How to Prepare Like an AFL PlayerCategoriesBlog Training Program

Why you need to prepare like a pro if you want to make it to the AFL

If you want to play professional Australian rules football, you need to prepare like a pro. This 8-week training plan will help you develop the speed, strength, and stamina you need to compete at the highest level. With three strength training workouts and three speed/energy systems development sessions per week, this program is designed to get you football ready. You’ll need access to weights for the strength training workouts and a football oval or park for the speed and conditioning elements. So if you’re serious about making it to the AFL, start preparing like a pro today.

Week 1:
3x Total Body Strength Training Workouts + 2x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Week 2:
3x Total Body Strength Training Workouts + 2x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Week 3:
3x Strength Training Workouts + 3x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Week 4:
3x Strength Training Workouts + 4x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Week 5:
3x Strength Training Workouts + 4x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Week 6:
4x Strength Training Workouts Workouts + 3x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Week 7:
4x Strength Training Workouts Workouts + 3x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Week 8:
3x Strength Training Workouts + 4x Speed/Energy Systems Development Sessions

Professional athletes didn’t get to where they are by accident; they put in the hard work and dedication required to hone their skills and perfect their craft. If you want to make it to the AFL, you need to prepare like a pro. This 12-week training plan will help get you on the path to success. So what are you waiting for?

AFL Athletic Development Training for the Youth
AFL Athletic Development Training for the Youth

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How many hours do AFL players train in seasonCategoriesBlog Training Program

What Footy Players Do During the Off-Season

The off-season is a crucial time for footy players. They use this time to rest and recover from the previous season, but they also continue to train and work hard to maintain their high level of fitness. Players also take this time to coach and help out with elite summer training programs for young upcoming players.

During the off-season, footy players focus on both resting and training. Rest is important for players to allow their bodies to recover from the previous season. However, players cannot rest for too long as they need to maintain their high level of fitness. As a result, players continue to train during the off-season, although at a lower intensity than during the regular season.

Players also use the off-season to coach and help out with elite summer training programs for young upcoming players. This helps them stay involved in the game and give back to the community.

The off-season is an important time for footy players. They use this time to rest, recover, and train so that they can come back even stronger for the next season. Players also take this time to coach and help out with elite summer training programs for young upcoming players.

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What You Really Need to Know as a Strength Conditioning Coach 1CategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Players

Does player wellness affect AFL individual match day performance?

 

Aim and hypothesis

The aim of my research is to investigate whether players’ self-reported wellness metrics such as Sleep quality, Mood, Muscle soreness, and Body fatigue have a correlation with individual AFL game day performance.

 

Game day performance will be measured by coaches and player self-rating of 1 – 5 1 being a poor gamed and 5 excellent and champion data.

 

Wellness is critical for an athlete’s recovery between games and physical preparedness for performance in the upcoming game. (5)

 

There is research (2) on the impacts of wellness leading up to the game on running performance however no wellness data collected from AFL players on gameday.

 

My hypothesis would be that certain metrics would have a stronger influence on certain players than others. There may be a strong correlation between certain metrics that influence other wellness scores for example mood and body fatigue maybe closely link to quality of sleep.

 

Players are more likely to buy into something that they believe will help their game day performance.

Using this data will be helpful for support staff such as medical and high performance to provide AFL athletes with relevant wellbeing metrics and game day performance.

Staff informing players of this research can encourage athletes to discover or continue effective practices like sleep hygiene and mindfulness to improve their quality of mood and sleep.

 

Study design and participants

This study will be a primary prospective cohort study with mixed methods of quantitative & qualitative data. Realistically the study would be conducted at one AFL club over two seasons and due to small cohort having a mixed quantitative and qualitative approach would be appropriate to assist in applying and understanding the findings.

 

The source of this study will be AFL players playing from the Melbourne Football Club. The whole team over 22 rounds and finals would be required in this study which is up to 40 – 60 AFL players depending on how many listed players play over 2 seasons.

 

Measures and variables

From a quantitative approach using a number scale of 1 – 5 asking each player to rate the respective wellness question.

And from a qualitative point of view asking the athletes pregame “how satisfied they are with their weekly preparation regarding sleep, stress and how their body feels”.

 

Data collection will be gathered pre-game where each player included in the study will answer the following questionnaire:

Key wellness metrics:

rate (1 – 5) 1 = poor 5 = great

Sleep quality: players are educated to factor in, how many times they woke up during the night, how long it took them to get to sleep and the duration.

Mood players are educated to factor in if they feel flat, irritable, or overwhelmed or relaxed and content

Muscle soreness players are educated to factor in how sore their muscles feel barely being able to walk being 1 and 5 feel normal

Body fatigue players are educated to factor in their motivation and energy levels. Are they feeling fresh or drained?

 

Rating performance will be a mix of subjective and objective data 3 separate rows to help with analysis:

Row 1 Player rating from 1 – 5,

Row 2 Coaches rating from 1 – 5

Row 3 Champion data total score from the game.

 

After the first 4 games z scores can be calculated for each wellness metric to help determine the effect of individual fluctuations within each wellness rating.

 

To calculate a z score you simply create the following excel function: weekly rating (4) – minus the four-week average (3) divided by a rolling 4-week deviation of recent 4-week (0.8) z = 4 – 3 /0.8 = 1.02 in percentage %102.

 

Performance will be determined by looking at each player’s total

AFL player rating score using the Champion data algorithm in addition The Melbourne football coaches will rate performance for each player from 1-5. (1 – 5 1 = poor 5 = great)

 

Data collection protocol

On player arrival for each home and away game players will fill out a questionnaire displayed below table A via a wellness app like edge 10. Athletes would also be followed up by staff post-game during if they rated below 2 to further investigate the context behind the poor rating. We can then export the data from edge 10 to an excel pivot table which can help us collate the data and make it easier to analyse the player’s wellness data when looking for correlations and trends in performance.

 

Table A

 

From there champion data player rating and coaches’ votes are collected and collated and z scores are calculated for analysis.

