This is an excerpt from Periodization of Strength Training for Sports-4th Edition by Tudor O. Bompa & Carlo Buzzichelli.
In strength training programs for youth, and even for some professional sports, injury prevention is often overlooked. More specifically, programs frequently omit the training of ligaments and tendons because the AA training is simply inappropriate or nonexistent. That is why injury prevention has to be a major concern for all athletes, and of significant interest to coaches, athletes, and club owners. In the latter case, club owners lose some of their investment because injured players cannot play.
For maximum athletic benefit, injury prevention should consider the following two fundamental training rules.
- Flexibility training. Maximum angle or degrees of flexibility required during the contest or game has to be the minimum angle or degrees trained during workouts. In other words, flexibility should be worked at the highest acute angles possible during each training session, mostly at the end of warm-up and at the end of training. If this is done, the incidence of injuries will decrease drastically.
- Strength training. Maximum force applied against resistance, ground or water, during competitions and games has to be the minimum load used during training the MxS phase. Once again, we emphasize that the force (load) used during high-velocity running during the game, say 685 N (70 kg [154 lb] ) during the push-off phase, has to be a minimum load used during strength training. This is a very safe and effective method of preventing injuries. The loads in strength training are usually quite low, however, so do not increase the force application against the ground during the push-off phase. If you want your athletes to run faster and to change direction quickly, then improve the force of their prime movers (the push-off, the propulsion phase of the running step).