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LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning

Speed development - introduction and deceleration training

Specificity of movement

It has been shown that while straight line sprinting (linear acceleration/maximum velocity) and multi-directional movements that require a change of direction and/or a deceleration of movement may have some commonality (Hennessy et al 2005), it is clear that the ability to change direction is a specific skill (Young et al. 2001). Differences in both types of action (linear sprinting and changing direction) are evident and include different movement mechanics, muscle firing patterns and motor learning skills.

The capacity to change direction is important in many field and court sports and thus many generic drills may be used to enhance this important capacity in team sport players and court sport athletes. However, there are rugby specific agility and change of direction challenges that are uniquely related to the position of the player. For example, the scrum half will often be required to accelerate and change direction with a very low centre of gravity and with a crouched torso. Such postures and movement can be rehearsed through both pre-planned and reactive or random drills but are best challenged within a game-like setting.

Figure 2. Scrum half delivering a pass from a ruck.