How many reps until a drill starts working

How do you approach sets and reps for various drills?

Coach Bob King (01:19):

What kind of result do I want from my training? I want to be quicker and faster. This is a standard starting point and ending point. How do I get faster and stronger? How do I get quicker and faster? So those are the endpoints that we want to obtain now to do that. We had to put everything in motion that works together. So for example, in my world, or you'll hear me say a lot, if steps one and two are good, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. It'll be fine. And so we really want that first two-step movement to be very explosive, very quick, very efficient, very correct. And so we have the hurdles and ladders and so forth to help us with the mechanics of those movements. But repetition is important as it is. It needs to be done.

Coach Bob King (02:08): First of all, correctly, second of all, at high speed and third of all in the right amounts. And so when we're doing our programming, we have designed it so that our groupings are according to the end of the day's theme. So what we want to do is zero to 10 for step zero to 30, getting on out and sprinting change the direction, what we call as sport-specific as a possible change of direction. And we assign drills to meet those goals of those, that training theme. Therefore, when we come back to it, we know that with our athletes over time, we've become very proficient with the ladder. The ladder has now evolved into multiple types of stimulus to keep it interesting, both for the feet and the mind. And they're connected, of course. So what we'll end up doing is taking the ladder on a change of day and rolling the entire ladder out and wearing it out.

Coach Bob King (03:03): And what I mean by wearing it out is a lot of different drills. And if you ask me how many times to do a drill, this is just an experiential coaching observation, been there for a long time, watching you get about four reps before it really starts to break down. And when I say break down, it's like, I've done this the mind and the legs and feet are like, I've done this. I have proven I've can do it. So what do you want me to do now? Well, just do it again faster. Now let's go ahead and change that up. So what we'll end up doing is no more than four reps of the same drill consecutively, but I have done drew ladder drills, for example, where we will go through a menu, take a speed break, grab a drink, come back and I'll go through them one each.

Coach Bob King (03:49): So for example, one step side step, right, crossover left, icky shuffle just once. And so there are ways to mix and match to get more bang for your buck, but with a drill, like a ladder, just going over and over that foot pattern after they become proficient is not going to make it better. There's diminishing return with that said, I make sure that I don't kill the ladder drill and we're, we're honing in on the ladder because this is such a bread and butter drill that when I'm doing straight-ahead stuff on zero to 30 is a zero to 10 days, we will use half a ladder just to get a quickly extended warm-up, but stay in touch with the patterns and not try to wear out the ladder throughout the week and make it different for each type of workout.

How do speed breaks fit into the drills

Coach Bob King (04:57): Well, what we discovered this, this was really one of the fun things of coaching and you know, I can't even tell you where it started, but I, I noticed we had a good group of athletes one summer and we're working we're, I mean, they're working hard, it's going well. And I got to think, and it's like, man, we're having them do these oh 16 to 19 inch, depending on how big the ladder box is. Even the hurdle with three-foot patterns and they start squeezing down their stride. Their body is having to make those little quick steps. So I theorize it. What we'll do is we'll step aside and do a whatever room. We have 20 to 30 yards. We called a speed break because we want them to take a break and remind their body how to sprint. Don't forget how to sprint, go out there and run, get your arms moving, knees up, elbow back.

Coach Bob King (05:40): And we want you to learn how to sprint good idea, Bob. Well, we come back and what we didn't realize would happen is once they did go back and sprint and get their speed going, they were faster on whatever apparatus they came from during that workout, whether it was a hurdle or the ladders. So the speed break became a nice adjunct to remembering how to sprint. Well, let's go ahead and see if we can speed this slider up, go do a speed break, come back to the ladder. So it just, it was a windfall discovery that we have used ever since, as of today.

How important is variety in drill selection?

Coach Bob King (06:25): That's a very important point that we have to cover, because if you hear me say themes over and over and over. So I don't blend a lot because I want to stay on track for the thing I'm trying to teach that day, the sprinting, or change the direction. But on combo days, we do have them in our, especially in an extended training in the summer program, we have combo days because now we're going to take one day and move, like you just said, from a cone to a ladder, to a hurdle, because we want to give you more of a sports context because in a game in the competition, you don't know how often you go sprint change of direction or do whatever it is you do, except for it's going to happen. So we will move you back and forth to give you a little bit more of an action feel because that's what the athlete's body is going to be demanded to do. So it may or may not be, you know, making you just zero to 10 faster or whatever, but we're giving you the, giving your body a repertoire to move from one pattern to the next, with ease

Why can't I just do the BEST drill over and over?

