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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

Repeated sprint ability (RSA)

RSA training guidelines

Repeated sprint training has been reported to improve peak and average sprint time (Bishop et al 2011). The faster the player can accelerate, the greater the chance of gaining possession or evading an opponent. Thus an appropriate progression for the player in terms of improving repeated sprint ability might include:

  • Learn good acceleration and deceleration mechanics
  • Develop strength and power in both bilateral (both sides) and unilateral (one sided or one legged) stances
  • Practice acceleration drills with excellent mechanics using resisted and free running drills
  • Practice both planned and random running mechanics drills
  • Design repeated acceleration and sprint drills and activities
  • Integrate other Rugby related activities such as wrestling, grappling, pull and pushing, tackling, down and up activities using resisted and free movement to maximise energy expenditure and mimic Rugby specific activities.

Training for repeated sprint ability gains should be viewed as a multi-component approach. Central to this is the emphasis on quality of effort. This is seen in the attention that many experienced S&C coaches place on good technical or mechanical form when executing RSA-related drills. Thus, training that includes acceleration and deceleration, change of direction, maximal sprint efforts, interval training and strength and power training can all contribute to greater repeated sprint ability.