Australia is home to some of the best sporting facilities in the world. From Olympic-standard venues to dedicated high-performance facilities for athletes, you can have access to everything you need to reach your potential.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some strength and conditioning coaches and hear their thoughts about the current state of training in the country today. Whether you’re an AFL player looking for a place to train or you’re just interested in learning more about our sporting infrastructure, this post is sure to interest you!
The engaging forum was led by Jack Mclean, a strength and conditioning coach who founded the premier training program for footy players, Prepare Like a Pro.
Present during the forum was a host of Australia’s AFL strength and conditioning coaches and physios such as Chris Perkin, Director of Westcoast Health & High Performance, Sean Baker, the founder of Peaq Performance Centre, Christian Woodford, the Director of Woodford Sport Science Consulting, Jarrad Kay, founder of The Sixth Principle Gym, Durham McInnis, founder of Core Advantage, Lachlan Wilmot, co-founder of Athletes Authority, Michael Crichton co-owner of Melbourne Fitness & Performance and Tim Schleiger, the director at Sports Clinic of Melbourne.
The group’s consensus was that Australia is on par with the rest of the world in terms of strength and conditioning knowledge and facilities. However, there is always room for improvement, which this group of coaches is constantly striving for. Jarrad mentioned the lack of facilities hinder athletes’ ability to develop their speed, compared to facilities in the United States where athletes, young and old, have access to numerous tracks and turf fields.
“We’ve gotten really good at strength and conditioning. I would say and now what we found that the speed project and why we started this business during COVID mainly because our gyms were closed and we were locked out of them. Speed was that necessary missing link to the total puzzle, and I’m going to talk about that puzzle and analogy a little more because, at the moment, I think a lot of us are constrained by our facility size,” said Jarrad Kay.
“When I was over in America, I went to this gym for easy speed performance and they had a 60-meter mondo track in their facility so they could hit some kind of top speed work where all of us, size and space is a big limitation especially down here in Melbourne. We’re lucky if we have 15-20 meters of turf to access, so acceleration is something that’s really well-worked into programs, but if we think about what our athletes are doing week in week out, they’re just accelerating every time at training.”
“That’s the main quality of sprinting that they’re going to continuously hit so max velocity becomes that missing piece of the puzzle and that’s where we say ‘all right, how do we layer sprint training and how do we include max velocity that exposure these high-speed loads into an athlete’s program when we’re battling all the barriers that are going against it such as sports training and gym and everything else on top of it?’ So that’s the part of the puzzle that we like to explore, and we sit down with our athletes and work out how we can best do this,” Kay explained.
Woodford also spoke at length about the importance of social media in spreading strength and conditioning knowledge.
“I can’t say this enough. My biggest tip is to use social media to get what you believe in. I think so many people don’t use social media enough. Let’s forget about the algorithm and all that stuff but I think higher level. And you look at my good mate Jamie Smith from Melbourne’s Strength Culture. They’ve started a new podcast on YouTube and it’s been fantastic. And I think that’s another area where we’re gonna pick up again,” relayed Woodford.
“We’re gonna start my show again in that YouTube area which so many people watch. It has so much reach. That’s why all these other social media means like on Instagram and Facebook, they’re chasing YouTube so I think YouTube’s a big one. Getting content out on YouTube’s critical, but it’s just pushing across a message of what you believe in, you know. Show your athletes training. Show your passion. Show what you’re believing. Show your knowledge. Don’t be afraid of giving away free information.”
“I think that’s a big one in the industry. Showing that you actually do care and you do want to get the best results for your client athlete. That’s a very important thing you’re showing because there are a lot of people out there who don’t care about results. They are kind of just doing it for the money. They’re my two biggest tips: show through social media in terms of what you stand for what you believe in your passion and the second, that you actually really do care,” said Woodford.
Wilmot also discussed how much of an impact strength and conditioning coaches have on athletes, whether they’re as young as nine years old, or veterans trying to hold on to their professional careers.
“In professional sport, you know, strength conditioning coaches, we probably have a percentage of athletes that we impact more than others. Typically, when it comes to the very talented superstars, our influence on them can often be less. The older athlete often our influence can be sustaining careers for a little bit longer. But obviously, in the private sector, we were getting athletes at 13 to 17 years of age. To be able to influence them was really big, and that’s what we do in the private sector,” shared Wilmot.
If you are an athlete looking for a facility that can help you take your performance to the next level, then look no further than Prepare Like a Pro. Our world-class programming and expert coaching staff will have you primed and ready to perform at your best. Contact us today to learn more about our programs or book a tour of our facilities. We can’t wait to help you achieve your athletic goals!