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AFL Strength & Conditioning Phases

AFL Strength & Conditioning
When it comes to football clubs and the health of their players, a comprehensive athletic training programme with qualified strength and conditioning coaches is of utmost importance.

Is your team fit enough to outrun the opposition in the final stages of a game?
Can your athletes hold their ground in battles and smash through tackles?
Do other teams comment on how good your team has been in minimising soft-tissue injuries?

AFL strength & conditioning coach can offer a specific programme that can assist athletes in reducing injuries and providing them with a competitive advantage in terms of repeat high intensity efforts and strength/power.

Strength and conditioning programmes are incorporated into the physical development programmes of young players to prepare their bodies for competitive football. Below is an example of one of many AFL strength & conditioning programmes that are being utilised by the AFL Academy, which clubs may use for their players all through the four phases of the season:

  •     Off-season (8 weeks)
  •     The first half of pre-season (8 weeks)
  •     The second half of pre-season (12 weeks)
  •     In-season 

During the offseason and the first half of the pre-season, teams generally implement programmes that involve general strength, balance, core strength. Then, as the season draws near, teams incorporate conditioning in their tactical/technical sessions. Finally, with the season in full swing, teams will implement early-week recovery, mid-week main strength and skills sessions. 

These programs are designed for athletes between the ages of 16 and 18. The execution of these programs should preferably be overseen by a strength and conditioning professional. This programme’s elements are also applicable to senior football. However, this programme is not suitable for players under the age of 16.

What are the Keys to Optimising Performance?

The keys to optimising physical performance are:

1) Intensity 

 Working out at a low intensity will not prepare you for the game and overtime will not push the body to react in a way that will result in better performance. It’s important not to overdo it in this regard, as it might lead to injury or mental burnout. Ensure that unloading phases are completed regularly.

2) Specificity 

This one is simple, really: if you want to play fast, you have to train fast as well. You cannot expect to jog every day and be adept at sprinting during actual matches.

3) Variety 

Changing the frequency, pace, and kinds of exercises you do constantly gives your body and mind a steady stimulus to evolve and be engaged in the task. 

4) Consistency 

 Consistency in training lessens the chances of your performance going through ups and downs.

The great Martin Luther King advocated, “all men are created equal.” However, the reality of the sports scene is that there are athletes that do next to nothing in training and still mop the field in live games. Meanwhile, there are sportsmen that relentlessly train but still underachieve. 

Tips to Improve Your Athletic Development Program

1) Determine what your goals are

First off, are you keen on increasing your game-day performance, or do you merely want to look like a bodybuilder in the mirror, regardless of whether your performance rises? Because the fact of the matter is training methods for football players aren’t interested in how much your appearance improves. Of course, cosmetic gains will occur due to the AFL resistance training program for football, but this is a byproduct rather than a significant goal. So, to put it briefly, bodybuilding-style methods in which you break down the body into different areas on various days and then fatigue the heck out of your triceps or biceps for an entire training session will do absolutely nothing for your capacity to execute athletic feats in football at a high level.

Now I’m not opposed to doing arm training, the focus of mine here is to be clear on what you’re working towards and do everything you can to achieve it. 

What exactly do you want to work on with regards to specific movements or abilities? Strength training allows players to improve their physical performance in a variety of ways like:

  •  More powerful first three steps
  • Deceleration and direction change that is both powerful and efficient
  • Much higher vertical leap, whether it’s done with one foot or both
  • More power in the upper body to fend off opponents
  • Body armour of the hips and trunk
  • Injury reduction

2) Select drills that lets you train more efficiently

Let’s be honest: you go to club training multiple times a week during the season and then, play a match during the weekend. This already takes away three days a week where you could concentrate on weight training. Furthermore, going through a conditioning session the day before a game would be foolish, because the core objective of your conditioning is to be at your peak during game day. As a result, you’re down to three possible sessions each week. Furthermore, the day after a game is frequently spent recovering whether it is from the game itself, or in some other cases, the night out after the game. So, essentially, throughout the season, you’ll only have two days a week to devote to resistance training, which is a lot if the workouts are executed with intent, and if plenty of pre-season groundwork has been completed.

