Rugby union or commonly known as rugby is a contact team sport. Originated in England, it has become a popular sport around the world. In its most common form, players of 2 teams try to slot goals against each other by running with an oval shaped on a rectangular field.
Being a contact sports game, rugby places great physical demands on its participants. It requires athletes to perform at high levels of almost every component of fitness.
However, speed is one of the vital factors that differ significantly between levels of performance within the sport. Therefore, it is quite important to incorporate the speed development programme into players training sessions.
Speed indicates the quickness of movement. It normally means sprinting in rugby. Speed is often confused with the power which is actually the strength produced quickly.
Importance of Speed in Rugby:
It cannot be denied that strength is critical in rugby. However, given that the sport requires bursts of strength, speed and agility is also important for a player. A decent level of speed is essentials for all rugby players, even the props.
Speed is the quality that makes the difference between you and your opponent. Whether it’s about attacking, defending or supporting, speed helps you improve your game and performance. It helps the striker to burst through the defense and make the winning goal. Similarly, running back would be capable of making the explosive burst razing the defense.
Equipment for Speed Development:
While speed is a natural attribute, it can also be trained. By virtue of timely done preparation and proper training equipment, a player can develop leg speed and improved technique.
‘Success comes where opportunity and preparation meet.’
Being one of the most intimidating factors in any sport, speed can help the player to evade the opposition and be in the right place at the right time to attack, score and defend.
Following equipment could be employed in training session of players to enhance their speed and agility so they can be stronger and more explosive than ever.
This equipment requires training with another individual as you are connected with the Velcro belt. It is great to develop reflex on both offense and defense. It helps to improve speed and agility to a great extent. These belts assist in developing quick changes of speed and direction to free you and thereby evading the opponent’s attack.
Ladders are designed to help athletes improve their speed, agility, and acceleration while enhancing balance. Ladders employed for running drills lead to the development of foot speed and coordination. Dodging, tackling, attacking and passing skills should be combined with speed and agility training.
One of the most common exercises for speed enhancement is by using hurdles during training sessions. Depending on the height of hurdle chose for training, they help the athlete to pick up feet while running. Hopping and jumping over hurdles tends to improve lower body conditioning. It is totally up to your choice where and how to place them according to progress.
- Speed Harness:
While conducting your running-based drills, this harness is attached to your back. They provide enough resistance to help the athletes improve their stride length and frequency. It can be even attached with some sort of weight or another athlete to give enough force to work against.
Multi-directional running ability of an athlete can be improved by running around marked cones.
- Resistance Band:
It can be effective in developing power and speed as a rugby player needs this equipment for sprinting training and restricted directional training.