caffeine on game dayCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Psych/Nutrition Training Program

The best tips to use caffeine on game day!

Coffee is a staple for athletes all over the world, including AFL players, whether it’s for regular footy training or a crucial AFL game day. Caffeine is a stimulant and can help you feel more energised and alert, which can be helpful before a big game. Read on as we discuss the effect of caffeine on athletes and tips on how to use it on a game day.

Caffeine for Athletes’ Performance

Caffeine is one of the most well-studied ergogenic aids (substances, equipment, or practices that help people use, produce, or recover more energy) and is known to help athletes exercise harder and longer. Caffeine stimulates the brain, making it easier to think clearly and concentrate.

Caffeine has been studied for both stamina and short-term, high-intensity exercise in over 74 research studies. Caffeine enhances performance and makes the effort appear easy, according to the vast majority of research (by about six percent).

The average boost in performance is about 12%, with greater benefits seen during endurance exercise than shorter exercise (eight to twenty minutes) and a negligible amount for sprinters. Athletes who rarely consume coffee and hence are not tolerant of its stimulating effect reap even more benefits.

Don’t assume that a caffeine boost would improve your performance because everyone reacts to caffeine differently. You may become queasy, experience “coffee stomach,” or experience caffeine jitters at a time when you are already nervous and concerned.

And so, how much coffee should an athlete consume to get that edge? 250 mg of caffeine per day is considered moderate. The amount of caffeine that improves performance in research studies ranges from 1.5 to 4 mg/lb body weight (3 to 9 mg/kg) given one hour before exercise. This equates to around 225 to 600 milligrams for a 150-pound person. It does not appear that more is better.

The majority of athletes receive their caffeine from coffee; others use caffeinated gels, Red Bull, or NoDoz tablets. Some sportsmen prefer products with specific doses because the quantity of caffeine in coffee varies so much. 

If you are unsure how much you should ingest, it’s best to consult a sports doctor or sports dietitian. They should have the most up-to-date information on what is an appropriate dosage for you as an individual.

Tips for Athletes on Drinking Coffee During Game Day

Coffee is great for a quick pick-me-up but it’s important to know how your body will react. Here are some useful tips that you can use with regard to consuming caffeine during the game day:

1) Drink Coffee an Hour or Two Before the Game

Many people swear by coffee as a pre-game energy boost, and there is some science to back up this claim. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can improve focus and reaction time. However, it is important to note that everyone reacts to caffeine differently. Some people may find that coffee makes them jittery or anxious, while others may feel more alert and focused. 

It is also important to remember that coffee takes about an hour to kick in, so it is best to drink it an hour or two before the game. This way, you can see how it affects you and make sure it doesn’t interfere with your performance. Ultimately, whether or not you choose to drink coffee before a game is a personal decision. But if you do decide to give it a try, make sure you do so with caution and be mindful of how it affects you.

2) Have a Small Cup (250ML) Of Black Coffee 

Coffee is a popular beverage for many people, especially in the morning. It can help to wake you up and give you a boost of energy. However, too much milk and sugar in your coffee can actually make you feel more sluggish. When you’re trying to get energized for a game, it’s best to stick to black coffee. 

The caffeine will help to give you a boost without weighing you down. In addition, black coffee is also calorie-free, so you won’t have to worry about adding any extra calories to your diet. So next time you’re gearing up for a big game, ditch the milk and sugar and reach for a small cup of black coffee instead. 

3) Avoid Drinking Coffee on an Empty Stomach

It’s no secret that coffee can give you an energy boost. That’s why many people enjoy drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. However, if you drink coffee on an empty stomach, it can actually cause an upset stomach during the game. The acids in coffee can irritate the lining of your stomach, leading to cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.

If you’re feeling especially sensitive, you might even experience vomiting. So, if you’re planning on consuming coffee before a big game, be sure to eat something first. A light snack or meal will help to buffer the acids in your coffee and reduce the risk of stomach problems.

4) Add Honey to Your Coffee

If you’re feeling tired, there’s no need to reach for a can of energy drink or a cup of coffee loaded with sugar. Instead, try a small cup of coffee with one teaspoon of honey. The honey will help to boost your energy levels, and the coffee will improve your focus and alertness.

Plus, the combination of the two ingredients will taste great and give you the perfect pick-me-up when you need it most. So next time you’re feeling fatigued, reach for a cup of coffee and a spoonful of honey instead your body will thank you for it.

5) Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day To Stay Hydrated

The big game has finally arrived and you’re nursing a red bull, thinking to yourself that this can be the edge that will push you and your team to victory. However, what you may not realize is that coffee can actually lead to dehydration.

That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re drinking coffee. Water helps to replenish the fluids in your body, and it’s essential for maintaining proper body function. So if you’re going to drink coffee on game day, make sure to also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Your body will thank you for it.

Final Thoughts

Caffeine can be a great way to improve your performance on game day. Just remember to consume it in moderation and be aware of how it affects you. And don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a successful game day! 

If you need help getting that edge over your opponents, contact the AFL strength and conditioning coaches at Prepare Like A Pro. We can help you optimize your training regimen to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to get started!

References:

https://blog.bridgeathletic.com/caffeine-athletic-performance
https://www.active.com/articles/the-facts-about-caffeine-and-athletic-performance
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-and-exercise
https://www.soccertoday.com/soccer-players-the-scoop-on-caffeine/

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Harry SheezelCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Players Training Program

Prepare Like a Pro Melbourne based Ambassador – Harry Sheezel

Considered to be one of the more naturally-talented footballers in the 2022 AFL draft, Harry Sheezel is a name that will be well-known to most footy fans by the end of the season. The 18-year-old from Melbourne has already shown he has what it takes to compete at the top level, having been named in the 2022 NAB AFL Academy – Australia U18 Team that took on Collingwood’s VFL team last month.

 Sheezel is a powerful and athletic midfielder who is capable of playing both inside and outside. He has good speed and agility and is known for his hard work and determination. Sheezel is also a very good kick, which will no doubt be a valuable asset at the next level.

