Can deceleration training improve athletic performance?
Deceleration training focuses on the primary elements that allow an athlete to slow down in a controlled manner, absorb contact via various forces and velocities, efficiently change directions, and land in an organized fashion. These physical skills and qualities may aid your athletes in the process of remaining strong and durable during in-season sport participation. Strength and conditioning coaches can potentially begin to take preventative measures for injury reduction and athletic performance enhancement by including exercises and protocols that focus on deceleration and landing skills within an in-season training program.
A recent study on male and female youth athletes suggested that the inclusion of a program centered around jumping and landing exercises could improve jump-landing technique, which would help to reduce the risk of lower-body injuries (Root 2015). Another study concluded that a training program including jumping and landing exercises with male and female basketball players can be effective in preventing lower extremity injuries (Aerts 2013). In-season sport participation leans heavily on an athlete’s ability to remain strong and durable. Most importantly, those that can remain strong and physically capable will be available to participate versus being sidelined due to a potential lower-body injury. This further highlights the importance of including deceleration training within in-season programs to reduce injury risk and improve athletic performance.
The three planes of motion within human movement refer to the sagittal plane (forward and reverse movements), the frontal plane (side-to-side and lateral movements), and the transverse plane (rotation and twisting movements). Consideration of all 3 planes of motion when prescribing deceleration training exercises could be beneficial for your athletes to be well-equipped for the demands of in-season sport participation. Ultimately, this could align with the thought process of leaving no stones unturned within the training program to physically prepare your athletes for resiliency.
Sagittal plane example: Click here
Frontal plane example: Click here
Transverse plane example: Click here