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Warm Up : Phase 3

The aim of this phase is to ‘prime’ the players for their session or competition. This phase serves two primary objectives:
  • Intensity to a comparable level the players’ are about to compete in.
  • Improve subsequent performance utilising the effects of post-activation potentiation.
Therefore, the content of the potentiation/performance phase will see high-intensity drills that are highly specific to the sport. For example, the potentiation phase of a sprint session may include sprint-specific drills such as 5-10 m accelerations, rolling 30-40 m sprints, plyometrics and so on. In team-based sports such as football (soccer), this may include the use of plyometrics, reactive agility drills in a chaotic environment, and sprints using various intensities and distances. An example of potentiation/performance exercises for a technical rugby session may include:
  • Plyometricexercises (unilateral and bilateral jumps and bounds)
  • Short-moderate distance accelerations and sprints (0-20 m)
  • Involvement of tackling pads
  • Reactive agilitydrills (e.g. evasion games in chaotic environments)
After the completion of these three phases and gradually increasing the intensity of the exercises as the warm-up progresses, the players should be sufficiently prepared physically for the forthcoming session or competition. Though there are no guidelines in this model in regards to the duration of each phase, this is something that should be tailored by the strength and conditioning coach based on several factors such as time availability, the player’s physical requirements, and content of the main session – to name just a few. Further information on time management for the warm-up is provided in later sections of this article.