Sheezel is expected to be one of the first players—a surefire 10 draft pick—taken in the 2022 AFL draft, and he will no doubt be a big part of whatever team he ends up playing for. It will be exciting to see what he can do at the highest level, and footy fans should keep an eye on this young star in the making.

He is a full-time member of the Sandringham Dragons, and has made the most of his opportunity this season. Sheezel has set his claim as a rotating midfielder and has significant upside as a player who can win matches with his own boot after scoring 14 goals in six games, including bags of four and six goals.

Sheezel’s goal-kicking ability is well-known at this point, as seen by the aforementioned NAB League statistics. The deft medium type was also a standout in his lone Vic Metro appearance against the Young Guns, where he was thrust into the AFL Academy’s midfield late in the game on a day when his team’s forwards struggled. If his 28 disposals and six goals against Tasmania were a breakthrough game, his 37 touches against Northern in Round 9 served as the ideal audition for a permanent midfielder spot.

An Inspiration to the Jewish Community

Sheezel was only 16 when he experienced playing at the senior level, suiting up for his club Ajax in Victoria’s amateurs’ tournament last year. He earned the right, having emerged from the juniors program as the clear-cut best and brightest. During his debut, he kicked four goals from full-forward against Fitzroy at Brunswick Street Oval, including one goal that he described as “pretty good”.

“I had a bit of a day out,” Sheezel said in an article on AFL.com.au. “Playing juniors with Ajax was massive my whole life and it was so much fun to play with people from the community in the senior side as well.”

It was also during that time when Sheezel began feeling an immense outpouring of support for his football journey from the Jewish community. It also helped a great deal that Ajax is based in Melbourne’s inner south-eastern suburbs and is the country’s only Jewish football club.

With Jewish representation in the AFL historically low, Sheezel figures to be a role model for aspiring Jewish footballers not just in Melbourne, but also around the country. He is an AFL player of the future that the community can rally behind and one that could potentially inspire the next generation of Jewish footballers. To date, only Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne), Ezra Poyas (Richmond and Melbourne), and Julian Kirzner (Essendon, Carlton, and North Melbourne) have made it to the big stage of the AFL.

“There haven’t been as many Jewish footballers lately to make it into the AFL, so it’s kind of special to hopefully be the first one [drafted] in a while. Everyone has been so supportive and living it with me, in a sense,” Sheezel said.

“I hope to be pretty inspiring for younger kids as well because I feel like the Jewish community is really into the sport as well, they love their footy, so hopefully I can inspire a few more kids to hopefully go down the same path. 

 

 

“Along the way you see how much it means to people in the community. I never really thought of it until I’ve started to be in the media a little bit more and everyone is all over it now. It’s pretty cool. And at school it’s kind of new for them, they don’t really know how to act and neither do I so I just embrace it.”

Shezeel currently attends Mount Scopus—one of Australia’s foremost Jewish schools. It was there where he really got to learn more about his culture and faith, something that he is extremely proud of. Being at Mount Scopus has also given Sheezel the opportunity to focus on playing for the Dragons in the NAB League.

Sheezel has already shown that he is more than capable of shouldering the responsibility that comes with being a potential AFL footballer and an inspiration to the Jewish community. With his undeniable talent and character, there is no doubt that Harry Sheezel has what it takes to be a successful AFL player. All that’s left now is for him to take that next step and fulfill his dream.

“There’s still a long way to go and a lot of important games to be played. I don’t want to look too far ahead and just focus on each game and each month at a time, because the last two years have shown us that you just have to be present and do the best you can when you play because the next week and the future aren’t guaranteed,” Sheezel said.

“But I think about the draft every second. My life is oriented around it and footy. Everything I do I try to better myself to put myself in the best position I can.”

Sheezel is also one of the ambassadors of Prepare Like A Pro, an organization that helps young footballers with difficulties improve their athleticism, by teaching them sustainable lifestyle tips with a personalized program.

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The Latest Research on Ice Bath Recovery Methods and Its Connection to FootyCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Training Program

The Latest Research on Ice Bath Recovery Methods and Its Connection to Footy

Ice baths are a popular way for athletes to recover after a strenuous workout, but there has been some debate about whether or not they are effective. A new study has shed some light on the matter and found that ice baths do have benefits for footballers. In this blog post, we will take a look at the latest research on ice baths, what AFL strength and conditioning coaches think about it, and what footballers should do to get the most out of them.

 What is an Ice Bath?

An ice bath is when you immerse your body in a tub of cold water and ice. The frigid temperatures help to reduce inflammation and pain, and can also speed up the healing process. Many athletes use ice baths after workouts or competitions, but they can be beneficial for anyone who is dealing with an injury or sore muscles. While the idea of an ice bath may sound daunting, the key is to start slowly and gradually work your way up to colder temperatures. You should also limit your time in the tub to no more than 20 minutes, as staying in for too long can actually lead to further inflammation. With a little preparation, an ice bath can be a powerful tool for managing pain and promoting healing. Strength and conditioning coaches across Australia endorse this recovery method and use it regularly with their athletes.

What is the Theory That Supports the Ice Bath Recovery Method?

The reasoning behind ice baths is that high-intensity exercise creates microtrauma or microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. This microscopic muscle injury is really a purpose of exercise because it promotes muscle cell activity, which aids in muscle healing and strengthening (muscle hypertrophy). However, it has been linked to DOMS (delayed onset muscular discomfort and soreness), which occurs 24 to 72 hours after exercise.

It is thought that the ice bath would:

  • Constrict blood vessels and drain waste items out of the damaged tissues, such as lactic acid.
  • Slow down physiological processes by lowering metabolic activity.
  • Swelling and tissue disintegration are reduced.

The enhanced blood flow from rewarming is thought to speed up circulation and, as a result, accelerate the healing process.

 What Does Research Say About This Particular Recovery Method?

