Top Strength Coach Shares Tips for Getting Results

  • Post category:TRAINING


By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

Tony Courville, the head strength and conditioning coach at Teurlings Catholic High School in Lafayette, La., has been training football players for over 25 years. He recently took time to answer questions about his training philosophy.

FUEL: What type of exercises do you do to build power?

Courville: “We build power in three- to four-week cycles. Right now, it’s the first cycle, so I’m busting their butts. We do four sets of 60 percent of their max. We tested them before the cycle on all of the exercises we’ll do. One day, we’ll have them do a power clean or hang clean and a push press. The next day, they might do a back squat and bench press or incline press. Every training session, we will have an Olympic pull, a push and a squat.”

FUEL: How do you organize the team for workouts?

Courville: “I don’t see them at the same time every day because they have a rolling schedule in school. But I typically see them every day. If they get 24 hours of recovery, they can get another lift in. If their schedule forces them to get in with less than 24 hours of recovery, I’ll do some active recovery like core strength, speed development or mobility.”

FUEL: How do you ensure that a player is consistent with workouts?

Courville: “I have a Rebel Strength and Conditioning Evaluation of Performance Chart. I divide the evaluation into four categories – consistency, intensity, focus and ability. I give each player one of five grades in each category from an All-District level, to a winner/starter, to a player, to a part-time player and finally a non-player. I’m looking for perfect attendance, even on the optional workouts, while taking a serious approach, leading by example and consistently demonstrating perfect technique.”

FUEL: How can a football player improve his speed?

Courville: “A lot of different ways. The first is to break down the running form and reteach him to run. A lot of players don’t maintain perfect form. So we’ll break it down to the beginning and also emphasize lateral movement and overall quickness. Applying maximum force, in the shortest amount of time possible, is vital for all athletes. So, the combination of speed and strength should be developed to coincide with each other.”