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The Dark Side!

As I have noted previously, planning and focus is imperative for the long-term success of an athlete's development.

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First and foremost, I would like to pay particular tribute to two young athletes, Rob Anderson and Max Tornatore of Hinsdale Central in Chicago. In the last week, each of these young men have been accorded All-State status for excellence in academics and athletics. Rob was further awarded as a consensus first-team All-State player. While neither entered Hinsdale regarded as "natural" athletes, they have built this legacy: with drive, determination and a long-term plan there are no boundaries.


As I have noted previously, planning and focus is imperative for the long-term success of an athlete's development. As I speak with many football programs and coaches associations across the country, I stress that training needs to recognize a long-term plan of attack that understands the needs of the sport.

Unfortunately, it appears that many athletes or programs fail to recognize this and the athlete's enthusiasm is directed to training that will not enhance performance on the field of competition but instead enhances testing scores. Football might be the only sport to have fallen into this trap as I have not witnessed similar occurrences in other sports.

To understand the root of the problem you must first realize that more than 30 years ago when football scouts started to test players athletically it was to help devise a standardized format of comparison. Some time after this, these testing scores became more scrutinized and athletic preparation slowly evolved whereby the athlete isn't necessarily preparing for the sport but for the testing.

What has evolved is a paradox of sorts; athletes' test scores are astonishingly high but skills to enhance performance are being ignored. The "business" of coaching has been inundated with quick fix solutions to test better, but in fact those are merely "testing-day" feats that don't have any game-time application.

My Athletes

Truthfully, my athletes do report astonishing improvements in athletic tests, but our intent is for the improvements to manifest themselves on game day. This is accomplished by choosing a route that emphasizes the development for the sport, not the test. The Renegade Training philosophical goal of preparation is simple and can be applied to any sport: to perform at an alarmingly faster and more explosive pace than previously considered possible and to dictate the ebb and flow of a game, thus influencing victory.

Since off-season conditioning programs are commencing at this time, it is probably best to investigate the Level 1 of Phase 1. Within the first level of training every facet is introduced juxtaposed with one another. Careful scrutiny is placed on the development of proper technical form while developing both functional and structural strength as well as supple musculature.

For the purposes of our work, "functional" strength is coupled with performance objectives such as speed strength and explosive ability whereas "structural" refers more to hypertrophy concerns of increasing muscle size and thickness.

In the first Phase of training, one of our main objectives in this introductory period is the development of work threshold and motor skill patterning applicable to the sport's needs while maintaining a precise balance of Specialized Physical Preparation (SPP). Elements of GPP (General Physical Preparation) are deeply intertwined with SPP, particularly in early levels and serve as a transitional element, Movements such as the agility training section can easily be interpreted it as SPP.

Stressing The Area

I wish to stress this area because I am constantly surprised by the lack of work many teams/athletes spend in this area. I am often reminded that many consider skill work as suited just to the training camp. Of course nothing is farther from the truth. This element of our training is an interpretation of the Komarov (1984) study which noted equalized training load to technical skills and that strength improvements without skill development are without value.

With GPP there needs to be a wide diversity of exercise to avoid adaptation. One failing element that some ardent users of weighted GPP is to use only one training medium. If this occurs the athlete will not receive the true benefit on this component and his work generally evolves into a type of muscular endurance.

Variety is the key to this section for optimal results. As athletes begin this training they need to address the learning curve of certain skills, whether that be agility ladders or Olympic lifts.

As the athlete becomes more proficient with movements the technical aspect of the work vaults to a higher level while maintaining the same volume. As the athletes adapt to this approach they will find improvements of a dramatic nature quickly. The first level of training addresses the following areas and the mediums used:

Range of Motion Dynamic hurdle ??movements
PNF stretching
static flexibility
Agility Training Rope skipping
Agility ladder training
cone drills
Linear Speed 100% speed runs
< 75% max effort runs
Develop acceleration
skipping drills

??- Speed strength

Olympic lifts - classical
Olympic lifts - hybrids
Kettlebell training

Closed chain movements

General Physical Preparation
??- Non-weighted

??- Weighted

Calisthenics, earlier preparatory for "shock"/jump training

Object movements (wide variety)

In the ensuing few weeks we will be finalizing team clients for the upcoming off-season of preparation. It looks to be an exciting off-season as Renegade Training is adopted within a few athletic programs. Each year I am excited by the new programs looking for the change, ready to take destiny in their own hands and attack the off-season.

Recent Sucesses

With some of our recent successes I have noticed that while collegiate programs benefit from the Renegade methodology, this work creates equal success within high school athletes. As evidenced by the reoccurring success of some of the high school programs and the demands for me to create Physical Education programs in many school systems, Renegade Training will be releasing a prequel to Power-Speed programs. These programs will serve as the foundation for athletic development for grades 7 and encompass all training through grade 12.

For more information of Coach Davies or his training programs, you may visit his site or email directly His training programs are also available for sale at

In Faith,