3) AFL periodisation of your program

This is the “one” aspect wherein most programs fail. In fact, most programs I see footballers following fail to incorporate this due to inadequate exercise selection and subpar implementation of the chosen activities. However, of the few footy strength training programs that do incorporate solid exercises with a high level of utility for football progress, the vast majority of them fail because they haven’t been periodised at all, let alone effectively. I feel for the athletes this is not something they should have to worry about; it’s up to the strength and conditioning coaches to manage this load. 

Periodisation is evaluating the entire year ahead of time, then drawing up a strategy ahead of time and having the ability to read the cues and pivot the plan when needed. This does not need to be broken down into the tiniest of details, such as the number of sets and reps. Periodisation is the process of breaking down the year into frames or phases of training and focusing on specific areas, while limiting drop off in others during these periods. This is significant because, in order to maximise the benefits of training, each phase should have a distinct focus.

I learnt this funnel periodisation model during my internship at Hawthorn football club under Andrew Russell. Simply put you do a lot of the basics in isolation at the start of pre season and as the season approaches the funnell narrows its focus and everything from conditioning, technical and tactical is integrated into football drills to get the most specific transfer and develop match readiness. 

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strength coach MelbourneCategoriesBlog Training Program

Strength Coach Melbourne: Lower Body Strength & Power Training AFL

Each strength and conditioning coach Melbourne and all passionate athletes know that lower body strength training and power training are integral components of most athletic training programs, especially in AFL football. 

Studies from game motion analyses indicate that AFL football is an intermittent team sport requiring high-intensity and low-intensity activities. To perform at an elite level for the AFL, one needs high aerobic endurance, speed, strength, power, and agility. AFL is played on extensive grounds; therefore, players need to possess the qualities mentioned earlier.

Strength training

Strength training involves performing physical exercises designed to improve strength and endurance. It sometimes goes by the names resistance training, progressive resistance training, or weight training. Strength is a measure of how much force you can exert on physical objects or when doing a particular activity, while endurance is the ability to exercise a maximum amount of power for a certain period.

The resistance comes from your body or elasticized bands, free weights, or specialized weight machines in resistance training. Strength training is any exercise that involves exerting your muscles to work against such resistance.

AFL resistance training is not only instrumental in AFL football; it is also a core component of general health and fitness for everyone. It contributes to overall athletic development by increasing bone and muscle mass and density, improving metabolism and cardiac function.

Athletes can choose to focus on specific muscle groups depending on the requirements of their sport. In AFL, lower body strength training may be more critical than AFL upper body strength due to the high intensity running and kicking. Joint lower body strength training exercises include squats, lunges, deadlifts, step-ups, and others. The key to strength training is repetition and consistency. According to physiology, when a muscle is repeatedly subjected to resistance or a load, over time, it can adapt and grow via hypertrophy (increase in muscle fiber size).

Power training

Power training, as its name suggests, aims to increase power. In physics, power is the product of force and velocity. If you translate that to sports science terms, power is hence the product of strength and speed. Optimal power development is a reflection of how you can quickly exert force to produce the desired action. Imagine playing on the football field; it’s almost halftime, and you acquire possession of the ball. You are then faced with the decision to dispose of the ball either through kicking or handballing. You have enough strength to kick the ball, that’s a given, but it’s power, not just strength, that will allow you to dispose of the ball before the enemy team gets to you. 

There are various forms of power training that you can use singularly or in combination. These include plyometrics, ballistics training, complex training, contrast loading, explosive power lifts, gymnastics, sprinting, and many others.

Some trainees make the mistake of neglecting power training as they can believe that strength is everything. This is not true. In competitive sports like AFL football, strength and endurance keep you in the game, but power, speed, and agility earn you points.

How is power training significant in AFL football training? Professional AFL players need to perform explosive bursts throughout a typical game, such as sprinting, jumping, kicking, pace changing, and tackling. Speed is essential in football as required in direction and acceleration change. Thus, obtaining maximum muscle strength for explosive power requires such training power exercises.

The abovementioned significance of power training for athletic exercise regimens is backed up by sports medicine. When subjected to such activity, the physiologic adaptations include a higher firing frequency of neurons in muscle and more robust activation of high threshold motor units. There are three types of muscle fibers: type 1 slow-twitch fibers, type 2a fast-twitch oxidative fibers, and type 2b fast-twitch oxidative fibers. Muscles with slow-twitch fibers can contract for an extended period and have high endurance but slow firing. These kinds of muscle fibers are suitable for marathoners. However, fast-twitch fibers have more rapid firing and can provide short bursts of speed, which a footballer needs. Studies have shown that power training can shift your muscle fiber type into more fast-twitch fibers.

