It is that time of the year where we, at the Investec International Rugby Academy, are getting into gear to assist schools throughout South Africa in their preparations for the new season.

Preseason is essential for teams and players to prepare correctly and set the foundation to allow for week in and week out training and competing. The better prepared you are, the better and more consistently you will perform. A good foundation is crucial for the protection of each player and will see your players producing the goods. Preseason allows us to not only focus on the physical aspects; strength, speed and agility but also on the finer details and the basic skills component of the game.

At the Investec International Rugby Academy this is what we do as part of the preseason courses throughout SA. This is a coaching program for all ages and levels of rugby, where we break down each component of the game and start building the skills-set to fit each aspect needed to play the game of rugby.

Preseason Programming Tips

It is important that you understand the effect that one training session will have on the next.  Here are some examples to consider:

  • Doing a leg strength session will dramatically affect the quality of any running session you do that day or the next
  • If you are training twice in the same day it makes sense to mix up modalities e.g. swim in the morning and do some weight training in the afternoon
  • Having a day off is important.  If you miss doing your session on that day and can’t wait to get out there again, this is positive
  • Splitting up your body into body parts for weight training is a good way of maintaining variety in your programming
  • Developing a system of coding your sessions allows for easier programming of your weeks and months.  As you come up with new sessions you can add them to your list so that your training becomes a living document that grows with you, and your training history
  • Remember to change your program on a regular basis (e.g every 4-6 weeks).  This challenges the body and the mind
  • Make your training pattern sustainable.  Don’t let your lifestyle change be a flash in the pan.  Not sticking to exercise is the biggest pitfall to most programs.  Having a healthy 3-6 months is not a lifestyle change
  • To reach your training goals requires discipline and order.  It is critical that you challenge the body and the mind with variations in planning and programming so that you remain motivated and your body receives the stimulus for it to improve.