Training strategies to optimise repeated sprint ability

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David Bishop

Although performance in most team sports is dominated by technical and tactical proficiencies, successful athletes must also have highly developed physical capabilities. In particular, many team sports require athletes to repeatedly produce skilful actions, and maximal or near maximal efforts (eg, accelerations, changes in pace and direction, sprints, jumps and kicks), interspersed with brief recovery intervals (consisting of rest or low- to moderate-intensity activity), over an extended period of time (1 to 2 hours). Much effort goes into designing training programs to improve these physical capabilities, with expected benefits for performance. However, training is often based on tradition and ‘ecological validity’ (ie, replicating what occurs during a match). More evidence is required to support the use of different training approaches to improve physical capabilities important for team-sport performance. In this presentation there will be a discussion of the physical capabilities important for team-sport performance, followed by evidence related to the best training approaches to improve these capabilities