The majority of research on the effects of ice baths and cold water immersion on exercise recovery and muscular soreness has come up with ambiguous or inconsistent results. Read on to find out what studies have come up with so far:

  • According to studies, icing muscles after a high-intensity workout reduces inflammation, slows muscle fiber growth, and delays muscle regeneration. This would be especially bad for athletes who are striving to bulk up their muscles.
  • When compared to rest or no intervention, a Cochrane review of 17 studies found some evidence that cold-water immersion reduced delayed onset muscle soreness. There was insufficient evidence to say if it helped deal with tiredness or recovery. Running studies revealed the most benefits. All of the studies were of poor quality, with no threshold for adverse effects and no active follow-up with participants.
  • An analysis of 13 research found a modest indication that contrast water therapy was better than passive recovery or rest at minimizing exercise-induced muscle soreness recovery, but the difference was minor. Contrast water treatment, cold water immersion, active recovery, compression, and stretching had little effect on muscular discomfort.

What are the Best Recovery Methods for AFL Players?

Now that we know a little bit more about the theory and research around ice baths, what other recovery options should AFL players consider for the best recovery from their workouts? The following methods have been shown to be most beneficial for muscle soreness and inflammation. These methods have been utilized by strength and conditioning coaches in Melbourne for their athletes. Check them out:

1) The RICE Method 

RICE is commonly used during the acute injury phase, it’s an acronym in the world of sports medicine. It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The RICE method is often recommended as a means of treating acute injuries, such as muscle strains or ankle sprains. The theory behind the RICE method is that it will help to reduce swelling and pain while promoting healing. However, there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of this approach. Some studies have shown that ice may actually delay healing, and elevation has not been shown to have any significant impact on recovery. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the RICE method remains a popular option for athletes seeking to recover from an injury.

2) Active Recovery

As an AFL athlete or strength and conditioning coach knows, the key to maintaining peak performance is to allow your body adequate time to recover from strenuous activity. Too much exercise without enough rest can lead to fatigue, injury, and a decrease in overall performance. While complete rest is important, recent research has shown that active recovery – low-intensity exercise performed during the recovery period – can actually speed up the recovery process. Active recovery helps to increase blood flow to the muscles, which helps to remove waste products and deliver fresh oxygen and nutrients. In addition, active recovery helps to reduce muscle soreness and improve range of motion. As a result, active recovery can be an effective means of helping athletes recover from strenuous exercise and preventing injuries. 

3) Stretching

No matter how fit you are, athletes will always suffer from some form of muscle soreness, especially after a strenuous workout or competition. While there’s no surefire way to prevent this type of discomfort, stretching can help to loosen tight muscles and promote blood flow, which can speed up the healing process. Additionally, stretching can improve your range of motion, helping you to avoid injuries in the future. For these reasons, it’s important to make stretching part of your post-workout routine. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online or you can ask a strength and conditioning coach at Prepare Like A Pro to help you get started on the right foot. So don’t forget to stretch – your body will thank you for it! 

4) Yoga

Yoga has been shown to be an effective means of helping athletes recover from injuries. Studies have shown that yoga can help to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength. In addition, yoga can also help to reduce pain and inflammation. As a result, it is not surprising that many athletes are turning to yoga as a way to speed up their recovery. While there are many different styles of yoga, all of them can be helpful for injury prevention and recovery. For example, Hatha yoga focuses on slow, gentle movements, while Ashtanga yoga is more fast-paced and intense. However, the most important thing is to find a style that works for you and that you enjoy. By incorporating yoga into your training routine, you can help to improve your overall performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Check out our recovery playlist for some how-to videos:

Conclusion

So there you have it – four different methods that can help you to recover from a strenuous workout or competition. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other options available. But these are a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to speed up your recovery. And remember, the most important thing is to listen to your body and tailor your recovery methods to fit your individual needs. So experiment with different methods and find what works best for you.

If you need proper guidance or instructions on how to prepare yourself for the rigors of playing AFL, get in touch with Prepare Like A Pro. We can help you to create a personalized training program that will help you to reach your peak performance.

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How to Train Like an AFL Speed Forwarder DefenderCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Players Training Program

How to Train Like an AFL Speed Forwarder & Defender

An AFL speed forwarder and defender train by doing a variety of exercises that help them improve their speed and agility. One of the most important things for these players is to be able to change direction quickly. This allows them to get around opponents and make tackles which are key performance indicators for speed forwards and defenders. In this blog post, we will discuss how AFL speed forwards & defenders train and look at the exercises that these players do to improve their performance on the field.

What is an AFL Speed Forward?

An AFL speed forward is a player whose primary role on the field is to create space and get down the pitch quickly. This can be done through a variety of different techniques, from using quick cuts and changes of pace to making big, hard-cutting runs. Whatever their method, effective speed forwards are key players in any successful AFL team because they help to open up passing lanes and break down defensive formations.

Due to the demanding nature of their role, speed forwards requires tremendous levels of athleticism and endurance in order to perform at the highest level for an entire game or match. And because the speed forward position requires such a high degree of skill, many teams will seek out young players with a natural flair for moving quickly across the field and making snap decisions in order to cultivate them into top-level athletes. 

What is an AFL Speed Defender?

 

An AFL speed defender is a type of player who excels at intercepting and defusing the opposition’s forward thrusts. Typically, these players are top athletes with superior speed, agility, and coordination. They are experts at reading the play and positioning themselves to cut off offensive drives, catch passes, steal the ball, and disrupt offensive sets.

Because they have such an important role on the field, AFL speed defenders often work closely with their team’s coach to strategize about how to deal with different types of offensive attacks. At the highest levels of competition, AFL speed defenders have to be fast learners and highly adaptable in order to keep up with the ever-changing movements of their opponents. Whether it’s testing new defensive formations or refining their skillset through drills and training sessions, these players never stop working to become better at what they do.

How Do AFL Speed Forwarder & Defender Train?

So how do these players train? For starters, both speed forwards and defenders need to have a base level of fitness to perform at the highest level. This means that they need to be able to run long distances and sprint without tiring. What kind of AFL fitness training should these players be doing?