At the end of the 2 years of study closely going through the data and looking for trends in the data such as high z scores of sleep result in a high probability in in consistent performances on game day. Applying the findings to back up the hypothesis or challenge it. The key part of this research will also be making sense of the qualitative comments made by the players that rated below 3 for any wellness metric. This may come in handy for staff to help finding solutions for the players.

Data analysis

The issue this research is trying to solve is how much subjective markers influence game day performance and therefore what are the key ones to focus on from a development point of view.

How do we analysis the data? Interpreting the data to help determine answer questions such as:

What is the relationship between wellness metrics and high performance?

What might be the key causes from a preparation point of view for high performance in AFL football?

Does one factor have a significant affect or is a mix of all metrics that need to be taken into context.

Strength & conditioning coaches in the AFL recognize the importance of wellness as research shows most teams have some form of wellness data collection for load monitoring. Why not add it in as a performance measure as well?

Perhaps we find some info that challenges assumptions like body fatigue and muscle soreness increases match day performance.

Ethical considerations

Limitations of this study would be getting every team on board and even if we could get every team on board for the 2-year study gathering the data in a timely manner would be another issue, as some if not most clubs would want to keep the data to themselves.

From an ethical point of view the club may have a clause on when the data can be released as this is a prospective study over a few years hopefully this wouldn’t delay the publish doubt.

The high turnover rate of Australian Rules Football playing lists will be an issue as we won’t have the same playing list every week and the list will change slightly each year.

Another limitation and potentially why no team has researched game day data on record is due to the players not wanting to be interrupted from their game day routine, potentially some players may refuse to be involved in this study further reducing the cohort size.

Further exclusion considerations if someone is struggling with a mental health issue than the wellness data will likely be compromised and therefore the player would need to be e removed from the study and any player coming back from a long-term injury for example players that have been out of the game for a year will also have different experiences to the playing group as they adjust back to the game.

Anticipated outcomes

Anticipated outcomes I think individual variance will be high amongst this small cohort some may report poor wellness and perform highly others may report great wellness and perform well.

Other factors other than wellness will influence therefore these outliers will no doubt pop up through the study.

Hoping we can find some clear findings such as how important consistent rating scores are and therefore low z score fluctuations for the playing squad. Suggesting how important players’ routines are.

Looking at how factors such as away games, the shorter time between games, and wins or losses affect the data. I would suspect finals and or big games may have a gap between experienced players’ wellness reporting and new players.

References

  1. Gallo TF, Cormack SJ, Gabbett TJ, Lorenzen CH. Pre-training perceived wellness impacts training output in Australian football players. Journal of Sports Sciences [Internet]. 2016 Aug [cited 2022 Jun 3];34(15):1445–51. Available from: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=115584834&site=eds-live&scope=site
  2. Ryan S, Crowcroft S, Kempton T, Coutts AJ. Associations between refined athlete monitoring measures and individual match performance in professional Australian football. Science & Medicine in Football [Internet]. 2021 Aug [cited 2022 May 24];5(3):216–24. Available from: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=151190664&site=eds-live&scope=site
  3. Lathlean TJH, Gastin PB, Newstead SV, Finch CF. A Prospective Cohort Study of Load and Wellness (Sleep, Fatigue, Soreness, Stress, and Mood) in Elite Junior Australian Football Players. International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance [Internet]. 2019 Jul [cited 2022 May 24];14(6):839–40. Available from: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=137415757&site=eds-live&scope=site
  4. Gallo TF, Cormack SJ, Gabbett TJ, Lorenzen CH. Self-Reported Wellness Profiles of Professional Australian Football Players During the Competition Phase of the Season. Journal of strength and conditioning research [Internet]. 2017 Feb [cited 2022 May 24];31(2):495–502. Available from: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mdc&AN=27243912&site=eds-live&scope=site

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PLP Livechats Cover YouTube ThumbnailCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Players PLP Podcast Training Program

Is Jaspa Fletcher the Next Big Thing?

There’s no doubt that Jaspa Fletcher is one of the most promising young Australian rules football players in this year’s draft. The 18-year-old has a natural talent for the sport and is looking to take the next step in his career with the 2022 AFL Draft looming on the horizon.

Showing that the apple certainly did not fall far from the tree, Fletcher is a second-generation player, being the son of Adrian Fletcher, who played 231 games for the likes of Brisbane, Geelong, Fremantle, and St Kilda. The young balanced midfielder showed off his skills in the recent NAB AFL Under-18 Championships where his Allies team finished with a 1-3 record during the carnival.

Fletcher was particularly spectacular in the Allies’ win over Western Australia at the Thebarton Oval. Showing his readiness for the next level, the talented youngster racked up 26 disposals, four tackles, and six clearances in a best-on-ground performance. He also showed uncanny leadership qualities, often being one of the first to put his hand up for a smother.

While he may not be the biggest player on the ground, Fletcher’s athleticism and determination more than make up for it. He has an impressive vertical jump and is extremely quick over short distances. His speed and agility make him hard to contain when he’s on the attack and he’s also very good at finding space in congestion.

Fletcher is set to be one of the most sought-after players in this year’s draft and it will be interesting to see where he ends up. Experts peg Fletcher to be in the 20-25 range when it comes to the final order of the draft, but with his impressive skillset and bloodline, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him snapped up sooner than that. Off the field, Fletcher has a cool demeanor and is very popular amongst his teammates, who he considers to be like family. 

“In my eyes, the best thing about the game of football is developing those close relationships with your teammates which creates that fun element of footy but also pushes you to become better. Always a great feeling running out and playing for them on gameday,” said Fletcher.

The pandemic was a crucial period for Fletcher as he took the time to stay active and work on his game. He says the documentary “The Last Dance” resonated with him and Michael Jordan’s commitment to becoming the best served as inspiration.

