Upper Body Power Training: Chaos Drills
Upper Body Power Training Integrating upper body movements into your speed programs.
Part 5 Chaos Drills
By John Gaglione
For this installment of this series I will go over what many coaches refer to as Chaos training.
The idea of Chaos training has been popularized by many strength coaches such as Robert Dos Remedios and Jim “Smitty” Smith.
True sport is very random in nature so it is important to train for speed and movement using both open and closed drills. Open drills are when the athletes must react to a stimulus whether it be visual, verbal or kinesthetic. Closed drills are when the athlete is given a set pattern and know when to start and stop for each drill. It is important to master proper mechanics and do closed drills first before the athletes can progress to open drills. A few studies have also shown open drills to reduce injuries in players since it more closed mimic the demand of the given sport.
In essence open drills are just more sport specific and when you factor in that it is scientifically proven to reduce injuries any coach would have to be foolish to not incorporate some sort of chaos training into their program. If athletes always perform closed drills they are simply just getting back at performing the drills. They do not have to react as if they were actually playing sports. In open drills the athlete is forced to make a split second decision and act upon it quickly, much like we see in sports. Chaos drills are also a fun and different way to conditioning our athlete and by using mirror drills
Mirror drills are when two or more athletes are doing the drill together. One athlete dictates the direction and pattern and the other athlete must copy it. One way to explain this is one athlete is the “rabbit” and the other is the “chaser”. The chaser must copy the rabbit in order to “catch him”. Make sure you have athletes with fairly similar abilities levels or the drill isn’t as valuable. The mirror drill is great ways to have athletes compete against each other. When athletes are forced to compete against each other they will undoubtedly push beyond their previous limits and get an even more intense conditioning workout than ever before.
We like to include crawling variations into our Chaos drills. Much like the lower body chaos drills they are great for training reaction time and to help prevent injuries. Crawling variations are a great way to increase the athlete’s relative body weight strength as well as their shoulder and core stability. When you combine the crawling drills with the running drills it creates a very chaotic environment, which is great for developing agility and sport specific conditioning. The random nature of the drills is perfect for training for athletics as well as for injury prevention. The athletes really need to be “on their toes” for these drills. Chaos drills are not only a very effective to condition, but they also make for a very competitive and fun environment for our athletes. Give the Chaos drills a try and let us know what you think!
Chaos Drills Examples
Forward and Backwards Sprint (Open Verbal)
Forward and Backwards Mirror (Visual)
Bear Crawl Forward and Back (Open Verbal)
Lateral Shuffle (Open Verbal)
Lateral Shuffle Mirror (Visual)
Lateral Crawls (Open Verbal)
Forward, Backwards Run and Crawl Mirror Drill
Laterl Shuffle and Crawls Mirror Drill
Mirror Drill Anything Goes