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A collection of X's and O's, clinic notes, film, and other things I like 


Michigan State Strength & Conditioning


(15” x 15” squares – 18 total squares)

Imagination is the only limitation – used a nylon ladder but most of us have it taped to the floor somewhere.  We emphasize to our players that they need to imagine they’re jumping over a pencil.  Feet hit and leave the ground as quickly as possible!


  1. R/L Single Leg Hops – side/side

  2. R/L Single Leg Hops – front/back

  3. Both Feet in Each Hole – side/side – – front/back

  4. Both Feet in Every Other Hole – side/side – – front/back

  5. Bunny Hops – hit the hole, jump outside ladder, back in hole, jump opposite side of ladder

  6. Hip Twister – same as grapevine runs

  7. Zig-Zag – skip a hole to cover quick ground

  8. W – jumping front/back in W shape

  9. Slalom – just like snow skiing, quick 2 feet

  10. FINISH – every trip w/ a 5 yd. burst

“Practice is for real”!

~Mike Vorkapich, MSU Strength Coach


I was amazed how simple yet effective their work day was.  Many times we over think these phases of our workouts but it’s vital to the success of your plan.  Anything you can do to get your players heart rate up and core temp elevated.  Don’t complicate warm ups or cool downs.

  1. Bear Crawls – we’ve all done this one, great total body exercise

  2. Jump Ropes – we do 10 sets of 15 – 25 reps (R/L, boxers feet, both feet)

  3. Line Jumps – standard Foot Fire drills

  4. Dots – any patterns you can imagine

  5. Lunge Matrix – clock steps (12, 3, 6, 9 o’clock) – – step lunges at each # on the dial, 3 sets w/ each foot

  6. Ab Work – if it works the core (abs/lower back) they do it !!

“Positive Peer Pressure”

~ Coach Vorkapich

(Eluding to coaching a TEAM Mate)


This was the best part of the entire workout!  The intensity it brought out in the TEAM was amazing to me.  Mental, physical and TEAM toughness is a big focus and can be built when the bags come out.  Rogers Company (football catalog) makes these and they would be well worth the investment.  You can get them in 25, 35, 50, 75 or 100#.  Ours are on the way!


  1. Wall Sits – MSU would start w/ 300# sitting on the lap of each player. At 1 minute they would peel some weight off, then more weight as time went along.

  2. Split Squats – hold the bag however you’d like, if you dropped it you had a consequence.

  3. Farmer’s Walk – hold bags by handles and walk high on toes, great competition drill

  4. Roman Dead Lift – for hamstrings

  5. Lunge Matrix – w/ bags!

“Lifting is 100% Manual Labor.”

~ Coach Vorkapich

(Commented to Spartan Players)


I was able to catch an upper & lower body workout.  Again, amazed at the few number of different lifts executed – it was the work put in by the coaches and players that was eye opening to me!  Every TEAM session I attended seemed to be more spirited than the next.  Here are a few of the exercises that caught my attention.


  1. Rope or Towel Pull-Ups – great for hand strength and overall tuffness! 40 sec.

  2. Single Leg Lifts – especially dumb bell lifts for shoulders/upper body, balance

  3. Internal/External Rotation – w/ thera-bands or light dumb bells

  4. Military Press – arms parallel vs. touch chest, especially for BIGS

  5. Primary Lifts – 8/6/4 reps this time of year

  6. Focused On – pushing & pulling muscles the same

  7. Push Press – split stance or parallel stance

  8. Shoulder Shrugs – exploded thru up onto toes!

Players Play – – T ough P layers W in!


~ MSU Spartans

“Getting a kid to do something they don’t want to do”, that’s they key to success in the weight room.

~ Coach Vorkapich, MSU Strength Coach


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