Strength and speed are two of the most essential S’s in sports training. In AFL football and other contact team sports, you need strength and power to help you play and score! With only strength, you can keep running around the field until the game ends, but with power, you can perform game-changing moves that are reflective of an elite player.

Here in Prepare like a Pro, we understand the importance of choosing the best exercises to maximize your athletic training. We offer individualised training packages for #afl and #aflw, private coaching sessions, online training programmes, and football clubs, each prepared to train you according to AFL standards. Our goal is to boost your training, take your lifestyle to the elite level and help you reach your potential.

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Prepare-like-a-pro-blog-group-shotsCategoriesTraining Program

COULD AFL FOOTBALL BE THE MOST DEMANDING TEAM SPORT?

AFL football is a sport that is predominately technical and tactical; however, it is also incredibly physically challenging to play. As such, becoming the best Aussie Rules footballer player isn’t just about playing more football, but also about physically being the best.

AFL is played on the largest grounds in the world. Therefore, the game demands that players possess elite running capacities. During games, players wear GPS devices that track their walking, jogging, running and sprinting distances. As this technology becomes increasingly reliable, it allows trainers to better understand the running demands being placed on players. Not only do AFL players need to be aerobically running fit, but the sport also requires consistent high-intensity efforts (similar to soccer) such as repeat speed & acceleration.  Players require training programs that helps them to master both so that they can effectively cover the ground.

AFL has the highest number of players competing on the ground (36) at one time. This makes finding space to effectively dispose of the ball challenging and requires athletes to be agile, balanced and strong in all different planes of motion. The game is played in a 360-degree zone and so a player can come under contact from any direction.  These two factors combine to mean that physical contact from tackles, bumps and aerial collisions are frequent, creating a physically chaotic state of play. The fact there are no weight divisions means that it is critical that players’ training programs help them to develops sufficient body armour to protect their body from contact injuries such as fractures and their brain from whiplash or concussion.

Aerial contests created by long kicks and frequent ball-ups require athletes to either be tall or to have elite jumping ability so that they can outreach their opponents. It is crucial that players develop their jumping on the run, standing still and on either leg. Strength conditioning and more specific plyometrics programs can help footballers to achieve their full jumping potential while reducing the likelihood of injury.

The ball used in AFL is shaped like an egg. This unusual shape leads to unpredictable bounces.  To be able to easily bend over to pick up the ball cleanly and at speed in congested situations, players must be sufficiently mobile and flexible, with quick reflexes. A program that develops players’ flexibility, as well as mobility and strength, will have them well positioned to reach the ball first during a contest.

Prepare Like A Pro offers training programs for AFL football players of all ages and abilities and in all leagues. Our programs help players to develop the full range of skills required so that they can achieve their full athletic potential and protect themselves from injury. With the programs offered by Prepare Like A Pro, players are prepared to take on the most physically demanding sport in the world.

Prepare-like-a-pro-blog-physical-performanceCategoriesTraining Program

PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE TESTING: 2KM TT or Yo-Yo IR2?

This was a question put to me in 2017, where we needed to develop a battery of tests, for our U18 NAB League squad (previously TAC Cup). We basically had one spot for our last test, where the beep test had always been used in the past.

The question put to me by the head coach: “We have normally tested their aerobic capacity via the beep test, we have one slot left for the last test, what do you want? The beep test, 2km TT or the Yo-Yo? – Get back to me tomorrow.”

My initial thoughts were to put them through the 2km TT. Why? – It’s an easy test to run, with next to no equipment needed, and easy to repeat in the same conditions, making it valid and reliable.

The other tests to be completed on the day were; anthropometrics, standing and running vertical jump, 20m sprint and the AFL agility test. All of which are used at the AFL National Combine for those who are invited and the league wide testing day. The final test completed at these events – the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test – Level 2.

We ended up going with the Yo-Yo IR2 for our club testing, for many reasons;

  • Replicates intermittent sport such as AFL. 2 x 20m running periods, followed by a brief rest period, is very similar to running patterns seen on-field during a match.
  • Tests athletes speed endurance, rather than aerobic capacity.
  • Gives athletes a better understanding of the test, enabling them to perform better under the pressure of ‘testing days’ in front of recruiters, coaches and AFL staff.