“I don’t have a movie off the top of my head, but the last dance with Michael Jordan had a big impact on me – especially through the quarantine period this movie was very impactful because it showed me how much time and effort goes into mastering the skills in the sport. With it being lockdown also, it inspired me to keep working hard at training so when games were to resume I knew I was ready. This period was key in my development pathway,” added Fletcher.

When he’s not training or playing, Fletcher enjoys spending time with his family and friends, as well as playing golf. He also enjoys heading over to Gippsland to visit his grandparents and enjoy the water.

“Being from Victoria, my favourite destination would have to be Lakes Entrance in Gippsland. My grandparents own a beach house down there so every Christmas my close family and I stay for about 3 weeks. The weather is always great for boating and plenty of space to use the jet-ski.”

Fletcher’s focus is firmly on making the AFL, but he says he’ll continue to enjoy his life away from the game regardless of what happens.

“I’ll just keep living life to the fullest, taking each day as it comes and see(ing) what happens. If I don’t end up playing AFL then that’s fine, I know I gave it everything I had.”

There’s no doubt that Jaspa Fletcher has what it takes to be a star at the AFL level and he will no doubt be one of the most exciting players to watch in the years to come. If he can continue to develop his game and reach his potential, there’s no reason why he can’t be one of the best players in the league. Only time will tell if Jaspa Fletcher is the next big thing, but he’s certainly off to a good start.

If you’re an AFL player who wants to take your game to the next level, be sure to check out Prepare Like A Pro. You can find more information on our services page via our website or follow us on social media.

 

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How many hours do AFL players train in seasonCategoriesBlog Training Program

How many hours do AFL players train during the season? | Prepare Like a Pro

AFL players are some of the fittest athletes in the world. They train hard throughout the season to make sure they are in peak condition when they take to the field. But how many hours do they actually train? And what do they do during their training sessions? Keep reading to find out!

  1. AFL players train for a minimum of 25 hours per week during the season
  2. The training schedule is divided into three sections – physical, skill-based, and tactical
  3. Players are required to do a lot of strength and conditioning work to maintain their fitness levels
  4. Skill-based training includes practicing handpasses, kicks, marks, and tackles
  5. Tactical training focuses on how the team will play in different situations
  6. Recovery is just as important as training, so players get plenty of rest and eat the right foods

Monday:

Two days after game day is when we do our light run-around session. 

Then we have a skill-based session in preparation for our main training session that week. This might include some light touch drills, kicking circuits, or handball games depending on what’s being played at the club where you’re attending school! The purpose of this one-hour practice period is to get your body moving again so it will be ready when the real work starts later that afternoon

The best part about all these extra activities? They never fail–they always make me feel better afterward no matter how successful I was during individual play

Upper body weights in the afternoon followed by more recovery sessions like hot/cold and pool time will help you get back on your feet after a tough workout.

Tuesday: 

The forwards, midfielders, and defenders all get together for a session where they focus on specific aspects of their game. The three-player team workshopping focuses mainly on goal kicking or one versus ones with an instructor who specializes in marking practice targets that will be put up at varying distances from each other depending on what type it is being practiced upon (close range if its close range), long distance if practicing shooting remotely over longer ranges, etc., so there’s always something new every time you come back!

Even though Australian rules footballers have a wide variety of workouts depending on their talents and shortcomings, they are all functioning at an exceptionally high level. It’s very common for professional athletes to exercise five days per week with several hours each day spent in training or practice sessions alone!

The day ends with a cross-training session for those who need it. Some guys will go box while others might take up swimming or biking depending on what their fitness staff thinks they should top up from today’s exercise routine!

Wednesday:

A day where we train hard, but it’s also important that you take care of your body. Having had time since playing our last game to recover from all the action-packed weekend-long event has made this Wednesday just about as good as Monday or Tuesday for me!

The main training session for today will be focusing on skills and match practice before getting ready ahead of next weekend’s game – no matter what level they may start off at (small/medium sized).

After the field session, we have our main lower body strength and power session for the week. 

The main focus of today’s workout isn’t just on the legs. In fact, we’re utilizing lots of different muscles including those found in the arms and back so there will be no one part feeling left out as they fatigue throughout each set

Thursday: 

A day off is a time for relaxation and self-care. After three days on their feet, it’s imperative that we take some extra steps in order to make sure the footballers remain healthy!

You should try exploring different activities or spending more quality one on ones with teammates before making another big push toward success

Friday:

The pre-game session is commonly known as the captain’s run its all about training intensity and minimal volume. The more ball movement within this short session the better to allow players to hone their kicking skills. This will help you prepare for tomorrow’s game!

Saturday: 

Gameday routines are very important to the players on game day. Some might go for a light run or bike session, while others decide they want some time outdoors by taking their own walk, and yet more may use this opportunity as a chance break from all that hard training with mindfulness exercises in mind too!

The importance of nutrition during competition can’t be overstated – it has been shown again to increase mental performance dramatically so eating well before competing will give you energy highs without crashing afterward thanksgiving dinner-but what about hydration? Make sure both drinks enough water throughout matchday because dehydration causes feelings

Sunday:

The players are in charge of their own recovery after the game, and on days off. Some might choose to do Pilates or yoga for increased flexibility with extra trunk work if it’s been a while since they last touched an instrument; however, most guys go straight home from practice instead of doing anything physical because that would be silly!

 

The Australian Football League is a unique sporting event where players have to be versatile and durable. In order for them not only to perform well on the field but also stay healthy, they need plenty of exercises that will keep their bodies in top physical condition no matter what type or intensity level it takes! 

In addition, running shorter distances such as sprints with high speeds can help improve coordination skills while building muscle strength all at once–this means more energy when you’re tired after practice sessions because your engine never stops?))) Plus who doesn’t love interval training? It’s perfect if

 

Some players are lifting weights three times per week, while others do it twice. The frequency at which they lift depends on their goals and needs for keeping their body healthy and football training as well!

AFL players train extremely hard to be the best in the sport. Their training schedule is divided into three sections – physical, skill-based, and tactical – and includes a lot of strength and conditioning work as well as practicing handpasses, kicks, marks, and tackles. If you want to become a better player or just increase your speed, endurance, and running ability, our program can help you reach your goals. Contact us today to get started!