One of the most important things for speed forwards and defenders is to be able to change direction quickly. This can be done through a variety of different exercises, such as sprints, agility drills, and plyometric exercises. These exercises help to improve the player’s coordination and balance, which are essential for changing direction quickly on the field. 

Plyometric exercises are a type of exercise that helps to improve explosive power. These exercises are often used by athletes who need to generate a lot of force in a short period of time, such as sprinters and jumpers. Some examples of plyometric exercises include box jumps, medicine ball throws, and jump squats. These exercises help to improve the player’s ability to generate force quickly, which is essential for sprinting and making quick changes of direction. 

In addition to plyometric exercises, speed forwards and defenders also need to do a lot of sprint work. This helps them to develop the endurance and leg strength necessary for running long distances at high speeds. Sprinting also helps to improve the player’s coordination and balance. 

Speed forwards and defenders also need to have a strong upper body. This helps them to be able to shrug off tackles, maintain their balance when being pushed around, and generate more force when tackling or jumping. Upper body strength can be developed through a variety of different AFL strength & conditioning exercises, such as weightlifting, push-ups, and pull-ups. 

Finally, speed forwards and defenders need to have good mental toughness. This helps them to deal with the challenges of playing such a demanding position. They need to be able to maintain their focus for long periods of time and make quick decisions under pressure. Many players find that meditation and visualization techniques help them to develop the mental toughness necessary for success on the field.

By following a proper training regimen that impacts the necessary AFL fitness components, speed forwards and defenders can become some of the most dangerous players on the field. They possess a unique combination of speed, agility, strength, and mental toughness that allows them to take over games and make plays that other players simply cannot. If you’re looking to take your game to the next level, then emulating the training regimen of an AFL speed forward or defender is a great place to start. 

Watch our presentation on how a developing speed forward and defender should train to maximise performance: 

Want to take your game to the next level? Then You Must Prepare Like a Pro

Contact us to get started on your journey to becoming an AFL speed forward and defender. Our expert coaches will help you every step of the way with tailored programs and drills that will improve your athleticism and confidence. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, we can help you take your game to the next level.

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AFLW Athlete Development CoachesCategoriesBlog Coaches Training Program

AFLW Athlete Development Coaches

In light of the AFL Women’s (AFLW) rising popularity, a new and vital role has emerged in the world of Australian Rules Football – Athlete Development Coach. This article will explore the roles and responsibilities of Athlete Development Coaches, focusing on their importance to the development of AFLW players.

Watch highlights from the 2022 grand final: 

What is the AFLW?

The AFLW is the national Australian rules football league for women. The league began in February 2017 with eight teams, expanded to 10 in 2019, and then 14 in 2020. The AFLW is the most attended women’s football competition in Australia and one of the most popular women’s football competitions in the world. Its record attendance of 53,034 for the 2019 AFL Women’s Grand Final between Adelaide and Carlton was the highest of any women’s sport in Australia. 

The success and the reception of the AFLW have generated lots of interest amongst women in Australia who want to play the sport. This development has also given rise to the importance of Athlete Development Coaches. But what is an AFLW Athlete Development Coach anyway? Let’s find out.

What is an Athlete Development Coach?

An Athlete Development Coach is a coach specializing in the development of athletes. They work with athletes of all levels, from beginners to elite, and help them improve their skills and performance. Athlete Development Coaches—which you can find over at Prepare Like A Pro—are usually employed by sports clubs or organizations. Their job is to create training and development programs for the athletes they work with. Whether it’s AFLW strength & conditioning, AFLW fitness training, or an AFLW running program, Athlete Development Coaches have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help athletes improve.

So, what role do Athlete Development Coaches play in the development of AFLW players? Let’s take a look.

Check out our AFLW collaborative event:

The Roles of an Athlete Development Coach

Athlete Development Coaches have several roles and responsibilities. Let’s discuss what these are:

1) Help Players Improve Their Performance

Athlete development coaches play an important role in helping athletes improve their ability to perform on game day. They can identify areas where athletes need improvement through comprehensive evaluation and analysis. They then develop specific training programs that target these areas, using a variety of drills and exercises. In addition, athlete development coaches provide ongoing feedback and support to help athletes stay on track. Working closely with AFLW players can help them reach their full potential. As a result, athlete development coaches play a vital role in the success of any AFLW team.

2) Create Training and Development Programs for the Athletes They Work With

Athlete development coaches play an important role in helping athletes reach their full potential. They create training and development programs tailored to each athlete’s unique needs. In addition, they work with athletes to help them overcome obstacles and reach their goals. Athlete development coaches also have a deep understanding of the science of human performance. They use this knowledge to create programs designed to help athletes improve different AFLW fitness components like strength, power, and endurance. As a result, athlete development coaches play a key role in the success of an AFLW player.

3) Assist With The Design and Implementation of Applied Strength and Conditioning Programs for AFLW Players

Athlete development coaches are an essential part of the training and conditioning programs for athletes in any sport. These professionals work closely with athletes to assist them in achieving their performance goals by developing tailored training programs that address their specific needs and skill levels. In the case of Australian Football League Women (AFLW), athlete development coaches play a critical role in ensuring that the players have access to top-quality training and conditioning regimes.

At the heart of an effective AFLW athlete development coach is a strong understanding of athletic development principles, as well as stellar communication skills and expertise in assessing individual athletic abilities. These professionals collaborate closely with other members of the coaching staff, including strength coaches, nutrition specialists, sports psychologists, physiotherapists, and more. Together, they design and implement comprehensive programs that help AFLW players build strength, power, endurance, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and stamina.

As an elite professional football league focused on women’s sports, AFLW athletes must receive high-quality training that maximizes their potential both on and off the field. Athlete development coaches are key players in helping achieve this goal by providing targeted support to each player throughout her career. Whether you aspire to become an AFLW athlete or are already a part of the league, working with an experienced and qualified coach can make all the difference in your development as a player.

