Football Players Are Not Powerlifters


Football players are not powerlifters. There, I said it.

Using a powerlifting program and thinking that it will benefit sports performance is not only misguided, but may set up athletes (football players in this example) for subpar performance.

What matters to the athletes? They want to WIN! How do you do that?

Must compete.

Your team competes by performing at a high level. Enhancing performance starts with building resilient athletes which includes those athletes properly managing their sleep and nutrition as we lay the foundation of strength.

Remember, none of what we do with athletes fully works unless they sleep and eat.


Foundation: I want our young athletes to be protected and prepared when we return to sport.  Knowing how to teach and coach the various training qualities like power, speed, strength and so on, is what

Ask any kid I’ve ever coached, I’ve said repeatedly I don’t care how strong you are but I want you to move well, move strong and be explosive!

Powerlifting- is its own sport. I forget who said: you can’t use one sport to train and prepare for another sport? ? Think it was the legendary Joe Kenn

Demands of the training should match demands of the sport for optimal performance (ESD).

Take a look chart below. What stands out? ?

Expressing maximum force takes longer. Football, among other sports occur so quickly the athlete doesn’t have time to express maximum strength!

?? Read that again. ?

For example:

?? It takes maximum strength .5 sec to express.

?? Sprinting at max velocity ground contact time is 0.09-0.11 sec

??Change of direction: 0.4-0.7 seconds

? Don’t get twisted- strength matters.

Evidence shows not only a point of diminishing returns and there’s also optimal ranges given the demands and specific positions of the sport- see Coach Kurt Hester book- (football in this case).

We know strength matters: when applied appropriately- helps build resilient athletes helps reduce overuse injuries, non contact injuries, protects joints, create more force and so on.

Keep the GOAL the goal. Athletes performing to their fullest potential!

Ergo, it’s not optimal, not productive for athletes to train like powerlifters.

In the public school setting, especially with football players, I’ve seen this first hand. I had to retrain and help so many student athletes unlearn poor technique. On every lift.

For example: looking up while squatting down! ?

Not keeping their entire foot in contact with the ground just to name few.

Many coaches seemingly learn bad habits and then pass those on to student athletes.

? Looking at the graph, what would be the more beneficial and productive training quality for most athletes to pursue?


?️?️?️ Rate of force development.

I’d want the football players that can cut the hardest in .2 sec than the football player that can squat a ton to depth but can’t demonstrate power and explosiveness in the game. ?

? Another excellent example of WHY we need QUALIFIED (sorry an online/ overnight personal training certification does NOT equip individuals to work with athletes) in our #TulsaPublicSchools.

I’ve met kids with back problems, pain, limited range of motion and so on. Unacceptable.

As Coach Boyle said in a talk I was privileged to attend last year, with the right training…it can be a five- fold multiplier!

#TPS student athletes should have this opportunity to become the best versions of themselves and in some cases complete for opportunities at the next level.

I’m advocating and calling for a higher standards.

THIS, is the backdrop of why I started my company Wickert’s Performance Coaching.

To provide what I never had growing up.

Please tag parents, teachers, board of education members and so on.

I’ve spoken with concerned coaches, parents, athletic directors and teachers.

There’s not only the reality of simply not knowing, they’re lost. These individuals need resources, tools, education and guidance.

Let’s get this need into the discussion.

We need QUALIFIED Performance coaches on the front end and Athletic Trainers on the back in!