Current evidence increasingly suggests that very short, supra-maximal bouts of exercise can have significant health and performance benefits. The majority of research conducted in the area however, uses laboratory-based protocols, which can lack ecological validity. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a high intensity sprint-training programme on hockey related performance measures. 14 semi-professional hockey players completed either a 4-week high intensity training (HIT) intervention, consisting of a total of six sessions HIT, which progressively increased in volume (n=7), or followed their normal training programme (Con; n=7). Straight-line sprint speed with and without a hockey stick and ball, and slalom sprint speed, with and without a hockey stick and ball were used as performance indicators. Maximal sprint speed over 22.9m was also assessed. Upon completion of the four-week intervention, straight-line sprint speed improved significantly in the HIT group (~3%), with no change in performance for the Con group. Slalom sprint speed, both with and without a hockey ball was not significantly different following the training programme in either group. Maximal sprint speed improved significantly (12.1%) in the HIT group, but there was no significant performance change in the Con group. The findings of this study indicate that a short period of HIT can significantly improve hockey related performance measures, and could be beneficial to athletes and coaches in field settings.
Jakeman, J. R., McMullan, J., & Babraj, J. A. (2016). Efficacy of a four-week uphill sprint training intervention in field hockey players. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 30(10), 2761–2766. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001373