Above is a link to the fourth video in the Smart Speed and Power Training with Mike Young video series from Fusion Sport. In this fourth video Mike provides the viewer with some things that should be considered when implementing a speed-power session with an athlete. Of prime importance is determining the readiness of the athlete to train as it regards a speed-power session. A fatigued, beat up athlete is not going to benefit from a speed-power session. In such a case, it may be necessary for the coach to “go off script” and either substitute a training session not focused on speed-power or give the athlete the day off. At the very least, a reduction in the training volume for the planned speed-power session may be necessary.
Mike introduces reactive strength index or RSI as a tool for evaluating readiness. This is certainly a more objective tool than pre-session surveys / questionnaires or simply asking the athlete how they feel on a given day. An objective measurement of readiness should be incorporated when possible. The answers that an athlete might provide during questioning could lead the coach to believe that the athlete is ill-prepared for a speed-power training session when that is not the case. It is not out of the question for an athlete to show up for a training session, report that they are feeling “a bit off,” and have a personal best / personal record kind of session. Alternately, it is also possible for an athlete to provide answers that might lead the coach to assume that the athlete is ready for a challenging speed-power session, only for the coach to later observe that the athlete is not performing up to par. Objective measurements in concert with subjective feedback from the athlete allow a coach to get a better idea as to the athlete’s true readiness to train speed and power.
To view Dr. Young’s video, click on the link above. Below are links to a three-part article series by Eamonn Flanagan, PhD. explaining and elaborating on the reactive strength index: