⇒ Six-weeks of a structured strength and plyometric programme is sufficient to improve force characteristics. More specifically, working at loads between 75-85% of 1RM for 3-4 sets of 3-6 reps is recommended.
⇒ Improvements in force production often coincide with strength development which serves as an injury preventative method for youth athletes (see HERE). For example, the article below found a -50% risk of injury after six months of regular S&C support in children of 10-12 years. The video below provides some fantastic and fun examples that can be instantly adapted for youth. Additionally, these provide an opportunity to develop the fundamental skill of balance.
⇒ From personal experience, building an individual’s understanding of a bilateral derivative only serves to speed up the learning of the unilateral variation. However, on performance alone, the current study suggests that over six weeks no differences are seen. In addition to this, single-leg training over longer periods (16 weeks) can have a cross-education effect, where training the left limb directly improves the force characteristics of the right limb (see HERE). This can not only support performance but serve as a valuable catalyst for recovery in injured players.
⇒ With reference to the above, an individual of 13 yr with a 1RM of 70 kg for a deadlift over 5 reps would move 250 AU (load x reps) in a session. However, they may be able to move 37 kg in a single-leg contraction for 5 reps for a total of 185 AU. Assuming that they could do this for both legs, the total AU would be 370. Therefore, whilst the use of single-leg work may have some advantages, including them in a preseason programme rather than in-season may lead to more favourable performance and development since training can potentially be longer due to greater recovery time.