How Do You Create More Impact?
It’s become old news that rugby players are getting bigger and faster and therefore creating more significant momentum in the contact area. We must start to realise that this change is not only restricted to the professional league and athletes. Non-professional athletes now understand the need to improve their physical conditioning. They know that if they do not pay attention to this aspect of the game, they are going to be unsuccessful and have an increased risk of injury.
Understand Your Ability
Your ability to create an impact is both a technical and physical event. Exceptional technique allows you to create as much impact as possible in the safest way.
To understand your ability to create impact, strength and conditioning coaches in professional environments use the physical impact score (PIS) to improve programme prescriptions and educate players.
What’s Your PSI?
To calculate your PIS, you need to time your 10m sprint (via light gates/speed cells). Then from that, work out your 5m to 10m time and calculate your meter per second (m/s). We do this, as most contacts in rugby happen when you are already in locomotion; therefore, it gives a better idea of impact.
Once you have this, measure your body weight in kg.
Then multiply your m/s, and kg figure together to get your impact score.
5m-10m m/s x mass = impact score
We want this number to be as large as possible, and like most equations to increase the results, we can improve either side. However, the problem is that if we increase your body weight, this can harm your m/s time. As an increase in body weight will mean an increased requirement in force production to maintain this level of speed.
Consequently, to increase your impact during the game, your gym focus should be on developing either the amount or rate of force production. The importance of understanding what area you need to focus on is related to the force-velocity curve. The curve is a relationship between force and velocity – basically as velocity increases the amount of force that we can create decreases due to the time it takes for muscular contraction.
How Do We Increase Our Impact?
The other part of the equation is the sprinting or accelerations mechanics. Some athletes can create large amounts of force but are unable to apply that force in the right direction. Most non-professional athletes have had no coaching on the correct acceleration mechanics for their sport. It’s a skill that can be improved and will have a substantial enhancement on performance. Acceleration specific drills should be added into warm-ups before technical/tactical sessions on the field or in the gym.
The last area to assess is your body mass. How much do you weigh? What is your body composition? I.e. how much body fat are you carrying? One of the most significant issues we see is that young players are trying to gain too much weight too fast. The overall result is non-functioning body weight or fat. We need to focus on functional bodyweight or muscle to improve performance.
If you have any questions about this or any other performance-related questions, drop us an email ([email protected]) or DM us on IG (@theathletetribe).
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