT Left (6 steps)
  • 5,5,5,5sp- Sprint 5 yards, touch line, sprint back 5 yards touch line, repeat
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • Basic L-  12 yard Dig Left
  • 16- Sprint 16yds; Plant on outside foot & for 3 steps drive directly back down your stem
  • 40yd Sp-  40 Yard Sprint. At 20yds turn head look back for ball BUT HOLD SPEED!
  • 10 Sor- 10 Yard SPEED OUT Right (6 steps), Catch ball, Sprint up field 10yds
  • Shot Rt- Sprint 5yds, Break left 2 yards, Break back to right 5 yards
  • Dive Del Rt- Dive Release Right, Run 3 steps toward ball, Sprint Upfield 20yds

Wide Receiver Sets #2 and #4

Football Conditioning Drills for Wide receivers

  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 12- Sprint 12yds; Plant on outside foot & for 3 steps drive directly back down your stem
  • Prick Rt-  12 yard Post Right 3 steps, Plant Curl at 3, Catch, Sprint upfield 5 yards
  • Blk 20 Rt- 20 yard Sprint, to Shuffle Right 3 steps, to Blocking Action
  • 40yd Sp-40 Yard Sprint. At 20yds turn head look back for ball BUT HOLD SPEED!
  • Shot Lt-  Sprint 5 yds, Break right 2 yds, Break back 5 yds
  • Prick Lt- 12 yard Post Left 3 steps, Plant Curl at 3, Catch, Sprint upfield 5 yards
  • 12 PC- 12 yard Post Corner, catch sprint upfield 10yds
  • 20yd Sp-  20 Yard Sprint
  • Basic R- 12 yard Dig

Quarterbacks #1, #3, and #5

Football Conditioning Drills for Quarterbacks

  • 15PPR- Power Pass Right, Roll out & tuck & Sprint upfield 15yds
  • DB20- 5 step Dropback, Sprint 20 yards
  • 5,5,5,5sp- Sprint 5 yards, touch line, sprint back 5 yards touch line, repeat
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 30Z-  30 yard Zig Zag (every 5 yards)
  • 5S- 5 yard Drop & Push or Wave
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 4 Roll Read- Zone Read Left, Roll Left, Sprint Upfield 10yds
  • Jump Cuts-  Sprint 5yds, Jump Cut right, Sprint 10yds, Jump Cut left, sprint 10yds
  • 15PPL- Power Pass Left, Roll out & tuck & Sprint upfield 15yds

Quarterbacks Sets #2, and #4

Football Conditioning Drills for Quarterbacks

  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 30Z- 30 yard Zig Zag (every 5 yards)
  • 5S- 5 yard Drop & Push or Wave
  • 5 Roll Read-  Zone Read Right, Roll Right , Sprint Upfield 10yds
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 15QD- 3 step Dropback, Quarterback draw-Upfield 15 yards
  • 15PPR- Power Pass Right, Roll out & tuck & Sprint upfield 15yds
  • 4 Roll Read- Zone Read Left, Roll Left, Sprint Upfield 10yds
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • Jump Cuts- Sprint 5yds, Jump Cut right, Sprint 10yds, Jump Cut left, sprint 10yds

Running Backs #1, #3, and #5

Football Conditioning Drills for Running Backs

  • Arrow L- Sprint to Left 10yds, EYES AROUND!!!   Catch ball turn upfield & Sprint 8yds
  • Burst L-  9-10 yard Out Left
  • 5,5,5,5sp- Sprint 5 yards, touch line, sprint back 5 yards touch line, repeat
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint WITH 40 POWER STEPS
  • 30 Z- 30 yard Zig Zag (every 5 yards)
  • Hops to Spr- Hops over Board to 10yd Spring on Whistle
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint.  WITH 44 ROLL STEPS
  • Burst R- 9-10 yard Out Right
  • Jump Cuts- Sprint 5yds, Jump Cut right, Sprint 10yds, Jump Cut left, sprint 10yds
  • Lucky Left, Ringo Right- Screen Pass.   Screen action, catch ball turn upfield and sprint 12yds

Running Back #2 and #4

Football Conditioning Drills for Running Backs

  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint WITH 41 POWER STEPS
  • Arrow R- Sprint to Right 10yds, EYES AROUND!!!   Catch ball turn upfield & Sprint 8yds
  • 12- Sprint 12yds; Plant on outside foot & for 3 steps drive directly back down your stem
  • Pass Pro- Sit and Shuffle Rt, Lt, Rt, Lt
  • 40yd Sp-  40 Yard Sprint.  WITH 45 ROLL STEPS
  • Hops to Spr- Hops over Board to 10yd Spring on Whistle
  • Burst R- 9-10 yard Out Right
  • Lucky Left, Ringo Right- Screen Pass. Screen action, catch ball turn upfield and sprint 12yds
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint WITH 41 POWER STEPS
  • 50yd Sp-  50 Yard Sprint WITH 44 ROLL STEPS

Long Snapper Sets #1, #3, and #5

  • 15yd-  10yd Sprint to Wave SHUFFLE to sprint finish
  • 10yd-  Reactive Purse
  • 5yd-  Jingle Jangle
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 10yd- Straight Up Block and Release
  • 20yd-  10yd Sprint to Wave RUN to sprint finish
  • 40yd Sp-  40 Yard Sprint
  • 10yd-  Reactive Purse
  • 20yd- Left Redirect
  • 10yd- Left Angle Swoop

Long Snappers Sets #2 and #4

  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 10yd-  Straight Up Block and Release
  • 20yd Sp-  10yd Sprint to Wave RUN to sprint finish
  • 10yd- Right Angle Swoop
  • 40yd Sp- 40 Yard Sprint
  • 20yd Sp- 10yd Sprint to Wave SHUFFLE to sprint finish
  • 10yd- Reactive Pursue
  • 20yd Sp- Left Redirect
  • 20yd Sp- 20 Yard Sprint
  • 10yd- Off-Set Block and Release

 

 

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Johnson is a graduate of Normandale Community College, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota, playing football at both NCC and Augsburg. “RJ” teaches physical education at Wayzata High School and is the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Wayzata Public Schools, a position he began in 2000. Wayzata Athletics have captured 52 team state titles in histenure; Johnson works directly with the three-time state champion football program as Director of Operations and Player Development. He is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a Registered Strength and Conditioning Specialist – both certifications with Distinction and is the Minnesota NSCA State Director. NSCA awards include Minnesota High School Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year 2010; State Director of the Year 2013; Strength of America Award 2015; and 2017 National High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. In 2017 he became a founding Board Member of the National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA); and serves as a Regional Director for the organization. A former volunteer firefighter, he also received an Award of Merit from the Minnesota Department of Health and Safety for participation in a lifesaving CPR/AED effort to revive a player that suffered sudden cardiac arrest while at practice. Johnson is a frequent clinician, speaker, author and his Wayzata Trojan Power program has been visited by over 50 other high school and small college programs. He also volunteered his time in the Rockford School District where he and his wife and four children reside by serving as the Rockford Area Youth Athletic Association President and Youth Football Director.

2018-06-25T12:06:45+00:00 By |

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