This drill being performed by NFL players at Michael Johnson’s Performance Center in McKinney Texas, utilizes the new 17 lb. portable VertiMax Raptor unit to apply a uniform elastic resistance to a running back throughout a lateral high step and acceleration drill.
Developing muscles in the legs responsible for lateral movement is critical for running backs because often the holes created by the offensive line don’t occur where they are supposed to. That’s where quick lateral movement is key to helping a back change direction along the line and get to a gap that will allow them to get down field and gain yardage. Don’t forget to stress learning to accelerate quickly out of a lateral or change of direction move! This is critical as the degree of acceleration achieved in the first few steps out of an elusive change of direction move is where the greatest opportunity to create separation from pursuing opponents can be achieved. This Raptor drill is perfect for developing both change of direction abilities and acceleration after the change of direction. The VertiMax Raptor units can apply an elastic resistance to an athlete over a 45 yard range. Thus for this specific drill having the ball carrier after crossing the last hurdle turn their hips and accelerate down field as quickly as possible for as much as 30 yards is recommended.