What Are Gassers In Football?

Football terminology can be confusing and one term that often leaves football players and fans with questions it the term “gassers”.

Gassers in football refer to a conditioning drill that has the players sprint the width of the football field several times. This is often considered one of the most tiring drills in football.

Throughout this article, we are going to break down the difference between a half gasser and a full gasser as well as explain what exactly this drill does for your football team.

What Is A Full Gasser?

A full gasser in football refers to running the width of the football field four times. Gassers in football involve running to the opposite sideline and then back.

Though for a full gasser a player is going to have to travel to the sideline and back two times.

The width of a football field is roughly fifty-three yards. This means that when running a full gasser players are travelling two hundred and twelve yards.

In most situations, teams that run these drills are going to do them multiple times a day. So you can see why this drill is often feared by football players.

What Is A Half Gasser?

A half gasser in football is the same drill that involves a player running across the width of a football field two times.

A full gasser is going to involve the player running back and forth across the width of the field four times while a half gasser is going to only be there and back.

This means the half gasser is only going to involve the players running one hundred and six yards each time they do the drill.

Though much like the full gasser this drill is usually run several times throughout a day.

What Is The Purpose Of Gasser Drills In Football

Now that you understand what the gasser drill is you may be wondering why coaches for their players to run the width of the field so often. Below we are going to break down the main reasons that football teams use this drill.

Getting Back Into Football Shape

One of the main reasons that so many football teams run this drill is to get players back into shape to start a season. You will notice that the vast majority of gasser drills are run in the summer months or near the start of the season.

Though players are expected to work out and come into camp in shape it is nearly impossible to replicate football shape. Being in football shape refers to your conditioning levels when you are playing football consistently.

Football players have often stated it is nearly impossible to get back into football shape without playing the game itself.

Nevertheless, coaches will often use this drill as a way to get players closer to their desired conditioning to start the season.

And as much as players will hate this drill when they have to do it they will be glad that their cardio has improved by the time the season rolls around.

Weeding Out The Weak

Another reason teams will utilize this conditioning drill is in order to find out which players have not been training over the offseason. The Michigan State Football team for example runs a yearly gasser preseason test.

In this test, players will have to run anywhere from twelve to twenty half gassers. Based on the position you play and the number of years you’ve been on the team you will also have to beat a predetermined time.

If a player fails to complete the drill in their allotted time they will have to retake the test. The vast majority of players pass this test with zero players failing in the year the article was written (2019).

That all being said using gassers can be an effective way to determine a players shape as they come into camp. If it is clear that a player has not trained at all during the offseason then the coach may have to make some tough decisions.

Conclusion

Gassers in football are a conditioning drill that involves players running the width of a football field multiple times. These drills are used to improve a player’s cardio as well as determine what shape they are in.

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