Maximizing Strength for Young AFL Players: Expert Tips
Strength Training AFL Players: Building a Foundation for Success
In the highly competitive world of Australian Rules Football (AFL), having a solid foundation of strength can be a game-changer. Young players entering the AFL arena need targeted and effective strength training to unlock their full potential on the field. This comprehensive guide will provide expert tips and strategies to help young AFL players maximize their strength and elevate their performance.
Josh is the Strength & Conditioning Coach at Adelaide Crows where he manages the 1- 4-year strength programs and assists in rehabilitation. Josh has also worked at the Port Adelaide FC, Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy, and SANFL Umpires.
Highlights of the episode:
- Why did he switch from his physio pathway to strength & conditioning
- The importance of being enthusiastic and understanding your role as an intern
- Why develop a reflection practice to make the most of your mentor and learnings
- The 3 key pillars of the crow’s Athletic Development Plan
- How Josh designs his training programs and session plans
Understanding the Importance of Strength Training in AFL
The Role of Strength in Player Performance
Before delving into specific training techniques, it’s crucial to understand why strength training is so vital for AFL players. Strength forms the backbone of performance in this physically demanding sport. It enables players to tackle opponents, maintain possession, and execute powerful kicks with precision. Additionally, a well-developed musculature helps prevent injuries, ensuring players stay on the field throughout the season.
Pillars of Effective AFL Strength Training
- Earning the Right to ProgressIn the early stages of strength training, it’s essential for young players to demonstrate their capabilities in fundamental movements. This means objectively showcasing their ability to push, pull, squat, hinge, lunge, twist, carry, jump, and land proficiently. By setting clear benchmarks, coaches and trainers can tailor programs to suit individual needs and ensure progress is achieved safely and effectively.
- Keeping It Simple, Setting High StandardsA key philosophy in AFL strength training is to keep programs simple yet execute the basics with impeccable precision. Complex in design but simple in execution, this approach emphasizes the importance of mastering fundamental exercises. By maintaining high standards in technique and form, players can build a solid foundation of strength that will serve them well on the field.
- Adapting to Diverse EnvironmentsAFL players often find themselves training in various locations, from state-of-the-art facilities to makeshift gyms. To accommodate this diversity, programs should be adaptable. Utilizing platforms like Team Builder with tag options allows for flexibility in exercise selection. This ensures that no matter where a player is, they can effectively complete their prescribed workout regimen.
Building Mentor Relationships: Gaining Insights from Industry Experts
Approaching Mentorship with Humility and Openness
Mentors in the strength and conditioning industry have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer. Recognizing this, young professionals must approach mentor relationships with humility and an open mind. Understanding that mentors have likely forgotten more about the field than one might know is the first step. Actively listening, absorbing advice, and reflecting on it enables the transfer of invaluable expertise to the next generation of AFL trainers and coaches.
Incorporating Strength Training into Off-Season Regimens
Balancing Intensity and Interaction
The off-season is a critical time for AFL players to build strength and prepare for the challenges ahead. However, it often comes with its own set of challenges, including limited interaction with coaching staff. To address this, programs should strike a balance between intensity and accessibility. By focusing on fundamental lifts and maintaining high standards of execution, players can make significant strides in their strength development, regardless of their training environment.
Conclusion: Empowering Young AFL Players Through Strength
Empowering the Next Generation of AFL Stars
Strength training lays the foundation for success in the AFL. By following expert tips and adhering to proven strategies, young players can maximize their potential on the field. Remember, it’s not just about lifting weights; it’s about building a robust and resilient physique that can withstand the rigors of competitive play. With the right training regimen and a commitment to excellence, the next generation of AFL stars can rise to new heights of performance and achievement.
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Jack McLean is the founder of Prepare Like a Pro. He loves coaching people so that they can reach their personal/professional goals and become the best that they can possibly be. He is currently the Strength & Rehab Coach of Melbourne Football Club and has worked as Strength & Conditioning Coach at Hawthorn Football Club. Jack is a Level 3 Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and Professional Coach and a Level 1 Australian Weightlifting Federation Coach.