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

Speed development - plyometrics

Plyometrics and the adult player

Vissing and colleagues (2008) investigated the changes in muscle strength, power, and morphology induced by conventional strength training vs. plyometric training of equal time and effort requirements. Young, untrained men performed 12 weeks of progressive conventional resistance training or plyometric training. Muscle strength increased by approximately 20-30% (1-3 RM tests), with conventional strength training showing 50% greater improvement in hamstring strength compared to plyometric training only. However, Plyometric training increased maximum CMJ height by 10% and maximal power by 9% during the CMJ and maximum power in a ballistic leg press by 17%. This was far greater than the power increases noted for the conventional strength training group. This study highlights the specific adaptations that can occur as a result of heavy load versus body weight plyometric training in untrained subjects.

Salonikidis and Zafeiridis (2008) examined the effects of plyometric trainingon reaction, acceleration and power in novice players.Training was performed 3 times per week for 9 weeks. Testing evaluated reaction time (single lateral step), 4m lateral and forward sprints, 12m forward sprints with and without turn, reactive ability, power, and strength.

Plyometric training improved the 4m lateral and forward sprints. According to the authors plyometric training improved fitness characteristics that rely more on reactive strength and powerful push-off from the legs such as, lateral reaction time, 4m lateral and forward sprints, drop jump and maximal force. Again the findings suggest that the specificity of training is a key determinant of the adaptations from training.

Several studies have shown that regardless of prior strength training background plyometrics have been found to be effective in enhancing power, speed and agility (Vissing et al 2008, Salonikidis & Zafeiridis 2008). The adaptations seem to be specific to the speed and power changes as a result of the SSC action completed in the exercises. However, some studies highlight the importance of ensuring that training methods are quantified and assessed in relation to the level of the player and the total workload that is being undertaken (Ronnestad et al 2008).