If you’re looking to improve your AFL running performance, then check out our Online AFL Training Program. Our program is designed to help you increase your speed, endurance, and running efficiency. Contact us today to learn more!

How many hours do AFL players train in season

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking to improve your AFL running performance, then check out our Online AFL Training Program. Our program is designed to help you increase your speed, endurance, and running efficiency. Contact us today to learn more!

How far do afl players run in a gameCategoriesBlog Training Program

How Far Do AFL Players Run In A Football Game? | Prepare Like a Pro

AFL players are some of the fittest athletes in the world. They need to be able to run long distances at high speeds, change direction quickly, and have the endurance to last for an entire game.

Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into playing AFL than just running. Players need to be able to think on their feet, make quick decisions, and jump high enough to catch the ball. But it’s still fascinating to think about how much distance they cover over the course of a match. 

There are some really fit players in the AFL, and it’s amazing what their bodies can do. Some players have even been known to cover up to 18 kilometers in a game! It just goes to show that if you want to be good at AFL, you need to be physically prepared to cover a lot of distance. 

So just how far do AFL players run in a football game?

Thanks to GPS technology, we now have a pretty good idea. AFL players cover an average of 12-14 kilometers per game, with some players running as much as 20 kilometers in a single match.

And it’s not just the amount of distance that AFL players cover that is impressive, it’s also the speed at which they do it. AFL players can reach speeds of up to 35 kilometers per hour when sprinting!

Hear from Harry Sheezel AFL 2022 Draft top 10 prospect about his preparation for Aussie rules football: 

AFL players typically run between 3 and 7 kilometers during in-season training sessions and 5 – 16 kilometers during pre-season training sessions. Interval sprinting is a key part of their conditioning, as it helps them develop the explosive speed and agility required for the game. AFL players typically do several short sprints (20-40 meters) at maximal effort, followed by a brief rest period. This type of training not only improves their on-field performance but also helps them build the endurance needed to play an entire game.

AFL players need to have a high level of aerobic fitness to be able to run around the oval for an extended period of time. AFL conditioning programs, therefore, need to include a lot of running, both long slow distances and shorter sprints, to build up the players’ aerobic capacity. 

Aerobic capacity can be improved by doing interval training, which involves periods of high-intensity activity followed by periods of lower-intensity activity or rest. This type of training helps the body to use oxygen more efficiently and therefore improves endurance. 

Incorporating fitness into training drills is a good way to keep players motivated and help them improve their aerobic capacity. For example, you could start a drill with a short burst of speed followed by a period of jogging or walking. This will help the players to get their heart rates up and then recover before going again. 

Increasing the intensity and duration of aerobic training over time will help players to improve their fitness levels and become better AFL players.

High-speed running is a key component of AFL training, as it helps players develop the necessary capacity to run up and down the ground. On average, AFL players will run between 300 and 600 at high speeds during in-season training sessions and anywhere from 500 to 3000 in pre-season sessions. This type of conditioning not only helps improve their on-field performance but also reduces the risk of injury.

Aerobic fitness testing is an important part of AFL player conditioning. By regularly assessing aerobic fitness, players and coaches can monitor training improvements and identify areas that need more focus.

There are a number of different tests that can be used to measure aerobic fitness in AFL players. Some of the most common include the beep test, yo-yo intermittent recovery test, and multistage shuttle run test.

The beep test is one of the most commonly used aerobic fitness tests in AFL. It involves running between two points 20 meters apart at increasing speeds, as dictated by a series of beeps. The level at which the player can no longer keep up with the beeps is their score.

The yo-yo intermittent recovery test is another popular option for AFL players. This test involves running back and forth between two points, with varying degrees of intensity. The aim is to see how quickly the player can recover from periods of high-intensity activity.

The multistage shuttle run test is another option that can be used to measure aerobic fitness in AFL players. This test involves running back and forth between two points, with the distance increasing each time. The aim is to see how far the player can run in a set period of time.

Overall, these tests are a good way to measure the aerobic fitness of AFL players and can help coaches and players alike to identify areas that need more focus. By regularly testing fitness levels, players can ensure that they are making progress and working towards their goals. 

How far do afl players run in a game 1

Common questions from our socials: 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking to improve your AFL running performance, then check out our Online AFL Training Program. Our program is designed to help you increase your speed, endurance, and running efficiency. Contact us today to learn more!

Collingwood football clubCategoriesBlog Training Program

Defining the “dose” of altitude training: how high to live for optimal sea level performance enhancement

Summary

The broader research of this study was to determine the minimal effective dose for living high and training low. This article suggest that previous altitude studies have shown that altitude training has had little effect on EPO and increasing red cell mass. The study hypothesized that the higher you live the greater the chronic stimulus to aerobic pathways and therefore Vo2 max and 3km time trial.
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Athletes were assigned to four different altitude living arrangements while going through a training block at the 1,250 m – 3000 m.

Critique

The research problem identified to develop a specific understanding of the differences in physiological adaptation when comparing living at different altitude levels.

As mentioned in the study altitude training has been proven to improve VO2 max for sub elite and elite endurance athletes. While effective in the developing physiological adaptation the individual variance amongst previous studies is significant, particularly with EPO response and red cell mass. This study is hoping to discover the optimal chronic living altitude for a least affective dose to achieve hematological acclimatization and thus aerobic capacity performance.

A randomized small group of 48 athletes were selected controlled study. After 4 weeks of sea level testing which included hematological, metabolic, and performance base line measures at sea level. athletes were randomly assigned to one of four living altitudes (1,780, 2085, 2454 or 2800 m).

Method

Summary

The research problem of this study was to quantify the most effective living altitude heights for improving aerobic capacity.
The subjects were randomly selected 48 collegiate track & cross country runners 32 men and 16 women close to the same age, weight & height of 21 – 24 years old, weighed 64 kg range of 8.4kg and 174cm range of 9cm.
Members were excluded if they didn’t fit the criteria of living altitude at or above 1500m, and or if injury or illness would impaired normal normal training.

