CrossFit Football: training to ‘be a bullet in a gun’

Posted: March 28, 2012 in Coaching Chronicles, Features
Tags: , , ,

This video, featuring Coach Raphael Ruiz from CrossFit Football, adds considerable dimension to the old football cliche, “when the bullets start flying” as he draws an analogy to grouping shots on a target at a firing range versus firing at an actual live target with bullets actually flying back at you.  The idea behind the analogy is that training an athlete’s emotional response in situations of stress will improve said athlete’s “default” level of performance.  In terms of training for football, or any high intensity sport, taking the thinking or emotion out of rehearsed actions and re-actions so that production or performance is maximized is always the goal.

John Welbourn, co-founder of CrossFit Football explains the necessity for training for optimum performance further:

For football, we know the demands; football is a game of inches and seconds. We know that timeframe and scale, and we know when, where, and how game day is played. Knowing this, we can precisely prepare for the demands of the sport. What we cannot control is the player’s talent: his instincts, and his ability to react to stress, pressure, and the opponent. We know what weapons we need in our arsenal and we will know when and how to use them. Optimum training results in optimum performance, and the optimally prepared athlete is in the position to make the best use of his talent, and thus to fulfill his potential as a player.”

Ruiz refers to the desired final outcome, a product of stimulus response programming and training, when he asserts that “no matter if you’re on field, no matter if you’re in the weight room, you’re trying to develop the mentality that you’re a bullet in a gun. Squeeze the trigger . . . the bullet does what? Does it think? Does it hesitate? Does it go slow? It goes as hard, as fast as it can possibly go—no matter what.”

So, the trick for us coaches is to find a way to manage that emotion and stress that comes with competition so that your athlete’s training can take over “when the bullets are flying” and trust that he will do what is asked of him when everything is on the line…

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