4) Work Closely With All Members of the Team and Organize, Plan, and Oversee Athletes and Coaches in a Team Environment

Athlete development coaches work to improve the performance of athletes and teams. They collaborate with all members of the team, including athletes, coaches, and support staff. They develop training and practice plans and oversee the execution of those plans. They also monitor the progress of athletes and the team and make adjustments as needed.

In addition, athlete development coaches provide guidance and support to athletes and coaches. They help athletes to develop their skills and abilities and coach them on how to best utilize those skills in AFLW competitions. They also allow coaches to create their strategies and methods for improving performance. By working closely with all team members, athlete development coaches play an essential role in helping athletes and the team reach their full potential.

5) Communicate With Other Members of the Team to Ensure that Everyone is on the Same Page

Athlete development coaches need to be able to communicate with all members of the team effectively. They must be able to convey information clearly and concisely. In addition, they need to be able to listen attentively and understand the perspectives of others.

It is also important for athlete development coaches to be able to build relationships with all members of the team. They need to be able to earn the trust and respect of those they work with. By developing strong relationships, athlete development coaches can create an environment where everyone is working together towards the same goal.

If you are looking for a way to improve your AFLW athleticism, or if you want to be a part of the development process of future AFLW athletes, then contact Prepare Like A Pro today. We have years of experience developing elite-level footballers, and we can help you take your game to the next level.

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Sports Psychology for High PerformanceCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Psych/Nutrition Training Program

​​Sports Psychology for High Performance

Do you ever wonder how the top athletes in the world seem to always be at the top of their game? It’s not just natural talent – a large part of their success comes from psychological factors. Sports psychology is the study of how our minds influence our physical performance. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key concepts in sports psychology and how they can be used to improve your own performance!

What Is Sports Psychology and How Can It Help Athletes Achieve Success?

Sports psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the mental and emotional factors that influence performance in sports. It can be used to help athletes overcome obstacles, such as performance anxiety or a fear of failure. Sports psychologists may also work with coaches to help them better understand their players and develop strategies for maximizing their potential. 

In addition, sports psychologists can provide guidance on nutrition and sleep habits, which are essential for optimal performance. By understanding the mental and emotional factors that affect an athlete’s performance, sports psychologists can help athletes achieve success both on and off the field.

The Benefits of Sports Psychology for Athletes

Sports psychology is a relatively new field that is only now beginning to be fully understood and appreciated by the general public. However, athletes have long been aware of the importance of mental preparation and focus in achieving peak performance. In recent years, sports psychologists have begun to work more closely with athletes to help them overcome psychological barriers and reach their full potential. Here are some benefits that athletes can reap from sports psychology:

Joe Rogan on the importance of sports psychology:

1) Improved Focus and Concentration

It’s no secret that athletes are some of the most focused and dedicated people in the world. After all, their success depends on their ability to maintain their focus and concentration amidst the pressure of competition. However, what is less well-known is that athletes can actually experience improved focus and concentration thanks to sports psychology. By working with a sports psychologist, athletes can learn techniques for managing stress and anxiety, improving their mental game, and remaining focused during competition. As a result, they are better able to utilize their full potential and achieve peak performance. Whether it’s hitting a game-winning shot or crossing the finish line first, athletes who utilize sports psychology often find themselves rising to the occasion when it matters most.

2) Increased Motivation

Athletes are also some of the most motivated people in the world. They are constantly striving to improve their performance and reach new levels of success. However, motivation can sometimes be difficult to maintain, especially when an athlete is dealing with disappointment or setbacks. Sports psychology can help athletes keep their motivation high by teaching them how to set goals, stay positive, and find inspiration in their failures. By working with a sports psychologist, athletes can learn how to maintain their motivation throughout the ups and downs of their careers.

3) Enhanced Performance

Anyone who has ever played a sport knows that there is more to winning than just physical ability. The psychological effects of competition can be just as important as the physical ones. This is where sports psychology comes in. Sports psychologists help athletes to improve their performance by teaching them how to control their thoughts and emotions. They also help athletes to develop mental toughness and to handle pressure. As a result, athletes who work with sports psychologists often find that they are able to take their game to the next level. In addition, sports psychologists can also help athletes to recover from injuries and to cope with disappointment. For many athletes, working with a sports psychologist is an essential part of achieving success.

4) Develop Communication Skills and Cohesion

One of the most important things that athletes can learn from sports psychology is how to communicate effectively. In order to be successful, athletes need to be able to communicate with their teammates and coaches. This means being able to share information and give and receive feedback. Sports psychology can help athletes to develop the communication skills that they need to be successful. In addition, sports psychology can also help to develop cohesion among teammates. By working together, athletes can develop a strong sense of team spirit and camaraderie. This can lead to better performance on the field or court. 

5) Instill a Healthy Belief System

We all have a certain belief system that dictates how we think and act. This belief system is usually based on our previous experiences, and it can have a big impact on our performance in sports. If we believe that we’re not good enough or that we’re going to fail, then it’s very likely that we’ll underperform. On the other hand, if we have a healthy belief system, then we’re more likely to succeed. Sports psychology can help instill a healthy belief system by identifying irrational thoughts and helping us to replace them with more positive ones. In addition, sports psychologists can also help us to develop mental toughness and resilience, which are essential for success in athletics. By understanding and utilizing sports psychology, we can give ourselves a much better chance of achieving our goals.

Ted talk on sports psychology: 

How To Use Sports Psychology Techniques To Improve Your Performance

Whether you’re a professional athlete or just a weekend warrior, sports psychology can help you improve your performance. By learning to control your thoughts and emotions, you can gain a mental edge over your opponents. Here are some techniques that can help you tap into your inner athlete:

  1. Visualization: picturing yourself succeeding can help increase your confidence and improve your performance.
  2. Goal setting: setting specific, achievable goals will help you stay motivated and focused.
  3. Self-talk: positive self-talk can increase your confidence and help you overcome negative thoughts.
  4. Relaxation: learning how to relax both mentally and physically can help reduce stress and improve your focus.

