Speed training: Enhance rugby athletes open field acceleration.




Most sports outside of track sprinting do not offer the platform to showcase maximum running speed, yet sprint training does underlie the foundation of numerous sports activities. Just think of how many critical games situations in various sports are won or lost by the ability or lack thereof – to shift in to higher gear when needed. Increasing maximum running speed has a direct correlation with increasing ones power output. The fastest runners are those athletes who spend less time on the ground, which is greatly determined by the athletes strength and power to their body composition. Although maximum speed is rarely achieved in sports, proper running mechanics and speed training will improve any athletes sport speed.

– Resisted acceleration drill: 3 x 10sec x 5 sets: 30 rest in between or more time if needed between each 10sec belts. purpose – improve body angle (lean position; head slightly in front of shoulders, shoulders slightly in front of hips, hips slightly in front knees, knees slightly in front of ankles), teaches hand and foot speed and enhance stride frequency of acceleration.

– Acceleration stride check: 2 x 10m or 15m or 20m sprints at maximum effort x 5 sets. Rest as needed between each sprint belt. Purpose – the objective of this drill is cover as much ground as possible with perfect running mechanics by taking fewer steps. Enhance open field or court acceleration, stride length, improve 1st, 2nd and 3rd step quickness.

The most common error in assisted or resisted “speed” work is providing too much resistance or assistance. Although several coaches provide different guidelines, a good general rule I use is to provide no more than 10% resistance (I.e; 10% increase in time for any given distance) or 10% reduction in time for any given distance). You may apply this general rule to all resisted and assisted “speed” drills.

Written by: @soamaonstregthcoach


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