After playing in multiple football games this past weekend, my body hurts in places I usually don’t feel during even my hardest training sessions. Just goes to show that you can’t spend all day in the weight room and expect to be ready to play. Obviously the majority of offseason training time should be spent on getting stronger, more mobile and developing the ability to move the body faster. When all the above are in place and you truly want to be prepared to play, conditioning should resemble your sport or at least come up with creative exercises that uses parts of your sport. For example 3 v 3 soccer in a small space, running short, medium and long patterns in a row for skill athletes in football or fast break 3 v 2 drills in basketball. Drills like these can train both skill and sports specific conditioning simultaneously and allow the body to get into the many positions that the sport requires. Another option to be used prior to using actual sport conditioning drills would be to use general games as a conditioning tool. Games like dodge ball, relay races and handball are a good choice for bridging the gap between general conditioning and specific conditioning. What is nice is the competitive nature of the games really gets the athletes moving at “game speed” and can further enhance a higher level of adaption. Remember you always run faster when you are chasing or being chased by someone else!