By using these techniques, you can develop the mental toughness needed to perform at your best. So get out there and start achieving your goals!

Listen to our interview with Collingwood football clubs sport psychologist Jacqui Louder:

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Jim Wendler 531 program for footballersCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Training Program

How I Use Jim Wendler 5/3/1 Program for Footballers

Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program is a famous program in the fitness world. This program is designed for lifters of all levels and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual. In this blog post, we will discuss how Australian Rules Football players can benefit from using this program.

What is the 5/3/1 Program?

 

The 5/3/1 program is a weightlifting routine that was created by Jim Wendler. The program is designed to help lifters gradually increase their strength and size over time. The program is based on four core lifts: the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press. Each lift is trained once per week, and each workout consists of five sets of three reps. The first set of each lift is performed at 65% of the lifter’s one-rep max, the second set at 75%, the third set at 85%, and the fourth and fifth sets are performed as “cluster sets” of three reps with 90% of the lifter’s one-rep max. The goal of the program is to gradually increase the amount of weight lifted over time, allowing the lifter to continue making progress for an extended period of time.

5/3/1 can be used by athletes of all levels of expertise. However, it is most commonly advised for intermediate athletes. 5/3/1/ may be ideal for you if you’re searching for short training sessions with slow but consistent growth. The creator of this program believes that starting light gives a lifter more room to advance. Because they do the lifts more regularly, brand new lifters are usually able to develop more quickly from a beginner routine. Its long-term training approach can also assist advanced lifters.

Can the 5/3/1 Program Be Adapted for AFL Athletes? 

Coaches frequently inquire about how 5/3/1 might be modified for athletes. Isn’t it a reasonable question? Obviously, the requirements of a performance-oriented athlete differ from those of a person who simply wants to get larger and stronger in general. However, little changes regardless of the sport you’re playing on the field. This is in opposition to “sport-specific training professionals” who try to persuade you that each athlete and sport is unique. But first, let’s look at the facts.

Athletes must have powerful hips, legs, shoulders, arms, and midsections in order to compete in any sport. A fundamental and effective barbell-training program is the greatest method to develop these areas. Weight training for sports is nothing more than General Physical Preparedness, hence there are no “sport-specific” workouts (GPP).

As a result, the goal is to improve these body areas by using the most effective weight-lifting exercises. Athletes must develop skills other than strength, and hence do not have the time to spend hours upon hours in the gym. They shouldn’t, at the very least.

Speed, strength, agility, conditioning, and, most importantly, skill work must all be practiced by an athlete. Spending too much time on one item can lead to problems in other areas. The weight room appears to take up the majority of time in the United States, particularly with football.

If you’re an athlete, you should be able to move around and get into the right positions in the sport, as well as be strong and explosive enough to get out of them.

Basic barbell lifts are the greatest and most efficient techniques to train the full body in any activity. Squats, deadlifts, presses, bench presses, and power cleans are among them. The athlete will develop stronger if they are performed with a full range of motion and proper loading. You’ll have a comprehensive strength-training program if you combine these routines with assistance work.

Watch this video on legendary coach Mike Boyle discussing sports specificity: 

What is Assistance Work?

When it comes to weightlifting, the term “assistance work” refers to exercises that are used to improve the performance of the primary lifts. For example, a powerlifter who is trying to increase their squat might do some heavy deadlifts as assistance work. This is because deadlifts help to build strength and size in the lower body, which can carry over to an increase in squatting ability. Similarly, a weightlifter who is trying to improve their jerk might do some overhead presses as assistance work. This is because overhead presses help to build strength and stability in the shoulders, which can lead to an increase in jerking ability. In general, assistance work should be specific to the needs of the lifter and should be tailored to complement the primary lifts. Used correctly, assistance work can be a powerful tool for improving strength and performance.

Can AFL Players Benefit From the 5/3/1 Program?

Listen to our podcast episode about how we adjust the program to suit footballers.

The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, the program can be of great benefit to any athlete looking to improve strength and performance. The key is to tailor the program to your specific needs and goals. For example, if you’re an AFL player looking to improve your speed and agility, you might want to focus on assistance work that helps to build explosive power, such as sprints and jumps. Alternatively, if you’re an AFL player looking to improve your strength and size, you might want to focus on assistance work that helps to build muscle mass, such as heavy lifting and bodybuilding exercises. 

Jim Wendler’s program is ideal for Australian Rules Footballers because it helps to improve speed, agility, and power. It is also effective for building muscle mass and improving strength. To make the program work for you, focus on assistance work that meets your specific needs and goals. And be sure to consult with a qualified strength and conditioning coach who can design a program that meets your specific needs.

Click here to join our AFL version of the Jim Wendler 5/3/1 program for FREE!

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Top 10 Draft Picks For 2022CategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Training Program

Top 10 Draft Picks For 2022

It’s never too early to start thinking about the AFL’s top under 18 talent. After all, the 2022 AFL Draft is upon us. This year’s draft class is shaping up to be an impressive one, with plenty of talented prospects. In this blog post, we will take a look at the best AFL 2022 draft picks who are likely to make their mark this season. These players have all shown tremendous potential and could make a big impact in the AFL. 

Will Ashcroft

The son of triple premiership Lion Marcus, Will Ashcroft is the early favorite for the No. 1 pick in 2022. During Vic Metro’s Under-17 Championships match versus Vic Country, Ashcroft showed he is the entire package with 33 disposals, 20 contested possessions, 12 clearances, nine inside the 50s, and two goals. He not only wins first possession during stoppages, but he also has fast hands, athleticism, and traffic escape. With his kicks to targets inside 50m and the ease with which he can strike, Ashcroft causes havoc for opposing sides.

Jackson Broadbent

Broadbent, who just turned 17 in December, has emerged as the top ruck prospect for the class of 2022 after featuring in three WAFL League games and making an impression in his Western Australia debut against South Australia. Hit-outs are directed to advantage, and Broadbent puts in a lot of effort around the ground. He also has amazing skills. Broadbent is clean at ground level and more than adept while marking overhead.

