The greatest athletes are less than great if they do not perform optimally. You can have a difficult running program, but it is not necessarily a 'Championship Running Program.'
Mike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time. He explains, Championship Running requires rules.
As a young coach I often got lost in the drills. I thought the drill that you did was in some way responsible for the results. If I wasn't getting the desired conditioning my initial attitude was to require the athlete to do more. In actuality more is not necessary, running a drill better is. Drills have importance, how you do each and every movement is what running is about. The bottom line is that I was a Coach and my job was to teach the athletes to get the most out of 'themselves'.
'Themselves' is an important word as it also refers to the group, 'the team.' If each athlete gets the most out of 'themselves' then the entire team improves optimally.
The following are rules for a Championship Running Program. Athletes need to know what is required and if the program is run properly the upperclassmen will insure every drill is carried out. Each drill and each athletes' performance is what brings the group closer to a Championship.
The rules are simple, they are in no particular order with the exception of the first two.
1). Never miss a workout or fail to follow a rule.
2). The seniors are responsible that everything is always adhered to.
3). When starting a drill a hand or foot is never over the line.
4). When running a drill that requires you to run through a line, run through the line. You must also lean through the line to insure that you are getting across as quickly as possible.
5). Never slow down near the end of a drill. If you have doubt where you finish keep running someone will stop you.
6). You must run every step of a distance on any drill. The last cone, bag or rope is as important as the first or it wouldn't be there.
7). Never cut a corner or any object placed to go around. There are no short cuts to success.
8). Always run on the field. Once you are on the field run to each drill.
9). When there is a break, run to water and once you have completed drinking, run back to your drill.
10). During rest you are allowed to stand up.
11). Never complain about your workouts to anyone at any time. The workouts are necessary for competing for a Championship. A good attitude is required. Let your opponent complain.
12). Always stay low in drills that necessitate it.
13). Try to win each drill. An athlete should always try to win. If a person is faster, you can beat him somewhere, somehow. Win.
14). Never be late.
15). Never be reminded of a rule.
In the above photo the third athlete has two fingers over the line. This is unacceptable and a teammate should correct it.