Posts

April 2022 in review: preparing for contact

Throughout April we looked at team at preparing athletes for contact. Our team of contributors put together 2 new podcasts and 5 new articles on the topic from 8 contributors. Find links to both our new and archived resources on contact below.

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Rethinking body armor for contact

When it comes to contact sport, body armor is a hot topic. This makes sense: armor protects you. But there is a problem as well: in the world of physical preparation armor is shorthand for size. In the real world that is hardly the case. The best combat armor is not the biggest. There is a reason modern soldiers don’t go onto the battlefield dressed as a medieval knight. To be effective armor has to be strong. It needs to allow movement. It needs to protect the most vulnerable parts. It needs to connect to the body. Size is the least concern in most cases.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 271: Tackling and grappling (with Ollie Richardson)

Contact sports often look towards grappling sports for help in preparing athletes for contact. While there is much to be learned from grappling, there are also key differences as well. This is true when taking ideas from any sport to another, and a lesson Ollie Richardson learned first hand working in elite rugby and MMA. On this week’s podcast he shares his system for contact preparation, how it came about, and how to best adapt ideas from other sports.

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Surviving contact with the ground

My 12-year-old son plays football in a 9-a-side team. In winter, they train on an astroturf pitch that is dry but hard. This group has been injury free so far, with no ACL or hamstring injuries over the last two seasons. That was until two new recruits joined the squad last month. They managed to fall on the hard turf and injured their wrists within the first week: both required hospital visits, one wrist was fractured, the other sprained. It is no coincidence that the newest players were injured. As with other types of injuries, we cannot eliminate falling injuries, but we can help athletes prepare for them.

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Progressing to contact in training

No matter how we train, contact sports such as rugby will always have an inherent amount of injury risk. That’s part of the business when people run into each other at speed. As coaches we might not be able to eliminate that risk, but we can minimize it. This article offers a few ideas of how we can help mitigate many needless head, shoulder, and wrist injuries that occur during tackling practice and games by teaching players how to move better.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 270: Prepare for contact (with Andy Ryland)

In sports like rugby and American football there is the contact paradox. Players are bigger and collision forces continue to increase. However the amount contact allowed in training continues to decrease. So how do we prepare for something we cannot train much? Coach Andy Ryland has a few ideas. On this week’s podcast he discusses the skills involved in contact, and how to best physically prepare for them off the field.

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GAINcast Episode 211: Speed for kids (with James Marshall)

If running is a natural movement, then how come so many adults have poor running mechanics? Children can only develop skills in activities that they do, and therefore coaches and parents have to help them find the right activities that will nudge them in the right direction. On this week’s GAINcast, James Marshall joins us to share his approach to coaching speed for children, as well as the role of testing in PE and youth athletics, ground-based agility, and details on his upcoming GAIN PE courses.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 226: Inside PE class (with Andy Stone)

Physical education is a hot topic in the athletic development world recently. Simply put, kids need more quality physical education. But what exactly does a good PE class look like? On this week’s episode coach and PE teacher Andy Stone takes us inside how he designs PE class, what coaches can learn from PE, and tips on teaching movement. Read more

August 2019 in review: conditioning

Strength and conditioning coaches normally understand what the S stands for in S&C. But how do you define the C? In August we put together a variety of resources, including 2 new video lessons, 3 new podcast episodes, and 4 detailed training articles. Below you’ll find links to all our new resources and some highlights from our archives on the topic. As always, become a Plus Member to make sure you get access to all of the vast resources on the site. Read more

Rethinking conditioning for contact sports

Conditioning for team sports and contact sports has evolved a lot in recent years, but when you look around there are still some big misconceptions that many coaches cling on to. There are two points that always stand out to me: that conditioning is only about energy systems and that conditioning only comes through volume. In this article I take a look at how we can rethink these areas and share what I have implemented in rugby training sessions to address both topics. Read more