Like most sports, rugby union has its traditions when it comes to training methods. Unlike most sports, those traditions do not always run as deep. The sport has only been professional for two decades, meaning that many more coaches are openly exploring how they can do things differently and better. James de Lacey is the incoming head of strength and conditioning for Romanian Rugby. He joins us on this week’s episode to discuss some of the areas he has been looking at changing those traditions, from weekly planning, to contact conditioning, and sprint training.
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Notes and quotes
James de Lacey has worked the last two seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach with Austin Elite Rugby of the new Major League Rugby pro league. He has previously worked in professional rugby in Romania and with the New Zealand Women’s National Rugby League Team. He will start a new role this year as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Romanian Rugby. He also is a published author an Masters in Sport & Exercise Science from the Auckland University of Technology.
On this episode we talked about a variety of topics in rugby training that he’s been looking into recently.
- 7:00 – A look at traditional weekly plans for rugby.
- 10:30 – Rethinking weekly planning in the national team setting: “If you can take a certain amount of volume and get it throughout the week without smashing an athlete one one day, you’ll get better adaptations from that. “
- 14:45 – Nick’s weekly plan for American football.
- 18:00 – Contact conditioning and example of progressions: “Contact conditioning not only helps athletes withstand contact and condition athletes, but it can also help reinforce good tackling technique at the same time. “
- 23:30 – Thoughts from Nick on contact conditioning and learning from martial arts.
- 26:30 – Integrating physical and technical training: “If you want to integrating physical and skills training, make sure the skills coach is coaching it. If you want buy in, the last thing you want to do is step on their toes. “
- 29:00 – Making sprint training more sport-specific: “We have a lot of fast players in rugby, but that doesn’t help much if you cannot execute skills at speed. “
- 31:45 – Examples of implementing a constraints-led approach.
- 33:30 – Other topic: velocity-based training and youth development
- 35:00 – What is hip lock, and integrating it into training: “Training the hip lock is essentially about preventing energy leaks. ” “When you start to do exercises that look like running, players buy in much faster. “
- 38:30 – Learning from rugby and coaches to learn from.
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- If you like the podcast, don’t miss our latest book Training Talk: Conversations with a Dozen Master Coaches for more in-depth insights on training from some of the world’s top coaches.
- Join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss all the content on our site, including past episodes of the podcast, our deep article archives, video library, and more.
- You can learn more from James on Instagram (@jdelacey90), Twitter (@dimeperformance), and Facebook (@dimeperformance) and his website.
- John Pryor discussed programming within the limitations of national team camps in this article from February. You can also learn more about him in our webinar on robust running and our detailed interview with him.
- Professor Warren Young wrote an article last week on HMMR Media covering similar topics like the search for specificity for sprinting.