The Effects of Augmented Feedback on Sprint, Jump, and Strength Adaptations in Rugby Union Players After a 4-Week Training Program

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: Feedback can enhance acute physical performance. However, its effects on physical adaptation have received little attention. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of feedback during a 4-wk training program on jump, sprint, and strength adaptations. Methods: A total of 28 semiprofessional male rugby union players were strength-matched into 2 groups (feedback and nonfeedback). During the 4-wk training program, the Feedback group received immediate, objective feedback on (1) mean concentric velocity during resistance training repetitions, (2) distance feedback for standing broad jumps, and (3) time for sprints. The Nonfeedback group was not provided additional information. Across the 4-wk mesocycle, subjects completed 3 strength and conditioning sessions per week. Countermovement jump, standing long jump, 10- and 20-m sprint, and 3-repetition-maximum barbell back squat and bench press were measured before and after the training intervention. Magnitude-based inferences assessed meaningful changes within and between groups. Results: The Feedback group showed small to moderate improvements in outcome measures, whereas the Nonfeedback group demonstrated trivial to small improvements. Improvements in countermovement-jump relative peak power (effect size ± 90% confidence limits: 0.34 ± 0.42), 10-m (0.20 ± 0.35) and 20-m sprints (0.40 ± 0.21), and 3-repetition-maximum back squats (0.23 ± 0.17) were possibly to likely greater for the Feedback condition than for Nonfeedback. Conclusions: Providing augmented feedback during strength and conditioning routines can enhance training adaptations compared with athletes who do not receive feedback. Consequently, practitioners should consider providing kinematic outputs, displacement, or sprint time at the completion of each repetition as athletes train.

Weakley, Till, Leduc, Roe, and Jones are with the Inst for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom. Weakley, Till, and Jones are with Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Club, Kirkstall Training Ground, Leeds Rugby Academy, Leeds, United Kingdom. Till and Jones are with Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club, Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds, United Kingdom. Sampson is with the Centre for Human & Applied Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Banyard is with the Dept of Health and Medical Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC, Australia. Wilson is with the Dept of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom. Roe is also with Bath Rugby, Bath, United Kingdom. Jones is also with the Rugby Football League, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Weakley (j.j.weakley@leedsbeckett.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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