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Maryland Football Using New, Unorthodox Training Methods

If you're lucky enough to keep your job when your team goes 2-10, you need to change something. According to Rich Tandler at CSN Washington, Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen is changing the way his team is training, incorporating workouts that focus on flexibility as well as strength.

They used to lift weights four days a week. Now, they are lifting three days a week and spending the fourth day working on improving their flexibility, New Age style.

“We’ve incorporated yoga into our stuff, into the stretching sessions,” said [Alex] Wujciak...

“One of the things that I really want to do is to develop flexibility in our players,” Friedgen said. “Along with strength, flexibility improves your speed and I’ve seen that happen.”

Kudos to Coach Friedgen for identifying something that is no longer working and being willing to change it. Strength has long been associated with success in the extremely physical world of football, but there are other qualities of athleticisim that are equally important, and Friedgen seems to understand that.

The team is also changing the way they evaluate player's weights, using a new technology called the Bod Pod that estimates a player's ideal playing weight based on the way their body is built.

“I’ve had many of my coaches think that they were experts on weight, and they’d tell a kid to be at a specific weight,” Friedgen said. “I don’t think that they had any scientific data that told them that was the right weight. These individuals, we put them in a machine that measures their lean body mass and percentage of body fat that they have. With this, we can intelligently tell them that this is [the weight] they want to be.”

These are all good things. Even if yoga and the Bod Pod aren't the answers, it shows that Friedgen is willling to go outside of his comfort zone and try new things that might help the team.