Critique

The elimination for those living in the altitude zones, keeping physical traits similar and selecting healthy athletes from similar sporting back grounds helped eliminated any major bias about individual variance. Subjects were also matched by sex, training history, Vo2 max and a 3km time trial then randomly assigned to living one of the four living arrangements. Supervision from a staff member ensure living compliance. Athletes would only leave for grocery shopping and to train at the set intensity following the HiLo method. High intensity interval-based training completed at lower altitude of 1250 m. Moderate & low intensity training was completed at moderate altitude 1,780 – 3000m. I think the large range for moderate could be an issue for variability of results.
Assessment protocols were thorough and valid utilising previous research, Vo2 sub-maximal test assessed on a treadmill at a consistent pace 14km/h for men and 12km/h for women.

Results

Summary

This researched utilised reliable and valid testing measure to determine bench marking and test the effectiveness of the study.

Critique

The data obtained throughout this study was appropriate and completed with scientific methods.

The use of tables and graphs was an effective way to present the testing data. The in-text results contained all significant findings in relation to the four different groups.
Figure 2 is an effective way presented percent change in 3,000m time trial performance at sea level from post altitude and 2-week post altitude. Effective show casing the difference in results amongst the four groups, the graph was lacking a heading yet there was a blurb providing context and helped with understanding the block graph.

Discussion

Summary

The study set out to find the optimal living altitude for sea level performance enhancement omit aerobic capacity and physiology in endurance athletes when compared to different altitude living arrangements while completing the same training program.

The main findings from this study were that there was a large difference between the lowest altitude (1780m) when group compared to the other three groups. Including 44% less EPO changes, suggesting that living at higher altitude has a greater erythropoietic stimulus to increase red cell mass.

Performance increase in the 3km time trial for the two middle groups were superior (2 – 3%) when compared to the lowest and highest altitude groups whom had no change in 3km time trial.

Critique

The findings in this study showed significant difference in living at different altitude for 3km performance. The sample size was identified, and the study did a great job of filtering people from similar demographics while still randomly selecting the groups. Definitions and variables were all well explained to help with understanding what scientific terms like (Sa02) mean.

This study put to good use the current research on altitude training and living high training low for aerobic adaptation. While achieving their hypothesis of displaying the difference between living at different altitude heights, they also found contrast beliefs in that the highest altitude group didn’t achieve the greatest results.

I thought the limitation of this study was the dominance of male to female yet the study group did a good job to accommodate with adjust supplementation, the pace for sub max test and height/weight age of the athletes. Find the optimal living arrangements a few more groups could have been selected and a larger sample size of athletes now we have an idea that there is a sweet spot between 2085 – 2454m.

The discussion piece did a great job providing their opinion on why the highest group didn’t achieve the greatest results. Census being the acclimatization effects was more significant for this group and so the accumulation of poor-quality sleep and mountain sickness may have had negative effects on the training response and testing performance.

The implications of these findings were that there is difference in physiological response depending on what living altitude arrangement for living in high attitude. The practical take ways of this study were that the 1780m group wasn’t as effective as the middle two groups and the highest group had negative significant implications due to acclimatization.

Part 2: Reflection

Rationale
Strength & Conditioning (S&C)
I have chosen Strength & Conditioning as the target discipline I would like to focus on. I have the desire to be a head strength & conditioning coach at AFL level soon. Currently clarifying my S&C philosophy for elite athletes, I also have a strong passion for helping athletes prepare for high performance and sound S&C principles and methods help with this. I enjoy working in a team environment and I like the fact S&C’s must not only consider our own area of expertise but also the coaches, dietitian, sport psych and of course the athletes.

This article struck my interest as it wasn’t long ago where AFL clubs were keen on going away for altitude camps for physiology reasons also mental resilience. Understanding the science behind ideal living in high altitude could come in handy down the line when planning training camps.

Personal & professional strengths
My strengths from a personal point of view are:

I am a motivated and curios learner, I enjoy open and honest conversations on why people do things the way they do. I love to connect with those I’m working with whether it be athletes or staff. I value inclusivity and having an open-minded mindset. This helps me develop rapport with those I’m working with.

In relation to professional strengths:

My strength & conditioning experience started 13 years ago.
The time dedicated to coaching has helped me develop my communication and skill set to adjust my coaching to suit the environment I am working in.

Playing the game of football for 10 years and working with sub-elite and elite footballers in an S&C role for the last 7 years has helped me have a strong understanding of the demands of the sport.

I have the tools to help athletes with their athletic strength & conditioning goals.

Areas for future improvement

In my group-level communication, I am working to ensure my group-level communication is clear, engaging, and time efficient. Familiarizing myself with the recent research on velocity-based training for power development and Maximal aerobic conditioning prescription for team-based athletes.

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What You Really Need to Know as a Strength Conditioning Coach 1
What You Really Need to Know as a Strength Conditioning Coach 1

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What You Really Need to Know as a Strength Conditioning Coach 1CategoriesBlog

What You Really Need to Know as a Strength & Conditioning Coach | Prepare Like a Pro

As a strength and conditioning coach, you have the critical task of helping athletes reach their potential. You work with them to improve their athleticism and help them stay healthy and injury-free. But there is so much more to being a successful strength & conditioning coach than just knowing how to train athletes! This blog post will discuss some of the most important things you need to know to succeed in this field. 

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What You Really Need to Know as a Strength Conditioning Coach

What Is the Role of a Strength and Conditioning Coach in Sports Today?

In recent years, the role of the strength and conditioning coach has come to the fore in the world of competitive sports. These coaches are responsible for developing and implementing training programs that improve athletes’ strength, power, speed, and endurance. In many cases, they also serve as sports scientists and injury prevention specialists. As such, they play a vital role in helping athletes to reach their full potential.

