Part 1 discussed the 1st four weeks of my off-season program with a division 1 field hockey team. I laid out the pre season assessments, the training program, and my rationale for choosing the exercises/sets/reps.
Below is the testing data from the initial assessment, as well as the data from after the first 4 weeks of training. I didn’t retest the acceleration/speed tests. My thought was that by testing the broad I’d have a rough idea of the acceleration/speed numbers without sacrificing a day of testing. One point to also note is surface. When we tested the broad jumps in the beginning we used an indoor track. The surface worked well for jumping, and, more importantly, landing. At the midway point I thought I could get away with using our weight room floor. I didn’t factor in for less friction though, and some of the athletes felt the instability and didn’t jump quite as far. It’s interesting, though, as some did manage to jump further or match the numbers from the first assessment.
In phase 1, I allowed the athletes to basically go up 5-10lbs each week. In phase 2 I used the first day of the week to try and get 3 good sets in at about 85%; I always gave the athletes some leeway with this number, as most were able to go slightly above. The second day of the week generally was reserved for eccentric and isometric variations on the squat. As I mentioned in part 1, I use these more as teaching tools, and found that 1 day of slightly heavier training without any tempo, and one day of lower volume with a tempo helped mentally remove some of the barriers associated with “heavy” weights.
On some of the major movements, one idea I’ve played with female athletes is adding reps before weight. With the barbell press, for example, I increased the reps to 6 before increasing the weight. Mentally, female athletes seem to respond better to an increase in reps; also, if I’ve got an athlete capable of doing 8 reps at a certain weight, a 5lb weight increase should still yield around 5 reps.
Similar to phase 1, I overestimated my ability to get in quality speed work on Day 1. It’s listed at the bottom, but was hardly ever performed. Day 3 included medicine ball throws before the weight training. It’s not written on the sheet but we usually performed a circuit of 4-5 different tosses at about 6-10 reps each with light(<10lbs) medicine balls. Examples of our throws were 1) forward scoop between the legs 2)chest pass 3) front facing twist toss 4) side facing twist toss and 5) overhead slams.
Part 3 will be the final part of this series. I’ll give you the post training data and my thoughts on aspects that I don’t think worked, what I believe I did right, and what I would do differently.
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