Jedd Busslinger

Busslinger is one of the most talented key defenders in the class of 2022. He is a superb interceptor who makes excellent use of his early read of the ball in flight. He attacks the ball from the air and has uncanny dexterity when it comes to picking the ball out of the air. When he has the ball in his hands, Busslinger is a composed and dependable distributor, and when he is on the defensive, he is competitive and capable of limiting the impact of his immediate opponent.

Adam D’Aloia

 

D’Aloia, who was named best on the field in the SANFL Under-18s Grand Final, is one of the most polished and dependable midfielders in the 2022 draft class. With his hands, D’Aloia is a prolific first-possession winner, tackler, and a superb distributor of the ball. He plays a fierce two-way game and already boasts a powerful kick that penetrates the opponent’s defense.

Elijah Hewett

Hewett has proven to be one of the most entertaining midfielders in this draft with back-to-back spectacular performances in the WAFL Colts Grand Final and for Western Australia in the Under-17s against South Australia. Hewett is a powerful ball-winner who shows off his strength while exiting stoppages and causes havoc whenever he receives the ball forward of centre. Hewett combines good pace, agility, and evasion with devastating foot skills, whether he’s spotting and hitting targets inside 50 meters or completing the goal himself.

Isaac Keeler

Keeler is a part of Adelaide’s Next-Generation Academy, but if a bid arrives in the top-40 in 2022, the Crows will not have first access to him. Keeler, a 198cm high leaping, smooth moving athlete, is one of 2022’s most fascinating and extraordinary key forwards. He has strong hands overhead and his one-touch cleanness at ground level is excellent.

Harry Lemmey

Lemmey, who stands at 202cm and is the favorite to be the first key forward taken in the 2022 draft, had a fantastic season and ended it off with three goals in each of his finals, including 12 marks in his last encounter. Lemmey is most dangerous in the lead-up to the ball, displaying a voracious hunger for the ball, displaying an unusually high work rate, and consistently generating meaningful separation on the lead.

Kobe Ryan

Ryan is a powerful contested ball winner with superb speed and agility, as well as a feisty tackler. All these skills have made Ryan one of 2022’s most advanced midfielders. Ryan not only wins the ball on the inside, but he also covers a lot of territories and finds the ball on the outside, demonstrating nice and tidy skills.

Elijah Tsatas

Tsatas, who can play on the wing or across halfback, splits the lines with his speed and is an excellent ball user with his precise kicks out in front of targets to lead onto. In 2022, Tsatas hopes to push further towards the center square, allowing him to use his quickness to break out the other side of stoppages.

George Wardlaw

Wardlaw, a strong first-possession winner who excels at stoppages, demonstrates strength to withstand opposition tackles, ward off opponents, and blast out of stoppages after regaining the ball. Wardlaw is also a superb hand distributor at stoppages, finding targets on the outside by hand on a regular basis.

Conclusion

The 2022 AFL draft looks to be very promising, with a number of talented midfielders and key defenders. Keep an eye out for these 2022 draft prospects in the coming years! Who do you think will stand out amongst the AFL rookies for 2022? With these NAB League best players and Under 18 AFL Australian Squad members ready to make their mark, it’s going to be an exciting year!

If you want to prepare yourself for the big league, you must Prepare Like A Pro. Get in touch with Jack or one of the coaches today! We’ll help you get ready for the 2022 AFL draft combine and help you how to take your game to the next level. 

To join our online high-performance program for free click here.

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How to Train Specifically for Your PositionCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Training Program

How to Train Specifically for Your Position – The Best Areas For AFL Key Position Players

If you’re an AFL player looking to train specifically for a key position, look no further. In this blog post, we will outline the key AFL fitness components that you need to focus on in order to improve your performance. Whether you are an AFL Key Defender, AFL Key Forward, or AFL Ruckman, these AFL fitness strength & conditioning exercises will help you become a better player in your specific role. So read on and get started today!

What are the Key Positions in AFL?

There are four key positions in AFL: full forward, centre half-forward, centre halfback, full back and ruck. Each position has its own specific duties and responsibilities.

 The full-forward is the main goal scorer on the team. They are responsible for leading the attack and kicking the majority of the team’s goals. The centre half-forward is responsible for supporting the full forward and creating space for them to score. The centre halfback is the main defender on the team. They are responsible for stopping the opposition’s attacks and clearing the ball out of defense. The full-back is responsible for defending the key forward and stopping any balls that manage to get past the centre halfback. Ruckman gives midfielders first use through hit outs and marking the ball around the ground! 

These are just some of the key positions in AFL. There are many other positions that players can play, but these are the five main ones. Now that you know what the key positions are, let’s take a look at how you can train specifically for each one.

Training for the Full Forward Position

The Full Forward position in the Australian Football League is one of the most important positions on the field. The Full Forward is responsible for kicking goals, and their team often relies on them to score the majority of the points. As a result, it is essential that Full Forwards are well-trained and have the stamina to run up and down the field for the entire game. Some of the drills that Full Forwards use to train include strenuous AFL repeat acceleration, sprints, change-of-direction drills, and long-distance running. In addition, Full Forwards often work with weights to build up their strength and power. By doing these things, Full Forwards can make sure that they are in peak condition and ready to take on their opponents come game day.

Training for the Centre Half Forward Position

Training for the centre’s half-forward position in the AFL requires a high level of fitness as this is a very demanding position on the field. The centre half-forward needs to be able to run and jump for long periods of time, as well as have the strength to take marks and kick goals. This position also requires a high level of stamina, as the centre half-forward is often required to chase down opponents who are trying to break away from the pack. Training for this position, therefore, needs to be intense and focused, with a strong emphasis on an AFL running program, cardiovascular fitness, and leg strength. In addition, plyometric training can be beneficial for developing the explosive power needed to take marks and kick goals. If you are aiming to play centre half-forward in the AFL, then make sure you include these types of exercises in your training regime.