Although we decided to run the Yo-Yo test alongside the others previously mentioned, we also undertook the 2km TT on a separate occasion, to get the best of both worlds. This allowed us to get an understanding of our athlete’s speed endurance as well as their aerobic endurance. We have been doing this for the past 4-5 years now, and it has given us a great insight into the athlete’s physical capabilities.

A common question from athlete’s around this topic is usually, why are we doing each test and which ones do they do at AFL level. All clubs are completely different and may or may not run either test. There are several clubs who still run a 2km TT or something similar (2.2km, 3.0km etc.) and there are also clubs running the Yo-Yo test or their own variation of this. That being said, these are not the only two tests, clubs run, tests such as the 30-15 and timed interval running are also being used.

Matt Ross.

www.marathleticperformance.com.au

Prepare-like-a-pro-blog-Heart-rate-variability-HRV-CategoriesHRV

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

What is HRV?

HRV is the time difference between each R–R interval; that is, the time difference from heartbeat to heartbeat. HRV tracking shows that the time between each heartbeat is not the same each time; it varies with every beat. Hence, the term heart rate ‘variability’.

rr-intervalHRV has been shown to be a predictor of illness in elite athletes. However, its ability to predict injury is yet to be validated in humans. It wasn’t so long ago that HRV tracking was only possible using expensive medical equipment, such as an electrocardiogram. Now, HRV can be reliably measured using health-tracking technology such as smartphone applications, heart rate monitors and finger-wave pulse sensors. This technology can accurately measure HRV during ultra-short durations (1 minute) in either a supine, seated or standing position.

Todays readinessWhile many metrics are used to measure HRV, the most common and (and arguably most reliable) is  the root-mean-square difference of successive normal R–R intervals (RMSSD). The RMSSD measure is the most valid and most-researched measure and is therefore practical to apply to sporting settings.

How HRV is used to determine recovery status

It is important to remember that HRV provides critical information about the function of the ANS and that it is also the most reliable measurement of ANS function. An increase in HRV represents a positive adaptation/better recovery status, while a reduction in HRV reflects stress and worse recovery status. Having said that, it is also important to note that higher is not always better, and lower is not always worse (this will be discussed below). But as a golden rule of thumb, the higher the athletes HRV, the fitter/better recovered they are, and vice versa.

The ANS comprises two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). The easiest way to distinguish the differences between these two branches is to associate fight or flight responses with the SNS and rest and digest responses with the PSNS. Therefore, the SNS increases heart rate and the PSNS slows it down.

How HRV is used to determine improved wellbeing

Numerous studies provide evidence that coherence training consisting of intentional activation of positive emotions, paired with HRV coherence feedback, facilitates significant improvements in wellness.

How HRV used to determine

5 tips for tracking HRV

1. Ensure consistency between readings

For more accurate and relevant comparisons, consistent and repeatable measurements should be performed as much as possible. This will minimise confounding factors or misleading results. When using HRV trends to make important health and performance decisions and assessment, athletes must ensure they are comparing ‘apples to apples’ and not ‘apples to oranges’. Factors that affect repeatability and comparability include:

  • Time of day – Athletes should attempt to target the same 1-hour window each day, as circadian rhythm has a significant effect on HRV.
  • Body position – Athletes should ensure they use the same measuring position (i.e., sitting, standing or laying) every time, as torso angle has been proven to affect HRV.
  • Activity before HRV reading – Exercising, conversing, eating and caffeine intake are common factors that affect HRV. For optimum comparability between readings, athletes should perform the same activities between readings (e.g., always take baseline readings soon after waking up).

2. Strive for a low reading in the right setting

Chronically low HRV is, as a general rule, not what athletes should be striving for. However, a single or handful of low HRV readings is not always bad. In fact, strategic acute drops in HRV can be favourable, as long as HRV recovers to normal or better levels. Listed below are situations in which a low acute HRV is desirable.

  • A slightly lower HRV compared to the athlete’s baseline (associated with increased sympathetic nervous system activity) on a competition day can be favourable, depending on the activity.
  • An acute HRV drops after an intense workout or series of workouts that returns back to normal or better within a few days or weeks’ time can indicate good health.
  • A sudden drop in HRV after a change in nutrition, training method or lifestyle can indicate that the change is working.

