Pre-Season: Strength Training
Underpinning all performance, speed, agility and power is strength. Maximal strength is the base of the pyramid, however just being strong is not enough. You need to be able to develop strength that you can use and adapt into these performance aspects. The World's Strongest Man would struggle to produce the same levels of performance over 80 minutes since he hasn't trained for this. Yet the stronger you are the more power you can develop creating better firing neural pathways, the faster you will go due to speed generation and the more agile you will be.
Here is the correct sequence for developing fitness with some example video clips of exercises you can do on the training ground to develop these aspects. This is also how we suggest breaking up the non-technical side of your pre-season, spending 2 weeks on each of the following!
1) Strength Training
2) Power Training
3) Speed Training
4) Agility Training
Strength is the basis upon which all athletic performances are based, without a period of strength training ie. Lifting heavy weights, you will always limit your potential to express power, speed and agility.
Strength is necessary in many areas of the game for skill production, strength improves ability to prevent concussions, strength prevents injuries by stabilizing joints, strength improves tackle technique and the ability to manage collisions/being tackled.
Here's an some excellent example of strength in action:
As we move into a block of strength training you should look to complete at least 2 if not 3 sessions per week - too little is a as bad as too much. If you are going to benefit from a strength programme at all you need to be consistent and dedicated.