With the increasing popularity of elite strength training programs, more and more athletes are hiring personal coaches to work with them one-on-one. This trend is especially prevalent among professional and elite-level athletes with the resources to invest in such services. However, even amateur athletes can benefit from working with a strength and conditioning coach.

There is no doubt that the role of the strength and conditioning coach has become more critical in recent years, especially in tandem with AFL coaching. As athletes strive to achieve ever-higher levels of performance, these coaches play an essential role in helping them to reach their goals.

What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Strength and Conditioning Coach When Working With Athletes or Teams? 

The coach must know the athletes’ on a personal level to better understand their individual goals and needs to tailor the training program accordingly.  

Another critical responsibility of the strength and conditioning coach is to monitor the athletes’ training load using objective data from GPS and force plates and adjust the training program as necessary. This requires constant communication with the athletes and close observation of their performance in the gym on the field and in competition.

In addition to developing and implementing training programs, strength and conditioning coaches often work closely with other sports medicine team members, such as doctors, physiotherapists, dietitians, and psychologists. Of course, they also must collaborate with the AFL coaches to help structure training and support for the players.  

What Qualifications Are Necessary to Become a Strength and Conditioning Coach?

Most strength and conditioning coaches have at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field. Many also have master’s degrees or doctorates. In addition, most coaches are certified by one or more major strength and conditioning organizations, such as the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association. 

To be successful in this field, it is essential to have a strong understanding of human anatomy and physiology, exercise science, and biomechanics. Being familiar with the latest strength and energy system development methods is essential. Furthermore, effective coaches must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

 

 

 

What Traits Are Necessary For a Strength and Conditioning Coach To Be Successful?

Here’s a look at some of them:

1) Awareness

A successful strength and conditioning coach must know the latest research and developments in the field. They must also be mindful of the individual needs of their athletes and clients and how to meet those needs best. 

In addition, successful coaches must be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and how to use those to their advantage. Awareness is, therefore, an essential trait for any coach who wants to be successful in the strength and conditioning field.  

By being aware of the latest research and developments, they can ensure that their athletes are constantly training with the most up-to-date methods. Similarly, by being aware of their strengths and weaknesses, they can use that knowledge to design programs tailored specifically to their athletes.  

Ultimately, awareness allows a strength and conditioning coach to succeed. Without it, they would be operating in the dark, and their athletes would not be able to reach their full potential.

2) Effective Communicator

Successful strength and conditioning coaches must communicate effectively with their athletes. This includes being able to give clear instructions and providing feedback that is both constructive and motivating. 

Furthermore, the coach must create a rapport with their athletes to gain their trust and respect. Only then will the athletes be genuinely invested in following the coach’s program and be willing to put in the hard work required to see results. 

Good communication skills are essential for any coach but vital for those working in the field of strength and conditioning.

3) Adaptability

A successful strength and conditioning coach must be able to adapt their approach to fit the needs of each athlete. No two athletes are exactly alike, and what works for one may not work for another. A good coach can tailor their methods to each athlete’s unique strengths and weaknesses, helping them reach their full potential. 

In addition, a successful coach must be able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of sports. New research and technology are constantly emerging, and a good coach is always learning and growing, ensuring their athletes are always at the cutting edge of performance. Without adaptability, a coach will quickly become outdated and ineffective. 

4) Accountability and Ownership

As any successful strength and conditioning coach will tell you, accountability and ownership are two essential traits. A coach must be accountable for their athletes’ well-being and training results. They must also be willing to take ownership of their decisions and actions, both good and bad. Without these qualities, it is difficult to maintain the trust and respect of those you are coaching.

As a strength and conditioning coach, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your athletes. This means that you must always be on the lookout for potential injuries and take steps to prevent them from occurring. You must also be willing to adjust your workouts and training plans based on the needs of your athletes. If an athlete is not progressing as expected, it is up to you to find out why and make the necessary changes.

Similarly, as a coach, you must be willing to accept responsibility for your actions and decisions. If something goes wrong, it is up to you to take responsibility and fix it. This can be difficult, but it is essential to maintain the trust and respect of those you are coaching. 

What Challenges Do Strength and Conditioning Coaches Face Daily?

While there are many challenges that strength and conditioning coaches face daily, some of the most common include:

Time Management

A coach’s time is a precious commodity. There are only so many hours in the day, and a coach must carefully allocate his or her time to succeed. This can be challenging, especially for Melbourne strength & conditioning coaches, who have many responsibilities. In addition to leading workouts and overseeing training programs, they must meet with athletes to discuss progress, plan out future workouts, and attend team meetings. 

All of this must be done while maintaining a positive relationship with athletes and keeping up with the latest research. Strength and conditioning coaches must be skilled in time management to be successful. They must be able to prioritize their tasks and make the most of every minute.

Budget Constraints

One of the challenges strength and conditioning coaches face is budget constraints. With limited resources, purchasing the necessary equipment and creating an effective training program can be difficult. Additionally, strength and conditioning coaches often have to compete with other sports teams for funding. As a result, they must be creative in their approach to training and be able to make do with what they have. 

While budget constraints can be a challenge, they can also be an opportunity for strength and conditioning coaches to showcase their resourcefulness and creativity. They can still produce great results by thinking outside the box despite limited resources.

Working with Multiple Teams

Working with multiple teams can be a challenge for strength and conditioning coaches. First, it can be difficult to juggle the schedules of various teams. With regards to AFL/AFLW fitness coaching, each team has its practice schedule, game schedule, and travel schedule, and it can be challenging to keep track of them. 

In addition, each team has its own unique needs and goals, and it can be difficult to tailor workouts to all of them. Finally, working with multiple teams can be emotionally taxing. Strength and conditioning coaches often form close bonds with their athletes, and it can be tough to say goodbye to one team when another season starts. 

Conclusion

While there are many challenges that strength and conditioning coaches face, they are also rewarded with great satisfaction. They see the athletes they work with improve and reach their goals. They also form close bonds with their athletes and see them grow physically and mentally. Despite the challenges, being a strength and conditioning coach can be a very rewarding experience.