3. Do not always assume a high reading is good

Just as a low HRV reading is not always bad, a high HRV reading is not always good. If a single HRV measurement is abnormally high compared to the athlete’s baseline or norm, then it can mean that something is off. Listed below are examples of when a high reading does not indicate better health.

  • When in a state of hyper recovery. This indicates that the body has accumulated too much stress, to the point that it can no longer effectively handle the stress and the body’s resources become depleted. In this situation, the body might force itself into a hyper-recovery mode  to protect itself. This state is not ideal for long-term health or performance.
  • When under continuous low-grade stress. These constant stressors can cause HRV to be higher in the short term because the body is constantly trying to recover. If an athlete’s HRV is high but they frequently feel fatigued or drained, then they might be exposed to chronic low-grade stress that is constantly consuming energy and resources.

4. Extrapolate multiple HRV readings

The body is in a constant state of flux as it responds to stressors and undergoes recovery processes. As such, one short HRV measurement might be skewed and not capture the body’s ‘normal’ state. One measurement could only capture a good day or a bad day and may not reflect the athlete’s norm. For example, a person’s HRV the day after staying up all night drinking alcohol will be very different to their HRV on a night that they go to bed early and don’t drink any alcohol.

When trying to understand HRV, it is important to take several days’ worth of measurements within a week (ideally over several weeks). This ensures that the single day is not an outlier. This also increases confidence in the baseline values that can then be used to more effectively set health and performance goals and to assess progress.

5. Use a heart rate monitor, not a wrist-based PPG monitor

An inaccurate measurement means an inaccurate (and invalid) HRV value. Accuracy is critical when when using HRV as a tool for training or health. Heart rate monitors like the Fitbit Charge or other wrist-based PPG or pulse-oximetry monitors are not compatible with measuring HRV. This is because many of these devices were not designed with the intention of measuring the more detailed heart rate fluctuations needed to calculate true HRV. They either do not record the R-R intervals or they provide smoothed, averaged or altered R-R intervals that remove the variability that comprises HRV.

Although these devices are suitable for measuring basic heart rate, there is no such thing as a ‘quick and dirty’, ‘good enough’ or ‘almost accurate’ HRV measurement. HRV values are a measure of normally imperceptible changes in heartbeat activity that often correlate with activity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). A quick and dirty measurement from an inaccurate device yields a completely useless HRV value that should not be used for decision making.

There are many new HR devices with bold promises and the lure of convenience. Although wearable technology is progressing quickly, athletes should still be wary of these devices. Due diligence is important for understanding if the device is compatible with HRV calculations.

Prepare-like-a-pro-blog-learning-while-sleeping-neuroscience-shutterstCategoriesElite Lifestyle

HOW BETTER SLEEP CAN IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

If there was a supplement that you could take that provided the same benefits as a quality night of sleep, it would sell out all over the world … and potentially be a banned substance. To feel refreshed and energetic upon waking up, most adults require approximately 8 hours of sleep. To allow their bodies to recovery from training sessions, athletes need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep. While more sleep improves health, sleep deprivation can have a range of debilitating consequences. It restricts cognitive function, can cause mood fluctuations, increases daytime tiredness and impairs learning and memory. However, as much as science (and our body!) tries to remind us how important sleep is, most people aren’t practicing the basics as well as they should be.

Benefits of sleep

Performance enhancement

Sleep helps your brain to work properly, improves memory, assists with concentration, regulates hormones such as testosterone and helps to repair and grow soft and connective tissues. The best type of broad spectrum supplement that an athlete can take is a full 8 hours of sleep every night!

Faster reaction times

During a game, every millisecond counts. Inadequate sleep can greatly impair reaction time; 22 hours without sleep can impair an athlete’s reaction time as much as if they had consumed four alcoholic drinks. Poor sleep impairs judgment, while good sleep fuels the body’s ability to concentrate, remember and learn. When energy is running low, the brain has much more difficulty organising and retaining new information. The best way that an athlete can prep for game day is by sleeping well in the nights leading up to the game.

Injury prevention

In AFL football, players have to use their instinctive reactions to protect themselves from potentially injurious collisions. Tired athletes are slower to react, increasing the likelihood of injury. Additionally, insufficient sleep doesn’t allow the body time to repair from the stress of workouts and games. Further, because exhaustion also affects the immune system, sleep-deprived athletes are more susceptible to illness and overload-type injuries.

