Long-term training-induced changes in sprinting speed and sprint momentum in elite rugby union players

Barr, Matthew J. and Sheppard, Jeremy M. and Gabbett, Tim J. and Newton, Robert U. (2014) Long-term training-induced changes in sprinting speed and sprint momentum in elite rugby union players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28 (10). pp. 2724-2731. ISSN 1064-8011


Speed and sprint momentum are considered to be important physical qualities for rugby. The purpose of the study was to understand the development of these qualities in senior and junior international rugby players. In part 1 of the study, a group of senior (n = 38) and junior (n = 31) players were tested for speed over 40 m. Initial sprint velocity (ISV), maximal sprint velocity (MSV), initial sprint momentum (ISM), and maximal sprint momentum (MSM) were calculated using 10-m splits. In part 2 of the study, a group of junior (n = 12) and senior (n = 15) players were tracked over a 2-year period for body mass, ISV, MSV, ISM, and MSM. In part 1, senior backs and forwards were not found to have significantly greater ISV and MSV than junior players but were found to have greater ISM and MSM. Forwards were found to have significantly greater ISM and MSM than backs but significantly lower ISV and MSV than backs. In part 2, no significant differences were found over the 2 years between senior and junior players, but greater effect sizes for juniors were generally found when compared with seniors for improvements in ISV (d = 0.73 vs. 0.79), MSV (d = 1.09 vs. 0.68), ISM (d = 0.96 vs. 0.54), and MSM (d = 1.15 vs. 0.50). Sprint momentum is a key discriminator between senior and junior players, and large changes can be made by junior players as they transition into senior rugby. Speed appears to peak for players in their early 20s but sprint momentum appears to be more trainable.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 24 May 2017 06:15
Last Modified: 24 May 2017 06:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: acceleration; long-term athlete development; maximal sprint velocity; acceleration; adolescent; adult; athletic performance; body weight; football; humans; male; physical conditioning; human; running; time factors; young adult
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000364
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32315

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