Do you have what it takes to be a strength and conditioning coach? If you are passionate about helping others reach their potential and are willing to face challenges, the answer is yes! So, what are you waiting for? Start your journey on our coaches academy today by clicking this link

If you are an AFL player who aspires to reach new heights, contact Prepare Like A Pro, where we provide the best AFL strength and conditioning coaching and programs. Prepare Like A Pro’s program helps develop footballers with difficulties in improving their athleticism by teaching them sustainable lifestyle tips with a personalized program. 

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Works Cited

  • Favre, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/career-articles/becoming-a-strength-and-conditioning-coach/
  • Friedman, A. (n.d.). Top 6 Qualities of a Successful Strength and Conditioning Coach. Retrieved from https://www.du.edu/sport-sense/news/top-6-qualities-successful-strength-and-conditioning-coach



How to Train Specifically for Your PositionCategoriesBlog Training Program

How to train like an AFL Elite Midfielder | Prep Like A Pro

How to Train Specifically for Your Position
How to Train Specifically for Your Position

SPORT PROFILE FOR AN MALE AFL MIDFIELDER
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

The AFL elite male midfielder position demand can change due to many factors such as dimensions of the ground, rotations, weather, and even if the player is playing inside or outside midfield position.

However, there are similarities amongst this playing position, especially when compared to other position game profiles like a key forward and or defender. (13)

This sports profile will dive into detail about the recent changes in demand for an elite midfielder playing in the Australian Football League (AFL) over the last decade.

Due to the dynamic nature of the midfielder’s position and the sport itself, this report will look at four key areas of performance for a midfielder. These four key areas are Physical, mental, tactical, and technical, leaning on the most up-to-date research to back our claims and ultimately provide insight into how to optimally prepare a midfielder for high performance!

 

 Competition requirements

Physical

Aerobic capacity

Repeat acceleration

Individualised approach

The AFL game is certainly getting faster and players particularly midfielders are required to cover the further distance in the same amount of game time.

This article will take a closer look at recent scientific research conducted on AFL players and look closely at the physical, mental, technical, and tactical key performance indicators for midfielders.

Part of this is the fact that AFL midfielders are playing on after a mark a lot more regularly during a game. Due to the demand for the game to ‘flow’ better and allow for more scoring rule changes like less time taken for umpires to restart play or take a shot for a goal. Reducing the rest periods for the players and increasing the demand for midfielders to set up at a stoppage in less time, all while reducing the total rotations allowed by the team.

Compared to other positions on the field midfielders covered on average cover more total distance (4) and still, produce a high amount of high-intensity efforts 2nd only mobile forwards (10)

Midfielders’ aerobic capacity and repeat accelerations are critical for midfielders to be able to handle the high volume of total distance and repeat high-intensity efforts. The current research suggests programming high-intensity aerobic interval training to improve aerobic power, match running performance, and greater involvement in the play. (12)

Midfielders’ ability to recover between games is crucial to preventing injuries while ensuring players are recovering appropriately. Varying the load from week to week as is recommended from a team perspective is important, we also need to factor in each athlete’s profile. (12)

Fitness testing ie 2km time trial and repeat sprint test we can identify which of the squad midfielders are aerobic and which are anaerobic dominant. With this information in mind, we may look to adjust the training load by reducing the total volume run for the aerobic midfielders and look to maintain or increase running volumes for the aerobic-based midfielders.

This graph represents the effect fatigue has on the players as the quarter goes on from the start to the 10-minute mark players start to reduce their work rate.  On average the midfielders and the mobile forwards ran the furthest for total distance and high-speed running.

Research like this one gives us confidence that improving a midfielder’s running capacity in a traditional conditioning manner in conjunction with specific football drills like small, sided games will increase the likelihood of increasing the player’s ability to express repeat high-intensity efforts in a game for longer. (10) Potentially giving the team a winning advantage over the competition.

Mental

Behaviour

Mental health

Psychological reactions to injury

Team behaviour can influence the tactical, technical, and physical side of performance. The key focus of Sam J Robertson’s research: Collective team behaviour of Australian rules football during a phase of math play investigated the difference in team behaviour with regards to possession and location on the field. (13)

Mental health which unfortunately is growing in its effect on AFL players and therefore key management practices from sports doctors at AFL clubs are critical. (14) Thirdly looking into the psychology of AFL players with regards to the reaction to injury. (15)

Although the sample size is small for the team behaviour article the findings were interesting, utilizing notational analysis methods to assess the effects players were positioning themselves during different stages of play. Clear differences were recorded with regards to length, width, and surface area were all typically greater during offense when compared to defense and contested phases. Team B pattern of greater values of length, width, and surface area during all phases of play when compared to team A. (13) Creating this extra space from an offensive point of view may be to help clear space for the forwards, from a physical point of view this style of play may increase the high-intensity efforts of the midfielders through creating space and being able to get back if the ball was in the contest as reported in this study both teams would aim to close space during contested situations.

AFL like many high-performance sporting codes have many mental health issues and the key to good management is the primary care providers the sports doctors. (14) This research conducted a questionnaire of best practices from experienced AFL sports doctors (96%) with 39% having worked for more than 10 years.

The findings fell within nine domains, 1. Prevention and mental health promotion activities 2. Screening and Risk identification 3. Engaging external specialists 4. Duty of care 5. Assessment, treatment, and case coordination 6. Communication 7. Confidentiality 8. Sleep management 9. Substance use management

A key takeaway is to ensure the club has an experienced sports doctor to look out for the players with best practices in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team to ensure the whole club approach to optimise prevention, identification, and treatment to manage players mental health. (14)

How do AFL athletes respond to injury?

For all those involved with working with AFL players understanding this concept is critical to the mental health of players. The results found in this study showcase how important it is to support AFL players going through rehabilitation.  A Player’s response tends to depend on the severity of the injury if its short term it can fall under the normality of injury as ‘all part of the game’, however, long term and stress can be high due to losing connection with their teammates, contract’s expiring, and not returning in the same physical shape. (15)

AFL players reported fluctuations of negative emotions during a longer-term injury such as shock, anger, disappointment, and the sense of feeling flat. Common for players to experience fear of missing out on games, and team structure resulting in feeling anxious, depressed, and moody.

