During a preseason basketball workout at Guilford College, where I served as AD - this was in 1965 - one of our highly touted basketball players collapsed during a conditioning drill. Later that night, our coach, who had been very concerned about the situation, came to see me and let me know that the player had recovered after the "scare" he gave everyone. I asked him what drill was the one that resulted in the player collapsing. He replied, "The Suicide Drill."

"If the injury resulted in a lawsuit," I asked him, "how do you think a jury would have reacted to hearing that drill's name?" We mutually agreed to change the name of the drill, and from that day on, it became "The Transition Drill."

To this day, coaches from every level of sport still refer to the universal drill as the "Suicide Drill," or "Suicides." You can even find it described positively on various websites. The Suicide Drill is not the only drill with a terminology problem, legally speaking. A popular and successful Division I-A football coach was taken to court over an injury that was attributed to what he called "The Hamburger Drill." When I conducted conditioning drills in college, the players referred to it as the "Death Run." Later on, I realized the negative implications of the drill and changed the name.

Today, when I speak at coaching clinics to coaches and athletic directors, I caution them to avoid such negative implications. As coaches and athletic directors, do yourself a favor: Review the names of your drills, and change the names that can lead to problems. "Oklahoma" is a much better name than "Hamburger."

My coach called this drill. Guts... Do you have it???
Scott Anderson ATC Thursday, 24 February 2011
So the appropriate answer is...change the name of a known dangerous practice instead of alteration of the activity that is so irrational in its intensity so as to be, ultimately, irrational to sport!? The danger to the athlete remains the same but the 'risk' to the coach and institution are mitigated. And, Herb, you're making money off this 'wisdom'? God bless America!
More emasculation because of lawyers and insurance companies.
This country is becomming more and more sissy.

What happend to the 'no Guts, No Glory' manly concepts of 'Correctness'?

Do you think it is because of the perversion of the jury of our peers judicial system?

A lawyer would not win a case because of such names if Peers were narrowly defined to be other atheletes on the same kind and quality of sports team.

My two cents, babys.
Herb is the man. The guy who started making coaches become aware of safety and that yes, you can do things to lower the chance of injury in sports. He remains the 'man.'
In 1965 we changed the Suicide drill to 'multi-inter-dimensional condition drill for the health and welfare of young people.' Kids would say, 'What?oh, you mean the suicide drill.' The 'bomb' in football returned to the 'long pass.' My drill was 'blood alley,' became the 'body adjustment phase.' It was a great safe football drill. Plaintiff lawyers would have loved it.
Herb is correct, but our new national sport called the 'law suit' is hurting sport (and gym class) far more than it is helping. We lose too many good coaches, programs and chances to help young people.
Herb - keep it up!
I have said the same thing to many over the years. 'Why are you calling this a suicide drill'. It has negative implications. I always considered a same drill, and I called it 'GUTS'. Just my two cents!
Scott Anderson has it right. Changing the name does not make the drill any less dangerous. It is not about guts and glory or survival of the fittest - it is about young people first. Usually coaches who can not motivate choose corporal punishment. Learn how to coach and you won't have to rely on these tactics.
Suicides by any name are conditioning drills. not punishment. and mental conditioning makes or breaks people, as well as teams or individual athletes. If athletics is to train individuals to become teams and then 'people', then athletics must continue to be work, but we can call it preparation if that work-word scares anyone :)