Coach Bob King (07:38): I have to laugh because that's that is the most logical question that anybody can ask, but it, the most dead-end answer you can even expect to hear because we adapt. And once you adapt, you stop getting faster. So, we do this all the time. I'll be training athletes and we'll have an assisted pool day. You're doing the cable pools and somebody may be watching her go in and say, what does that do? I say, well, if somebody runs down the track and they go fast, and then they walk back by and I say, okay, now run faster. And they just are able to go back and run faster on their own. At some point, you can't say run faster to where they can run faster. So we give them the cable to over overstride or excuse me, over speed and get them to learn, to run faster because their nervous system is exposed to it because you adapt.

Coach Bob King (08:32): So if you do the same drill over and over and over what we refer to that as is man, they drill great because, you know, I've seen it and there's a program and all they do so much of the same thing that the athletes are conditioned to the point where that's what they do. And they do it very well, but they have a hard time, with outside forces. And like I talked about with the combo training, so do it, but move on into something else. So their athletes are exposed to a variety of stimuli.

How do tools like cables and medicine balls factor in?

Coach Bob King (09:49): That's really good because you have to, you have to, I'm going to stick to the point I made a minute ago and don't want to be guilty of it is that boy, my athletes drill great. But when we go into a competition or even a, a live practice is not so good. Let me say it like this, the athlete adapts to the stimulus that's given. So what we will do is use gadgets in, we call it toys. We will use gadgets and toys to help them have to adapt. So one of the things that very simple one and just so you'll know we use medicine balls. If you don't have medicine balls handy, give them a ball. You can be your sport ball. If you have a football, volleyball, basketball, sore for so forth, basically we give it to them on the ladder.

Coach Bob King (10:35): And if we have medicine balls, most of them are now six to 12 pounds heavier in their movements. They don't have their arms for balance or locomotion. And so all they're doing is teaching the feet. Now we do have options that we can do with that. I don't like to do too many sports types of things on the apparatus because it takes away from the feet. Cause they have to be able to pay attention to a ball or something. When they're carrying the ball, they had to focus on their feet because their arms are not there to propel them. So we do a lot of things where we do a go through a ladder, carry the ball, go through the ladder at a halfway point, drop the ball, and change the foot pattern. So during the course of the one ladder drill, they'll have a ball, no ball, one step hop all in one, one rep. So there's a lot of athletes. I feel like a lot of athletic patterns are executed by doing a medicine ball. And I'll just say the cable for later, cause there's a little more intricate. We'll use a cable on the ladder as well, and it causes balance problems. And we have a whole package that we call balanced drills. So we've tried to accommodate sport into the training as much as possible.

How do you mix speed training drills into in-season practice?

Coach Bob King (12:32):

What I learned in coaching from being a head coach to a coordinator, and this is football, by the way, I would be trying to do exactly what you said is like, I hate to do all that offseason training and it just goes away in the season how's that possible. And so it just didn't make any sense to me. And we've already alluded to it a number of places, but the 5, 10, 5 in my work as a defensive coordinator and then coaching linebackers, the five train five became the perfect linebacker drill. And then we had a whole bunch of other ones that we could use for linemen and defensive backs. And the ironic thing about it is when we talked about days of off-season training to do as sports specific as possible, we put, we call it a star drill. It's not even a thing, very fancy where we had a backpedal and it was for defensive backs and they had a backpedal and break.

Coach Bob King (13:24): And so I think if I remember correctly, there were eight or 10 different directions. They were breaking on course. Half of them were left. Half of them were right, but we had a backpedal break back pedal break, and they had to either turn and run forward, turn it back, pedal turn, and cross over to a 45-degree angle, turn and break at a 90. And so we were able to do these drills in the off-season and it just, just do that in season, you know, just, it keeps the feet familiar with what they learned. And then when we get into the other areas of weightlifting and explosive training we would do just very hints of those things to be able to keep the off-season alive in the end season. So that there's no drop-off so why take all that off-season training and just leave it alone for three months or depending on how long your season is and not utilize it, it's just doesn't make sense. So we found ways to implement that into our in-season program. Yeah. We have more information.


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