7 tips for better sleep

1. Aim for more hours of sleep before midnight

Think about it from a weekly point of view and aim to maximise your total sleep between 9pm and 12am. A weekly goal of between 10 and 1 5 hours is ideal.

2. Avoid afternoon caffeine

Caffeine has a 6-hour half life, during which time it continues to stimulate the nervous system and can prevent the drinker from feeling at ease. As such, caffeinated drinks consumed in the afternoon can negatively affect sleep quality. For a better night’s sleep, avoid caffeine after 2pm.

3. Switch off electronic devices

Devices such as smartphones and laptops radiate blue light, which confuses the brain, as it takes this as a sign that it’s still daytime and stops producing hormones such as melatonin that promote relaxation and deep sleep. Try to avoid watching TV or using laptops and mobile phones an hour before sleeping and turn to calm, relaxing activities instead, such as reading or colouring in.

4. Sleep in a dark room

Set up your bedroom so that it resembles a dark cave. This assists with your circadian rhythm, a natural internal process that helps to regulate melatonin production and the sleep-wake cycle, which repeats approximately every 24 hours.

5. Create a sleep routine and stick to it

Establish a sleep and wake time and stick to it, even on weekends and especially in the lead up to competition or game days. Irregular sleeping patterns affect your circadian rhythm and melatonin production.

6. Relax before bed

It can be very common for athletes to experience stress and anxiety in the lead up to a competition or game day, especially the night before. This increases cortisol levels and negatively affects melatonin production. Physical and mental recovery techniques, such as massage, stretching, bathing and meditation, can reduce stress and result in a good night of sleep.

7. Never stay up late for something that wouldn’t be worth getting up early for!

Prepare-like-a-pro-black-logoCategoriesTraining Program

ARE YOU TRULY PREPARED?

Each year, dedicated footy players looking to make the leap from the NAB or local competition to the AFL or state league choose Prepare Like A Pro services.

Their goal: Prepare for the biggest job interview of their life, the AFL Draft Combine, and their first year on an AFL/state league list.

Prepare Like A Pro (PLP)

A training program that is designed to help you develop a strong, balanced, well-conditioned body that moves well and is free from injury. This football-based training program is suitable for all levels of strength and fitness, from beginners to the most elite athletes in the country. I want to teach you the techniques I use to perform these movements in the safest and most efficient way possible to help you achieve your goals. This program has everything you need to develop all your physical capacities to better prepare yourself to play the game of football at the highest level.

First create the program based on your unique biomechanical + positional needs, athletic testing results, and goals. This program includes closely monitored, supervised all the support you need to unlock your potential. I will personalize your weekly strength and conditioning programs to work with your schedule and advise you when its best to do your upper or lower body weights sessions in conjunction with your conditioning sessions. It’s not just about having the best programs, it’s also about when you do them and the life you live that ensures you get the maximum effect.

The first step toward achieving REAL gains in athletic performance starts with a truly accurate assessment of an athlete’s mental & physical condition.

Fitness testing, Medical history, outside football life interests. I make use of the latest technical research to inform my coaching and programming.

Screening

My scientific screening and physical evaluation tests enable us to tailor an athlete’s program to meet his/her unique needs. Specific upper and lower body, front and back strength tests discover any muscular imbalances, which may have resulted from prior training habits or injuries.

Combine Event Training

The single most important part of preparing for the combine. As each event requires its own specific set of skills, each must be addressed individually. Here the athlete will learn how to perform each specific event in the most efficient manner possible. Practice makes perfect, but actually improving one’s mechanics makes results even better. There are strategies to taking any test and the AFL Combine is no different. Ultimately our objective is to make our clients Master Test Takers. No athlete at the combine will be better prepared and that knowledge will instill the confidence that will allow peak performance.

Results you can expect following my program:

  • BODY SIZE: Body mass & Skinfolds
  • STRENGTH: 3RM Trap bar, Benchpress, Prone row, Box squat
  • POWER: Vertical jump test + 5m run-up
  • SPEED: 20 m sprint (5 & 10m Splits included)
  • AGILITY: AFL agility test
  • ENDURANCE: YO-YO test and 2-kilometer time trial
  • MOBILITY: Sit and reach test

Lifestyle

What an athlete puts in their body is the foundation of athletic preparation and a true sign of athletes’ commitment to success. The key is learning the knowledge to make good decisions that allow athletes to perform at their best. My advice helps the athlete with the right meal type, energy, nutrients, and fluids to keep the body well hydrated and functioning at peak levels.

