Training Athletes

By Dave Tate

In Coaching, Videos

August 31, 2009

Video Article

Dave Tate of Elite FTS isn’t afraid to call something “worthless bullshit” and then suggest a better way.

In this video documenting a private seminar held Jan. 9, 2009, at CrossFit San Diego, the opinionated Tate talks about working with athletes in the off-season. Tate’s main point of issue is a warm-up that has nothing to do with the skills an athlete needs to perfect to be successful on the field.

If you’re going to have a wide receiver warm up, why not have him running pass patterns? Why not have a wrestler doing 100 drop steps? By using sport-specific, dynamic warm-up movements, you can give an athlete 10,000 extra reps and send him back to his team set up for success when the season starts.

4min 11sec

Additional reading: Skill-Based Warm-Ups for Groups by Tony Budding, published Sept. 1, 2006.

Free Download


12 Comments on “Training Athletes”


wrote …

I wish I could fast forward this to my stupid track coach. Spent 4 years in highschool doing squats, lunges, pushups and stratching for warm up. Sprints and jumps for practice. NOT ONCE did he ever think of shoeing us how to run.


Tom Seryak wrote …

I understand Dave's point, but I think the warm-up should be specific towards the training session. If it's sport practice, warm-up with sport specific drills. If it's a strength and conditioning session, warm-up specific towards what is being trained that day. It's not going to be logistically feasible to run pass patterns or drop steps inside of a weight room, unless there is turf or a wrestling mat inside of the weight room. So, i guess i disagree. On goes the gpp versus sport specific training debate...


wrote …

Just wanted to say to whoever thought of adding the "Additional reading" section to the Journal articles thank you they have been a great help


wrote …

This is phenominal advice! Tate, thanks for sharing!


wrote …

thats a lot of shots and sprawls! time to go implement this with my trainees at Glenbrook North Wrestling


Jesse Gray wrote …

I am a crossfit trainer and a rugby coach, I like this video a lot and will definitely incorporate some things from it. However, I would have to urge caution on trying to integrate skill work into a warm up all the time. For one thing, as a coach when I have a player doing reps of skill or technique work I want to make sure he's really doing the drill with perfect form at some intensity. If you let players just go sometimes they start practicing bad habits which you later have to work even harder to un-teach them. If I'm having my guys run routes, I don't want them jogging through them, screwing up their timing, I want them hitting those routes hard, cutting the way they would in a game. You practice how you play. If you're just a trainer and not a coach, you may not know what to look for when training a player to keep him/her from having bad form, etc. Is there a place for a skill oriented warm up? Sure, just be careful you're not reinforcing a bad habit at the same time.


wrote …

Very informative video. I felt dumb doing my warm-ups because I thought I was doing something wrong but the sport/skill specific warm-up has made my body adjust to the rigors of a fight although I have not been able to fully train due to a shoulder surgery about six months ago. Takedown defense has improved (sprawls & burpees), as well as clinch body placements (med ball trunk twists) and escapes from the mount (hip-ups, bridges, shrimps & crunches). Even my striking has improved through the use of some light resistance bands while punching forward and knees to a med ball that I hold at shoulder height. I have done these for the last 4 months and I feel great and warmed up to tackle the craziest of workouts as well. Thanks for the great insight on this and many other fitness questions that I ask myself about. This is a great community of athletes.



wrote …

I've worked with wrestlers since 2003 and had numerous state champions state that their success came from extra drilling. This was the smartest thing I've heard a strength coach recommend and it definitely works.


wrote …

I've worked with wrestlers since 2003 and had numerous state champions state that their success came from extra drilling. This was the smartest thing I've heard a strength coach recommend and it definitely works.


Does anyone have a set of warm ups and WODS for high school kids?


wrote …

I agree with Dave's philosophy on this.

In BJJ, I find that warm-ups that incorporate skill-movements to be much more beneficial to skill-development than warm-ups the focus primarily on jumping jacks, arm circles, etc.


wrote …

well, you got to warm up but, how long? Jumping jacks, burpees, atlhetics abcs, all valid to warm up. Then you go to the specific warm up for the sport in question and do whatever it´s planned for the training day. My warm up was like this: 3 laps on the track, abcs, technic, then hit the weights and sprints for last(250, 450 and so on). Worked well for me.

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