Energy is Key

Energy is Key

As someone who has been fortunate to work with many athletes at various levels, I feel energy is the key ingredient to being the best one can be.  Some may refer to it as “hair on fire”, “balls out”, “all out”, “full goer”, “high motor”; regardless of how it is classified it all means the same thing.  When I was a young sports fan and would read about the greats like Walter Payton and Ronnie Lott in Football, and Michael Jordan and Larry Bird in Basketball, the theme of energy and work capacity was always mentioned.  As a strength coach, I don’t recruit on the road and I don’t decide playing time so I don’t really care how much inherent talent someone enters our program with; all I am concerned with is that each person maximizes his/her potential.  Having coached both men and women, and having coached from Division 3 to the NFL, the successful people (maximizers) all are able to bring their best energy every single day.

This past Friday, June 3 was an off-day for the Houston Texans, after 3 consecutive hard days of off-season practice.  In the NFL off-season teams hold voluntary helmeted non-contact practices.  These practices are very movement/condition oriented and ‘tax’ the system thoroughly.  For most players the best thing to do after a long week of practice would be to spend the long weekend doing regen/recovery and resting for the coming off-season week.  Not the case for our three ‘energy bus riders’; Linebackers Brian Cushing, JD Clowney and Brian Peters.  The following is what they chose to do on their “Day Off”.


– Prep/Regen: Roll, Mobility

– Core: Leg Raise, Rotational Med Ball Throws, Lateral Suitcase Walks, Reverse Hypers, planks

– Single-Leg Plyos

– Double-Leg Plyos

– Broad Jump onto a Box

– Hurdle Jumps (each of these 250 – 275lb dudes jumped over 62” hurdle)

– Double Body Weight Deadlift for Triples

– Rear-Foot-Elevated Pitcher Squats

– Glute Ham Raise

– Suit Case Farmers Walks

– Sled Push

– Regen: Roll, Stretch, Tubs (Saturday)


One needs to have great discipline to have great energy.  Getting great rest and eating great fuel requires great discipline.  If you want to maximize your potential, make sure you are doing everything you can do to have great energy.

Lead Contributor: Craig Fitzgerald, MSCC – Craig Fitzgerald is in his third season as head strength and conditioning coach with the Houston Texans. He has over 20 years of experience as the Director of Strength & Conditioning at some of the top programs in the country, including Penn State, South Carolina and Harvard. In 2010, Fitzgerald earned the certification of Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC) by the CSCCa, the highest honor given in the strength and conditioning coaching profession.

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