A key takeaway is how often players reported feeling unfit and ‘rusty’ with their ball skills when returning to training and games.

The practical implementation of this is the importance of including cross-training, and plenty of touches either with a skills coach or another rehab player to ensure the midfield-specific skills were incorporated while the player was in rehabilitation to improve self-efficacy. Encouraging maintaining coach connection with the player is key to preventing players from feeling isolated, perhaps using video footage of a player’s high light reel, and mentioning a positive performance post an injury would be helpful in also building players’ confidence and feeling connected to the club. Furthermore, during the early stages of rehab, it’s important for medical and staff to incorporate plenty of variation to prevent boredom and for players to be involved in team activities wherever possible. (15)

Tactical

Field location

Passages of play for offense play

A longitudinal systematic review looked at the average physical output changes in AFL players from 2005 to 2017 and found rule changes and game style to be the most significant influence on the match demands of AFL players. (1)

What does this specifically mean for AFL midfielders? How does the game style have an effect? Well, the research shows AFL midfielders are required to work the hardest during offensive plays, compared to defensive and contested phases. (10)

This finding is consistent with the research on positional demands and field location found. (12) When team a team intercepts the ball, it is more likely that the opposition will not have their defensive zone structure in place. Allows for a greater opportunity to score and hence why midfielders get rewarded when they work hard during these passages of play. Key takeaway the ability of midfielders to work hard when the ball is turned the ball is key to team success due to the increased probability of a clearer path to goals. (3)

Technical

Effective Kicking

Ball in play

Effective Handball

While work rate is important for team success, effective technical actions are most important. (6)

 

Successful offensive plays resulting in a shot on goal appeared to be dependent on both physical output and technical skills. (5) As the table 2 when a team with high short kicking effectiveness on average win more quarters by a larger amount.

Table 4 shows how important handballing skills are for midfielders ranking the highest percentage of key position players

Players are likely to have increased workload and decreased skill proficiency when their team is less successful. (3) Having a program that focuses on developing kicking effectiveness is critical for team success.

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How to Train Like an AFL Midfielder
How to Train Like an AFL Midfielder
3 Benefits for having a coach to individualise your programCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Training Program

3 Benefits of Having a Coach to Individualise Your Program | Prepare Like a Pro

When it comes to working out, many people think that they can do it on their own. This may be true for some people, but for the majority of us, having a personal coach—whether it’s for AFL conditioning, strength training, or anything in between—can be extremely beneficial. A personal coach can help you individualise your program and achieve your performance goals much faster than if you were working out on your own. In this blog post, we will discuss three benefits of having a coach!

What is Individualized Training?

Individualized training is a type of training that is specifically designed for an individual. (Alejo, n.d.) This type of training takes into account the individual’s goals, abilities, and weaknesses. Individualized training is different from group training because it is tailored to the needs of the individual rather than the needs of the group.

For example, an AFLW strength and conditioning coach might hone in on a particular player’s athleticism and work with her one-on-one to help her improve her game. This type of individualized training is much more effective than generic group training because it is specifically designed for the individual’s needs. Another example is AFL/AFLW fitness coaching, which focuses on helping an athlete improve their fitness and physical conditioning. This type of training is also tailored to the individual’s needs and can be much more effective than generic group training.

Benefits of Individualized Training

There are many benefits of individualized training, but we will discuss three of the most important ones. (Performance, n.d.)

1) Proper Education

Training for athletes has evolved over the years. No longer is the trial and error method of the past considered sufficient. Now, there is a greater emphasis on having a scientific approach to physical preparation that takes into account the unique needs of each athlete. This approach has many benefits, one of which is effective education. By tailoring training programs to the individual, coaches can ensure that athletes are receiving instruction that is relevant to their sport and their level of ability.

This allows them to avoid wasting time on drills that are either too easy or too difficult, and it also maximizes the athlete’s chances of success by ensuring that they are receiving targeted instruction. As a result, proper education is one of the many benefits of individualized training for athletes.

2) Confidence Boost

Being an athlete is not just about having the physical skill to perform well. It is also about having the mental strength and fortitude to push through difficult moments during a game or competition. This is where individualized training can be beneficial. When athletes receive customized instruction and attention, it can help to build their confidence.

They feel like they are able to achieve their goals because they are being supported and guided by someone who believes in their potential. This boost in confidence can be the difference between winning and losing. It can also mean the difference between enjoying the sport and giving up altogether. So, for athletes who want to take their performance to the next level, individualized training is definitely worth considering.

3) Safety and Effectiveness

When it comes to training for sports, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every athlete is different, and what works for one person may not be the best option for another. That’s why many experts believe that individualized training is the way to go. By tailoring a training program specifically for each athlete, coaches can help ensure both safety and effectiveness. Training programs can be customized based on an athlete’s physical abilities, goals, and schedule. This allows athletes to focus on areas that need athletic improvement while avoiding injury.

In addition, because each program is designed with the athlete’s specific needs in mind, it is more likely to produce results. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, individualized training can help you take your game to the next level.

The Bottom Line

Individualized training is becoming increasingly popular in the world of sports. And it’s easy to see why. There are many benefits of individualized training, including proper education, a confidence boost, and safety and effectiveness. So if you’re looking to take your performance to the next level, consider working with a Prepare Like a Pro strength & conditioning coach who can tailor a program specifically for you. You won’t be disappointed.

If you want to learn more about an individualized coaching program, or if you’re interested in working with a coach, contact Prepare Like A Pro. We have strength and conditioning coaches in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney who can help you achieve your football goals. Visit the services page today to learn more.

Bibliography

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Be updated with the new trends. Listen to your favorite athletes and learn from reliable coaches. Subscribe to Prepare Like A Pro Youtube and Podcast!