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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 - plyometrics

The SSC in action

If we can visualise the player’s foot hitting the ground and then reacting forcefully during a sprint acceleration, we can now picture true plyometrics in action. The concept of stiffness should now be evident within the action. The stiffer the leg contact (through the ankle and knee joints) the faster this SSC action becomes and the resultant power drive is augmented.

Figure 3. When the player is at full flight, he may demonstrate high stiffness about the ankle and knee when striking the ground.

Fast SSC actions and also high impact SSC actions demand very fast eccentric loading and then equally fast concentric recoils. These are considered high intensity training drills. As a result, it has been proposed that the player needs to have a very well developed base of strength before he or she should formally engage in fast, high impact plyometric drills or exercises (Fleck and Kraemer 2004). This recommendation fits well into our placement of a period of Anatomical Adaptation (AA) before engaging in more intense training methods (Bompa 2005). However, as we will see later plyometrics can be used during a given AA phase of training at any age if the programme is properly designed and is supervised by a knowledgeable and qualified coach.

Figure 4. Jumps on to a low box can be regarded as low to medium or even moderate impact plyometrics.