Neuromuscular training before practice improves performance in youth tennis players

Neuromuscular training for youth athletes typically involves calisthenics, plyometric exercises, change of direction drills and speed training. Ample research has demonstrated that pre-pubertal athletes can significantly improve markers of performance with neuromuscular training despite experiencing minimal changes in muscle hypertrophy. However, the timing or sequencing of neuromuscular training may impact training adaptations. For example, when …

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Effect of in-season strength training on performance markers in soccer players

It’s easy for coaches without a background in strength and conditioning to overlook the importance of in-season strength training. Practice time with their athletes is limited and prioritizing technical and tactical work over strength training is quite tempting. However, it’s important for coaches to remember that physical qualities such as maximal strength, underpin performance of …

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Performance effects of plyometrics during preseason basketball training

In the six to eight weeks of training preceding the competitive season, many teams reduce or eliminate strength and power training due to increased sport-specific training such as technical/tactical work, scrimmaging and conditioning. In the sport of basketball, there are concerns that overall ground contacts of jumping and bounding exercises may be too high and …

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How to get more bang for your buck with repeated sprint training

In youth sports, conditioning is typically an afterthought for most coaches. Based on how much time is left at the end of the practice, they’ll line the kids up on the goal line and have them do some version of interval training, most often with a name like “gassers” or “suicides”. Progressions are usually not …

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How Should We Test Agility?

Though there are numerous reasons for performance testing, one of the main objectives, simply put, is to determine which athletes should be put on the field to increase the team’s chances of being successful. In order to effectively discriminate which athletes will likely perform better when it matters most, it’s crucial that the performance test …

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Aim for Maintenance or Development during In-Season?

A general overview of a competitive training year is typically broken up into three distinct periods: the off-season, pre-season and in-season. The off-season is typically used to build muscular size and strength and in some cases, enhancement of general work capacity. The pre-season tends to have more focus on conditioning and sport specific abilities (change …

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Predictors of change of direction performance

As coaches, one of our primary objectives in the training facility is to select and utilize exercises that have the greatest transfer or carry-over to sporting actions. Dynamic correspondence is a term used in Siff and Verkhoshansky’s classic text, “Supertraining”. This term captures the essence of the SAID principle where training must be specific enough …

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Unilateral vs. Bilateral Training: Impact on Speed and Agility

The squat is a bilateral movement that stresses a variety of muscles from head to toe. When performed correctly and too sufficient depth, the squat is a great exercise for building strength and power. However, over recent years the squat has faced some heavy criticism from strength and conditioning coaches. Some have gone as far …

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Combine vertical and horizontal plyo’s for optimal performance

There are two major components to power: force and velocity. It’s been suggested that prior to a young athlete hitting his or her growth spurt, velocity of muscle contraction is primarily responsible for the expression of power. However, subsequent to an athlete’s growth spurt, increases in force production end up being the major factor in …

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Comparing Methods of Improving “Game Speed”

Coaches refer to it as “game speed” when an athlete plays faster than their testing numbers would suggest. How can an athlete who runs a 4.5 forty yard dash play slower than another player with a 4.8 forty yard dash? Two logical explanations come to mind. The 4.8 athlete is in better physical condition and …

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