Firstly anything that references top gun in the way that this video has then its all okay wtih me. I cant wait for the second movie to come out.
Check out the video that the Brumbies posted this week of some of their speed training they have been doing. One thing I would like to say is that I think its awesome that they are sharing posts like this. Speed training in team sports need to receive more attention and focus. Alot of strength and conditioning coaches within team sports fail to recognise/cannot coach speed. As a coach I have been luck to intially develop my speed coaching within rugby from academy to senior level and actually transfer this into the track envrionment initially with my girlfriend and now additionally west london track and field.
So what are my thoughts from what I have seen?
Please keep in mind that this is a highlight reel and I am not evaluating the brumbies training system: I am purely looking at the drills used from an aspect motor learning and coaching.
- Learn how to move – the motor learning aspects of speed are essnetial. Rugby players ‘run fast’ unfortunalely they don’t sprint. 90% of Rugby players can produce force but really struggle to apply it. Learn to hit the right positions, the layer complexity and force.
- Using competition as a means to assess transfer is a great tool, if you are to do this yourself ensure that you are fresh for every rep. Three good reps will hold more value that 30 poor ones.
- Drills – I like how they have come away from the classic drills, but why do people use drills? Master technique, focus attention to relaxtion and contraction and learn. Progress the drills where appropriate and if it isnt broke dont fix it?
- Angles, Angles, Angles: know your technical model and utilise many ways to acheive this.
- Weighted Bag Jumps and hops – I really like this!!! As a fan of triphasic training, reactive isometric training is awesome for developing the relaxation and contraction process.
- Weighted Bag runs- I think that they are trying to simulate tackle situations/drives? Maybe getting some sort of contrast/scenario development? Personally for me ability in the contact areas from a speed perspective is purely about acceleration/control of momentum within high speed situations. Aggressive switching and great force application will be enough. I would prefer to spend my time wokring on the maximum of capabilities of these to allow a better transfer at what will be submaximal in nature within competition.
- Plate running. You can look at this exercise two ways for me:
- 1. Creating displacement of upper body limbs, weighted or not in sprinting is part and parcel of the game of rugby. Primarily through hand offs.
- 2. Challenging the torso as maximal velocity
Given what I have written above regarding technical mastery of movement. I personally feel that this exercise is too much. However I might not know the true rationale, so therefore this is my opinion given the evidence. However within the video I failed to see and athlete that demostrated the technical mastery to allow such training.
Until Next Time,
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