Cardiff Metropolitan University
Wild_et_al_part_2_accepted_manuscript_Ian Bezodis.pdf (2.68 MB)

Enhancing the Initial Acceleration Performance of Elite Rugby Backs. Part II: Insights From Multiple Longitudinal Individual-Specific Case-Study Interventions

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-14, 17:08 authored by James J. Wild, Ian Bezodis, Jamie S. North, Neil E. Bezodis

Purpose: This study implemented 18-week individual-specific sprint acceleration training interventions in elite male rugby backs based on their predetermined individual technical needs and evaluated the effectiveness of these interventions. Methods: Individual-specific interventions were prescribed to 5 elite rugby backs over an 18-week period. Interventions were informed by the relationships between individual technique strategies and initial acceleration performance, and their strength-based capabilities. Individual-specific changes in technique and initial acceleration performance were measured at multiple time points across the intervention period and compared with 3 control participants who underwent their normal training. Results: Of the technique variables intentionally targeted during the intervention period, moderate to very large (|d| = 0.93–3.99) meaningful changes were observed in the participants who received an individual-specific intervention but not in control participants. Resultant changes to the intervention participants’ whole-body kinematic strategies were broadly consistent with the intended changes. Moderate to very large (|d| = 1.11–2.82) improvements in initial acceleration performance were observed in participants receiving individual-specific technical interventions but not in the control participants or the participant who received an individual-specific strength intervention. Conclusions: Individual-specific technical interventions were more effective in manipulating aspects of acceleration technique and performance compared with the traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach adopted by the control participants. This study provides a novel, evidence-based approach for applied practitioners working to individualize sprint-based practices to enhance acceleration performance.



Human Kinetics


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Wild, J. J., Bezodis, I. N., North, J. S., & Bezodis, N. E. (2023) 'Enhancing the Initial Acceleration Performance of Elite Rugby Backs. Part II: Insights From Multiple Longitudinal Individual-Specific Case-Study Interventions', International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1(aop), 1-7.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Ian Bezodis

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • High Performance

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  • © The Publisher


  • en

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