HMMR Podcast Episode 230: Preseason planning (with James de Lacey)

A teams success during the season is often tied with how effectively they prepare in the preseason. Integrating the tactical, technical, and physical preparation can be an art. Recently James de Lacey shared an 8-week preseason rugby training plan on our site. On this week’s podcast, he dives deeper into his principles of preseason training and discusses how they can be adapted to different environments and different sports.

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Notes and quotes

James de Lacey has worked as a strength and conditioning coach who has worked in several roles in both rugby union and rugby league in New Zealand, North America, and Europe. Most recently he was Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Romanian Rugby.

  • 3:30 – Principles of preseason training.
  • 5:30 – Training the sport in preseason: “The first principle of preseason training: train the sport from day 1.”
  • 8:00 – Examples from amateur rugby preseason: “The mentality is usually the fittest team wins, but it is normally the skills, game plan, and technical awareness that win.”
  • 10:15 – Increase volume and intensity together: “The textbooks teach us that volume and intensity should move inversely. But in the preseason volume and intensity need to be progressed together in a logical manner that allows athletes to adapt to heavier workloads.”
  • 15:30 – Sports-specific conditioning: “Conditioning often just means running, but more time can be spent conditioning for movements and tasks that will happen over and over again within the sport.”
  • 18:00 – Tempo running: “Tempo running is supposed to help sprinting technique and fitness together, but many coaches don’t open their eyes and watch. I see a lot of coaches doing so-called tempo runs with negative running, heel strikes, and more. Find distances and intensities that promote proper form.”
  • 22:15 – Prioritizing speed in the weekly and daily plans.
  • 25:00 – Rethinking the warm up: “Warm-ups must be utilized to address what you need to get done, not just random dynamic movements.”
  • 30:00 – Planning for the pandemic and uncertainty of the upcoming season.
  • 33:45  – Changes for amateur sports.
  • 36:00 – Avoiding laps, lines, and lectures.
  • 37:15 – Dealing with a short pre-seasons.
  • 42:30 – Thoughts from Nick on preseason
  • 45:30 – The case for holistic training.
  • 48:00 – Changing the preseason mindset: “It can never just be your way. You have to make some concessions. If you come in and say it’s my way or the highway, you’re on the highway.”

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.

Further reading