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August 2018 in review: rugby training

Over the past few years I’ve had the chance to get more involved in the sport of rugby. The complex demands of the sport, combined with the fraternity of players and coaches, have been a great learning experience for me. This month on HMMR Media we wanted to dig deeper into the sport to learn from some of the top practicioners. Throughout the month contributors helped put together 1 new video, 3 new podcasts and 5 great articles. Below you’ll find links to all our new resources and some highlights from our archives on the topic. More archived content focused on field sports is also summarized in the topics section. And, as always, become a Plus Member to make sure you get access to all of the vast resources on the site. Read more

Fitter, stronger, faster: a needs-based approach to individualizing team sports training

Working in Olympic sports you are afforded an almost unlimited amount of time to work with your athletes in small groups allowing the delivery of all sorts of bespoke programs. In rugby, with 45-50 players and I have a staff of three coaches plus three student interns, individualization becomes a bit more difficult. Read more

GAINcast Episode 132: Learning to control (with John Kiely)

John Kiely has done some groundbreaking work on periodization, but that isn’t the only topic he is interested in. When it comes to his work with rugby, track and field, and soccer he focuses on making an impact through coordination. On this week’s podcast we take a look at the framework he uses to understand coordination, and how that translates into some surprising methods with athletes. Read more

The path to the premiership

On last week’s GAINcast, Lachlan Penfold took us on a journey through his career working. Penfold is a master of setting up a performance environment, and his results in a variety of different sports is proof of that. One stop on that journey was with the Sydney Roosters, a professional rugby league competing in Australia’s National Rugby League. He worked as head of performance and science for three seasons that culminated in the 2013 premiership title. Since then has worked for Australian 7s rugby, the Golden State Warriors, and currently with the Melbourne Storm, who he has also helped win a premiership title in the National Rugby League. Read more

Preparing athletes for impact

Running is a staple in all rugby physical preparation programs due to players having to cover approximately 4km+ per match. However, being a collision sport, players will experience between 800-1200 impacts per game ranging from light (5-6g) to severe (10+g).1 Being well conditioned to impact is likely to reduce the risk of injury in contact and develop the ability to withstand many impacts in a match. Read more

GAINcast Episode 131: The journey (with Lachlan Penfold)

Lachlan Penfold is one of those coaches that has been at the top in multiple sports. In the past few decades he has worked with professional clubs and athletes in the NBA, NRL, AFL, Super Rugby, Rugby 7s, Olympic softball, javelin, baseball, and much more. Currently he is the director of performance for the defending champions Melbourne Storm of the National Rugby League. With most guests on the GAINcast we talk about their coaching journey and then focus on a key point of interest. Lachlan’s journey has been so diverse that on this episode we focus entirely on the journey itself, with a step-by-step look at the things he learned along the way. Read more

Two methods to break down complex sports

In many ways, track and field coaches have it easy. When I am coaching a hammer thrower, for example, I have just one athlete to worry about, one movement to train for, and one technique to master. Athletes in open-skilled sports, on the other hand, have a much more difficult puzzle to put together. How do coaches decide what to focus on in training and programming in such a situation? Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 168: Rethinking rugby training (with James de Lacey)

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. Read more

The role of genetics in reducing hamstring injuries

Hamstring injuries in sport are highly pervasive, often representing the most common injury site across a range of sports from rugby to sprinting to American football. One sport in which hamstring injuries have been well examined is that of soccer; during the 2016/2017 English Premier League season, 27% of all injuries suffered were hamstring injuries. This lead to the loss of over 20,000 training days, with the wages of the injured players exceeding £131 million. Alongside this massive financial burden is the issue of future performance decrements; having suffered a prior hamstring injury, players are more likely to suffer a further hamstring injury, an injury at another site, and a reduction in future performance. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – July 2018

Welcome back to another edition of Sports Science Monthly. This month, we take a closer look at monitoring post-match fatigue, the debate on hamstring muscle action, mindfulness, warming up, travel, and more. Read more