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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

Plyometric training for power and speed

It has been shown that plyometric training may be effective at improving athletic performance across a wide range of individual and team sports (Kotzamanidis et al 2006, Potdevin et al 2011, Meylan & Malatesta 2009, Vissing et al 2008, Salonikidis & Zafeiridis 2008). Here, we examine a number of studies that investigate the potential of this training method.

Meylan & Malatesta (2009) showed how an 8-week duration plyometric training routine benefitted 13 year old prepubertal players. The players included plyometric training exercises during their normal 90 minute training unit. The exercises completed were general plyometric exercises such as jumping, hurdling, bouncing, skipping and fast footwork such as ladder drills. Gains were reported for the plyometric group in sprint acceleration (2.1% gain), agility (9.6% gain) and CMJ (7.9% gain). The authors noted that these performance related gains were important match-winning determinants in their sport.

In a study by Thomas et al (2009), 17-year-old players completed a 6-week programme of either depth jumps or CMJs twice weekly. Following the training block for both groups both vertical jump performance and agility time improvements were found. The authors concluded by noting that engaging in either of the two plyomentric regimes was beneficial for improving power and agility.

Thus, there is strong evidence to support the use of plyometric training when added to or when used in place of some practice time within team sports.