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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

Deceleration training and injury risk reduction

A correct stopping technique is not only required to improve subsequent starting, acceleration and quickness but may also be effective in reducing the risk of injury (Twist 2009, Griffin 2005, Kovacs et al 2008). High-speed deceleration and stopping activities places exceptionally high forces on the body. The goal, therefore, of a proper stopping or deceleration technique is to increase the time over which the force is absorbed. This is achieved by flexing the ankles, hips and knees on landing or for the first couple of steps during deceleration action. For the S&C coach, coaching this will include the provision of important coaching cues such as bending knees when stopping or landing from a jump.

Figure 3. Player decelerates as he tries to evade an opponent.

Twist (2005) notes that deceleration exposes more weakness in players than acceleration. The author emphasises important differences between traditional concentric emphasis training methods such as classic resistance training and the need to include a variety of jump and land and stop exercises and drills that challenge stability, proprioception and alignment during dynamic deceleration and stopping activities. Aggressive braking and the ability to translate this into change of direction quickly is undoubtedly a sought after quality in Rugby.