There are dozens, if not hundreds, of football equipment products that are designed to help players work off-field to improve their game on-field. Generally, these items fulfil one of two purposes: fitness or technique. Fitness football equipment helps athletes get in shape by focusing on the muscles and movements that they will rely on most during the game. Technique equipment will help develop specific skills related to plays. Here is a deeper look into the first style: fitness equipment.
For one example, having the ability to run through the other team without being pulled down can be very useful in football. So players practice running with resistance equipment, which puts weight on them and forces them to learn to run in spite of that. Examples of resistance equipment include:
Resistance chutes. These are small parachutes that are strapped to a harness around the player’s torso. Running causes the parachute to fill with air and resist the runner’s motion.
Power sledges. These are small metal sleds that ride on the ground. They can be roped to a harness on the athlete’s back and made heavier with weights. This also provides resistance to the runner, adding strength and endurance when he gets on the field.
Power sleds are an especially versatile type of football equipment. Besides being used for upright running, they also have handles. These handles let the athlete lean over and push the sled with their arms while running. This improves the hunched stance and force that players will need on the line to push through the opposing team’s players.
Then there are training aids used in drills that challenge players to perform more specific skills, such as running with high steps, to avoid being tripped up by the opposing team. One very common type of football equipment for this skill is a rope grid. Football running ropes are placed in a grid pattern raised a foot or so off the ground. Players run through and have to lift their feet high enough not to trip. If they do this daily, they will develop the muscle strength and agility to run this way on the field, as well.