What are the benefits?

Increased knowledge on how much to sleep/eat and when Develop better lifestyle habits to help you achieve your goals

An AFL experienced coach providing you specific advice on what you currently and what are the most important things to change

Access to my sleep + nutrition private presentations exclusive designed specifically to develop the athletes I coach.

Sprint Training

I believe sprinting on a regular basis is one of the most important physical training methodologies for Football players. It is possible to improve one’s 5, 10, and 20-meter times. Understanding proper stance, first-3 step technique, use of arms and acceleration, maximum velocity mechanics.

Strength, Power, Agility Training

Each athlete is different, but a stronger, better-balanced athlete will perform better at every combine event. Max force production is the ceiling to all athletic tasks. My program may include maximum Strength ie working up to a rep max for the day, Dynamic Effort or velocity-based training, Repetition/Time under tension training to develop body armor, Plyometrics, Isometronics, or eccentrics for performance and or injury prevention/body management. Very often all it may take is a change in intent for an athlete to make break plateaue and or enjoy training again.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility is one of the most overlooked components of training the athlete. The PLP program places special focus on flexibility as we recognize the dramatic effects it can have on performance and its importance in reducing muscle soreness.

Anaerobic / Aerobic Conditioning

This is accomplished through our one-of-a-kind “Dynamic Warm-up.”  Learning this skill alone has been proven to increase our client’s results.

Recovery Techniques

Most athletes who come to us know how to train hard, but few know how to train smart and read their bodies to make smart decisions to change their training and still get high-performance results. Merely increasing the workload without a change in lifestyle habits or understanding of how the body adapts is a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, proper recovery is the absolute key to performance and improvement. We accelerate the recovery process for the athlete with the best restoration methods available. This includes advice on Self-care, cold baths, and nutrition supplementation.

CategoriesTraining Program

How do the pros train?

How can you be best preparing yourself to be closer to your goals without overtraining or burning out?

Finding the right program that suits you is paramount to being able to get the most out of yourself, please read below my different programs and what you can expect to get out of them

There is no better time to work on your athletic development than now!

Choose from the following programs:

  • Prepare Like A Pro Lifestyle program 4-weeks
  • Prepare Like A Pro online strength + conditioning program 8-weeks
  • Prepare Like A Pro personalized training & lifestyle program 4-weeks

Find out more about each program below!

How does it work?

1. Lifestyle program

4 Week program designed to develop your lifestyle habits

What an athlete puts in their body is the foundation of athletic preparation and a true sign of athletes’ commitment to success. The key is learning the knowledge to make good decisions that allow athletes to perform at their best. My advice supplies the athlete with the right meal type, energy, nutrients, and fluids to keep the body well hydrated and functioning at peak levels.

Week 1 -2 Nutrition: Food diary, First I need to know what your habits are before I can give advice tailored to you. Week 1 I will get you to take photos of what your eating for the week.   From there I will give you some pointers and direction on what key areas you can change to help reach your goals.

Week 2 you will receive my Nutrition presentation recorded via zoom where I will run you through the foundations of whats required to eat to the athlete way to fuel your training.

Week 3 – 4 Sleep Diary, Completing the sleep diary app questionnaire each day for a week I will monitor your sleep habits and give you the advice as well as you will have access to my sleep presentation educating the importance of sleep and to increase sleep quality so you can put into practice for week 4.

What are the benefits?

  • Increased knowledge on how much to sleep/eat and when
  • Develop better lifestyle habits to help you achieve your goals
  • An AFL experienced coach providing you specific advice on what you currently and what are the most important things to change
  • Access to my sleep + nutrition private presentations exclusive designed specifically to develop the athletes I coach.

How does it work?

2. Prepare Like A Pro online strength + conditioning program

This 8-Week training program has everything you need to develop all your physical capacities to better prepare yourself to play the game of football at the highest level.

This football specific designed program is designed by myself for those that want more than an average strength + conditioning program but can’t afford my individualized program.

