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Alasdair Strokosch, Loic Louit, Laurent Seitz, Richard Clarke, and Jonathan D. Hughes

This study investigated the efficacy of deadlifts and box squats, with a combination of traditional and accommodating resistance, as a postactivation potentiating stimulus of standing broad jumps (SBJ) in a multiple-set contrast protocol. Twelve professional rugby league players (21.4 [2.5] y; 181.3 [8.3] cm, 91.9 [8.8] kg; 1-repetition-maximum [1RM] back squat/body mass 1.59 [0.21]; 1RM deadlift/body mass 2.11 [0.25]; ≥3-y resistance-training experience) performed baseline SBJ before a contrast postactivation potentiating protocol involving 2 repetitions of 85% 1RM box squat or deadlifts, loaded with a combination of traditional barbell weight (70% 1RM) and elastic-band resistance (∼15% 1RM), followed by 2 SBJs. Exercises were separated by 90 s, and 4 contrast pairs were performed in total. Using a repeated-measures design, all subjects performed the squat followed by the deadlift and finally the control (SBJ only) condition in the same order across consecutive weeks. Changes from baseline in SBJ distance were moderate for the box squat (effect size [ES] = 0.64–1.03) and deadlift (ES = 0.80–0.96) and trivial in the control condition (ES = 0.02–0.11). The magnitude of differences in postactivation potentiating effect were considered moderate (d = 0.61) for set 1, trivial for set 2 (d = 0.10) and set 3 (d = 0.05) in favor of box squats, and moderate for set 4 (d = 0.58) in favor of deadlifts. Accommodating resistance in either box squats or deadlifts is an effective means of potentiating SBJ performance across multiple sets of a contrast protocol with only 90-s rest.

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Jamie Salter, Mark B.A. De Ste Croix, Jonathan D. Hughes, Matthew Weston, and Christopher Towlson

Purpose: Overuse injury risk increases during periods of accelerated growth, which can subsequently impact development in academy soccer, suggesting a need to quantify training exposure. Nonprescriptive development scheme legislation could lead to inconsistent approaches to monitoring maturity and training load. Therefore, this study aimed to communicate current practices of UK soccer academies toward biological maturity and training load. Methods: Forty-nine respondents completed an online survey representing support staff from male Premier League academies (n = 38) and female Regional Talent Clubs (n = 11). The survey included 16 questions covering maturity and training-load monitoring. Questions were multiple-choice or unipolar scaled (agreement 0–100) with a magnitude-based decision approach used for interpretation. Results: Injury prevention was deemed highest importance for maturity (83.0 [5.3], mean [SD]) and training-load monitoring (80.0 [2.8]). There were large differences in methods adopted for maturity estimation and moderate differences for training-load monitoring between academies. Predictions of maturity were deemed comparatively low in importance for bio-banded (biological classification) training (61.0 [3.3]) and low for bio-banded competition (56.0 [1.8]) across academies. Few respondents reported maturity (42%) and training load (16%) to parent/guardians, and only 9% of medical staff were routinely provided this data. Conclusions: Although consistencies between academies exist, disparities in monitoring approaches are likely reflective of environment-specific resource and logistical constraints. Designating consistent and qualified responsibility to staff will help promote fidelity, feedback, and transparency to advise stakeholders of maturity–load relationships. Practitioners should consider biological categorization to manage load prescription to promote maturity-appropriate dose–responses and to help reduce the risk of noncontact injury.