Training for team sports

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Training for team sports

Too often in sport, athletes will adopt a training program that is not suited to the requirements of their sport. Many programs you often see use a linear model of periodisation that has been designed to achieve a set goal at the end of a prolonged period of training. Whilst this type of program works very well for shot put or track cycling where an athlete is trying to peak for a specific event it does not take into account the week in week out commitment in season that an athlete has in a team sport event.

I recommend athletes and coaches breakdown the physical requirements of the sport and then plan their training to reflect these requirements. If all requirements are required during the game then why do we not train them all in a session? So if we take a lifting session for example it would then include the following elements: Technique, Power, Strength, Hypertrophy and injury prevention.

An introductory lifting program for a team sport may look something like this:

  • Warm up Involving whole body movements, running, skipping, jumping, hopping, pushing and pulling movements.
  • Complex 1 Lower Body Power this may be box jumps, jump squats, Olympic lift variations. This may be super setted with an upper body injury prevention exercise such as a rotator cuff exercise.
  • Complex 2 Lower Body Strength Single or double leg option.
  • Complex 3 Horizontal Upper Body Strength super set an upper push with a pulling exercise. E.g. bench press with a seated row.
  • Complex 4 Vertical Upper Body Strength super set a vertical push with a pulling exercise. E.g. DB shoulder press with a Chin up.
  • Finishing set would include a series of trunk exercises that focus on flexion, extension and rotation of the trunk.
  • Cool down targeted stretching focusing on the musculature used during the session.

By manipulating the volume and intensity of each complex you can adapt the program to suit the requirements at any given time of the year. Be creative and train hard.

John Mitchell
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