Once you buy the program you will receive an Easy code to join TeamBuildr and have access to this program.

You can start this program whenever you want, I have a created few different programs to suit everyone’s football position and athletic goals. For example, if you’re a winger wanting to increase your repeat speed you will receive a different 8-week program to someone who is a ruckman wanting to put on strength & size.

What are the benefits?

  • Well designed program to maximize your results while reducing the risk of injury
  • Develop a better understanding of what an AFL strength + conditioning program feels like.
  • Develop a more athletic look, through increasing lean muscle mass and dropping body fat %.
  • Access to my private high-performance presentations exclusively designed specifically to develop the athletes I coach.

How does it work?

3. Prepare Like A Pro personalized athletic development

A training program that is designed to help you develop a strong, balanced, well-conditioned body that moves well and is free from injury. This football-based training program is suitable for all levels of strength and fitness, from beginners to the most elite athletes in the country.  I want to teach you the techniques I use to perform these movements in the safest and most efficient way possible to help you achieve your goals. This program has everything you need to develop all your physical capacities to better prepare yourself to play the game of football at the highest level.

First create the program based on your unique biomechanical + positional needs, athletic testing results, and goals. This program includes closely monitored, supervised all the support you need to unlock your potential. I will personalize your weekly strength and conditioning programs to work with your schedule and advise you when its best to do your upper or lower body weights sessions in conjunction with your conditioning sessions. It’s not just about having the best programs, it’s also about when you do them and the life you live that ensures you get the maximum effect.

What are the benefits?

  • Ongoing individualized advice to help with training, stress, nutrition, and recovery
  • Full access to all my recorded lifestyle and physical performance presentations
  • A home training program to increase your physical performance
  • An individualized program that will be customised to suit your needs
  • Zoom 1on1 sessions as well as join all the other athletes follow my individualized program for a weekly zoom session where I present on a topic and answer any questions the athletes throw my way.
Prepare-like-a-pro-blog-AFL-AthleticjpgCategoriesTraining Program

AFL Athletic Development Program

Could AFL football be the most demanding team sport in the world?

AFL football is a predominately technical & tactical sport however it’s also an incredibly challenging physical sport to play and becoming the best Aussie Rules footballer player you can be isn’t all about playing more football.

AFL most of the time is played on the largest grounds in the world, therefore the game demands elite running capacities.

GPS units are worn to track players walking/jogging/running/sprinting distances, this technology is increasing in reliability and has allowed us to better understand each individual player running demands.

Not only do you need to be aerobically fit but the sport also requires continual high-intensity efforts similar to Soccer such as repeat speed & acceleration.

The physical contact from tackles, bumps, and aerial collisions are high and only add to chaos nature of the game.

The game has the most amount of players competing on the ground (36) at one time.

This can make finding space to dispose of the ball effectively to maintain possession challenging and requires athletes to be agile, balanced, and strong in all different planes of motion.

The G forces aren’t as high as a sport like rugby, however the contact can come from any direction as the game is played in a 360-degree nature. The fact there are no weight divisions make it critical the training program develops enough body armour to protect from contact injuries such as fractures and or brain from whiplash/concussion.

The aerial contests require athletes to be tall and or have an elite jumping ability to out reach your opponents. Important that we develop your jumping qualities both on the run, at standing, and on either leg.

Strength conditioning and more specifically plyometrics program can help footballers reach their athletic genetic potential while reducing the likelihood of injury.

The funny shape ball can create unpredictable bounce and those that are mobile/flexible enough to easily bend over to pick up the ball are better able to do so at speed and in congested situations allowing for an increased ability to not only get to the ball first but collect it cleanly.

Is your physical capacity letting you down to perform at your potential?

Do you want to improve your game by improving your overall athleticism?

To achieve this, you need to run well. The more efficiently you run, the faster and longer you can run, the faster you can change direction, and the more mental energy you have to focus on the game. Whether you’re in a Nab league squad or community team now is no better opportunity to prepare yourself for a future combine. I have a range of programs that can help you reach your goals while improving your overall wellbeing.

My Services

I personalise your weekly strength and conditioning programs and guide you when its best to do your upper or lower body weights sessions with your conditioning sessions. It’s not just about having the best programs, it’s also about when you do them and the life you live in terms of stress – fuel & sleep to get the maximum effect.