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LTPD Pathway
Functional Screening
Anatomical Adaptation
Game Demands
Conditioning for Rugby
Periodisation in Rugby

Module summary

The intention of this module was to describe the concept of Periodisation. Implementing a periodised programme has been shown to be effective in:

  1. Maintaining pre-season gains;
  2. Managing individual player development; and
  3. Ensuring that players are better prepared for the demands of a long season (Kraemer et al, 2003, Izquierdo et al, 2007).

Workload can be monitored and measured using a simple 20-point Rate of Perceived Exertion scale. Such a scale has been validated within a field game context (Kelly and Coutts, 2007). Monitoring workload provides the coach with the actual work that has been completed on any given day or microcycle. This helps the coach then make more informed and objective decisions regarding work and recovery management. Unloading is a very practical means of ensuring that the player gets sufficient and regular recovery so that his conditioning can be exploited during match play.

Further, the concept of tapering is another key feature of a periodised model and there is evidence to show that tapering has been used with success in Rugby (Brooks et al, 2005).
The role of recovery is often an overlooked feature of the planning and management process. Attention was drawn to the beneficial effects of using unload periods within the yearly calendar. Further, while there are benefits from using post-training recovery strategies, the implementation of sensible practice such as the 48-hour rule helps players to recover better, especially when match play occurs on a weekly basis.

We hope you have enjoyed this short introductory course to Strength and Conditioning for Rugby and that you will continue in your upskilling and education within this most exciting and important field of study.