“Is it a slow day or a go day?”: The perceptions and applications of velocity-based training within elite strength and conditioning
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational journal of sports science & coaching. 2022, . 10.1177/17479541221099641
Velocity-based training (VBT) is a contemporary prescriptive, programming, and testing tool commonly utilised in strength and conditioning (S&C). Over recent years, there has been an influx of peer-reviewed literature investigating several different applications (e.g. load-velocity profiling, velocity loss, load manipulation, and reliability of technology) of VBT. The procedures implemented in research, however, do not always reflect the practices within applied environments. The aim of this study, therefore, was to investigate the perceptions and applications of VBT within elite S&C to enhance contextual understanding and develop appropriate avenues of practitioner-focused research. Fourteen high-performance S&C coaches participated in semi-structured interviews to discuss their experiences of implementing VBT into their practices. Reflexive thematic analysis was adopted, following an inductive and realist approach. Three central organising themes emerged: Technology, applications, and reflections. Within these central themes, higher order themes consisting of drivers for buying technology; programming, testing, monitoring, and feedback; and benefits, drawbacks, and future uses also emerged. Practitioners reported varied drivers and applications of VBT, often being dictated by simplicity, environmental context, and personal preferences. Coaches perceived VBT to be a beneficial tool yet were cognizant of the drawbacks and challenges in certain settings. VBT is a flexible tool that can support and aid several aspects of S&C planning and delivery, with coaches valuing the impact it can have on training environments, objective prescriptions, tracking player readiness, and programme success.