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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

Progressions and guidelines for training

Bompa (2000) proposed the concept of anatomical adaptation (AA), a concept we are now very familiar with. The aim in using AA is to set a base to ensure that players are ready for more intense training. This is our philosophy when it comes to starting a conditioning programme and it extends to plyometric training also. Consequently, we encourage and recommended the inclusion of low impact plyometrics into an AA programme even for young players. The understanding though is that their landing alignment (feet and knees in particular for lower body plyometric landing) and movement mechanics especially are well rehearsed and practised and are at a mature level before advancing the plyometric challenge. Later, and in our practical workshop, we will introduce and describe a series of progressive impact exercises which are suitable for the beginner.

Figure 6. Player during AA phase rehearsing and training proper landing mechanics.

Part of the initial AA programme should therefore ensure that landing mechanics are trained. Landing with a soft knee landing technique and aligned knee and foot is to be encouraged and coached. This is essentially what we mean by low impact and relatively long ground contact plyometrics. The ground contact will be relatively long, the action will be slow and there is a discernible softness in the landing to the low impact SSC action. Thus, the coach should ensure that the landing or sticking action during any lower limb plyometric action is well aligned and tolerable for the player.

Figure 7. Progression of plyometric training when introduced to the beginner.

Also, it is recommended that the height from which the player lands is also low in the early learning stages of plyometrics (Bompa 2000). Bompa notes the need for “low and safe equipment’’ when engaging in simple jump training for the young athlete during the introductory stages (Bompa 2000).