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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


Children and young players

We have provided evidence to show that children can benefit from short term (4 to 10 weeks in duration) plyometric training once it is supervised and well managed (Johnson et al 2011, Kotzamanidis 2006 Potdevin et al 2011, Meylan and Malatesta 2009, Thomas et al 2009). However, an essential component of any well-managed programme of training for children should include the element of fun. Further, all exercises and drills chosen must be shown to be safe and this is where we must emphasise that low impact, low height soft landing exercises and drills should be the main feature of any plyometric programme for children and young players. As the player gains in term of greater strength then more challenging medium impact plyometrics can be introduced. The high intensity plyometrics which are associated with elite performance such as high depth jumps however, are not considered part and parcel of the formal programme of exercises appropriate for children and young players.


Plyometric training is an effective and safe method of building power and speed for the adult player (De Villarreal et al 2009). These benefits will occur if the coach does not excessively overload the volume of work. Further, it seems that benefits can be accrued from 2 units a week regardless of the condition of the player. However, we would caution that the coach ensure good mechanical movement within any plyometric routine. Also, keep in mind the findings of de Villarreal and colleagues (2008) whereby excessive volume does not lead to any additional benefits. In fact the case can be made that such high volumes of plyometric training may add to an overtraining effect and potential injury susceptibility.

Later in our practical workshops we will complete a number of plyometric exercises that can be easily incorporated into the players’ power and speed training programme.