Is it really that time of year already when the Rugby World Cup is hitting the screens? Yes, pre-season training is on the horizon, and how we all love that!
Unfortunately, we cannot all be as lucky as the Wasps FC Ladies team whose director of rugby, Giselle Mather, decided that her squad should go to France for pre-season.
You are likely to be heading to sessions with the aim of losing any weight added during the off-season and getting back up to speed with endurance and strengthening sessions.
Coaches will have been looking at programmes and rugby drills, such as those found at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/rugby, with a view to honing fitness and skills ready for the new season. The game relies on different qualities, so here are seven rules your coaches will be following:
1. Clear objectives
There are many aspects of the game to concentrate on; therefore, coaches will want to set out a clear programme designed to cover all the bases and keep players engaged in what can be an uninspiring build-up to the action ahead.
2. Gradual build-up
Throwing players into intense sessions from the outset can produce injuries, which is why a steady increase in their workload is a better approach. Building up fitness over a short initial period is the preferred plan, with match fitness coming once pre-season games are underway.
Introducing speed and plyometric work early in the programme will pay dividends later in the season. These activities generate fatigue and have to be carefully monitored and spread through the whole pre-season if they are to be effective.
4. Ignore the ball
Although players may hate it, put the ball to one side and concentrate on fitness. Players do not lose their skillset overnight, so there will be plenty of time to carry out play drills later in the programme.
5. Body shape
Pre-season is the time to lose any body fat accrued over the summer and build up muscle tissue by steadily increasing weights programmes.
6. Avoid injury
Players can overdo things early in training and aggravate old injuries, which is why coaches should design individual programmes.
Allow your body to recover naturally rather than employing recovery modalities – save those for in-season.
Throw yourself into training with these restrictions and you can look forward to a great season!