Resisted Sled Training in Youth Athletes

March 11, 2022

Resisted sprint training is the next wave of sprint performance training. The methods outlined here and also in the video allow the coach to be laser-focused on where the athlete's needs are and program to what will be maximally beneficial to their performance. 



There is a renewed interest in resisted sled training (RST); however, little uniformity exists regarding the integration of best practices in resisted sled training for young athletes. This article link reviews the prescription of load, methods of RST, and the integration of sprint-specific periodized training blocks during the preparatory phase to elicit the greatest gains within different phases of sprint performance such as early acceleration, late acceleration, and the transition to maximum velocity. A targeted, long-term approach to RST may enable more effective development of speed in young athletes. Some key takeaways from the article are listed here and are expanded upon within the article.


Read the full article, Resisted Sled Training for Young Athletes: When to Push and Pull, via the button below.


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Key Takeaways:

  • Sprint-specific training should be used to develop speed using RST in the form of both sled pushing and pulling. Coaches need to consider the maturity, competency, and training age of young athletes to prescribe the most appropriate sprint-specific training programs.
  • Specific areas of sprint mechanics such as forward body lean, postural control, and knee drive can be emphasized within different training zones across both pre-PHV and post-PHV to rein-force good sprint technique.
  • Different zones of training can provide coaches with a targeted approach to improving specific phases within a sprint. Coaches can use a free online resource to calculate an athlete's LV profile, specific sled load for targeted adaptation and training guidelines.
  • During the earlier preparatory phases, acceleration can be targeted through low-velocity RST at higher intensities. As competition approaches, coachescan target late acceleration and transition to Vmax through higher velocity RST at lower intensities. Sledpulling is recommended a more specific form of RST than sled pushing due to the use of the arm drive.



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