Training for the Centre Half Back Position

The centre halfback is one of the most important positions on an AFL team. Not only do they need to be able to shut down the opposition’s key forwards, but they also need to have the vision and awareness to start their own team’s attacks. As a result, training for this position requires a focus on both defensive and offensive skills. One of the most important things for a centre half back to work on is their speed. They need to be able to keep up with the quickest forwards, as well as have the acceleration to close down space quickly. Agility is also important, as they need to be able to change direction quickly when defending and avoid being caught out of position. Another key component of their training is strength. This helps them in two ways: firstly, it gives them the power to stop their opponents in one-on-one situations; and secondly, it allows them to take strong marks when they are attacking. If you want to play centre halfback at the highest level, then make sure you focus on these key areas in your training.

Training for the Full Back Position

 The full-back position in the AFL is responsible for stopping the opposition’s forwards from scoring, as well as starting attacks with their strong kicking. As a result, training for this position needs to focus on both defensive and offensive skills. One of the most important things for a full back to work on is their speed. They need to be able to keep up with the quickest forwards, as well as have the acceleration to close down space quickly. Fullbacks also need to be exceptionally strong in the air, as they often need to take marks to prevent their opponents from scoring. In addition, their training should focus on developing their kicking skills. This is because fullbacks often need to kick the ball long distances to start attacking plays.

Conclusion

If you want to play AFL at the highest level, then it is important that you train specifically for your position. By focusing on the key areas that are specific to your position, you can ensure that you are in peak condition and ready to take on your opponents come game day. When training, it is best to work with an experienced AFL strength and conditioning coach like the ones you will find at Prepare Like A Pro.  We will be able to tailor a training program specifically for you and equip you with AFL training gear that will help you develop the athleticism and attributes that are required to excel in your chosen position. 

Contact Prepare Like A Pro today to find out more about how we can help you reach your AFL dreams.

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Platform Review of TeambuildrCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Training Program

Platform Review of Teambuildr

Looking for an online strength and conditioning software that is both easy to use and effective? Look no further than Teambuildr! This platform has everything you need to get your squad of athletes working out effectively. With features like workout calendars, leaderboards, and video demonstrations, you can be sure that your team is getting the most out of their workouts. And with a built-in social media platform, this sports and fitness app can keep everyone up to date on their progress. 

I have been lucky enough to use it during my time at Hawthorn football club and my current role at Melbourne football club. The athletes love how easy it is to navigate the app and for the Strength & Conditioning coach we saved time transferring data from written programs to our excel spreadsheets! 

Using the platform at Prepare Like a Pro was a no-brainer and I’ll discuss it in more detail below. 

Click the link below to listen to my pros and cons: 

Podcast

YouTube

 What is Teambuildr?

The strength and conditioning platform TeamBuildr allows coaches to create workout programs that can be seen by players no matter where they are located in the world. The app includes an exercise library, which includes instructions, videos, set/rep information, and other messenger features.

Who uses Teambuildr?

At present, TeamBuildr is being utilized by a wide range of people, including professional and collegiate athletes, Olympians, and everyday fitness enthusiasts. According to its website, it is working with numerous professional teams such as the Tamba Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints from the National Football League; the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association; Chelsea and Arsenal from the English Premier League; and Notre Dame, Virgina Tech, and Oregon from the NCAA, just to mention a few. Additionally, the company has plans to expand its reach into other markets such as high school coaching and physical therapy/rehabilitation in the near future.

 How are other coaches finding Teambuildr?

From the little research that I have been able to do, it would appear as though Teambuildr is an extremely effective platform for strength and conditioning. Not only does it allow coaches to create workout libraries, but also provides athletes with all of the necessary tools needed to complete said workouts. 

Through the use of TeamBuildr, a strength program can become fully paperless by developing workouts on an online platform. Each morning, athletes receive an email with their allocated routines, but they may also retrieve them through text message, on their tablet, or through the TeamBuildr smartphone app. Once the players have recorded their weight, reps, or time in the app, the data is saved to the cloud and can be accessed by the coach.

As an added bonus, coaches save a substantial amount of time when creating workouts because TeamBuildr will save sessions on a daily, weekly, or biweekly basis. Coaches can easily plug in saved workouts for all of their teams at any time, rather than having to create programs in Word, Excel, or any other office software. Coaches can save time by recording data on tablets rather than using a clipboard or Excel, which is another example of time-saving. By capturing data via the TeamBuildr iPad app, you can assure that your weight room data is maintained in a safe cloud that is automatically backed up at regular intervals. Also saving time is the use of TeamBuildr’s iPad software to record maxes and other metrics in the weight room, which avoids the need to do time-consuming data entry from paper into an Excel spreadsheet.

If your coach reading this and you have experience in using Teambuildr for the benefit of other coaches I would love for you to comment below 👇 your pros and cons! 

How Good is Teambuildr When It Comes to Communication?

Similar to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, each athlete obtains a TeamBuildr profile, which serves as their identity as a strength and conditioning professional. Athletes can communicate with one another through a Team Feed, where they can post comments, share their newest triumphs, and view coach updates. Additionally, whenever an exercise record is broken or if an athlete breaks into the “Top 3” for a maximum, TeamBuildr will automatically post to the Team Feed. On the Team Feed, coaches can also post announcements about their teams for particular sports or groups of players.

Coaches can communicate with their athletes using a range of communication methods available on the TeamBuildr platform. Every morning, an email will be sent to each athlete’s email address informing them of the new workout that has been prepared. The TeamBuildr messaging system can also be used by coaches for sending out mass texts and emails to specific teams or position groupings.

If you are  interested in becoming a strength coach, watch this clip by Brett Bartholomew 

Conclusion

Overall, Teambuildr is an extremely user-friendly platform that can save coaches time in terms of creating workouts and communicating with their athletes. The system is very versatile and has been successfully implemented with numerous professional teams. With the expansion into new markets imminent, it would be wise for strength and conditioning professionals to take a closer look at this platform and see how it can benefit their athletes.

If you’re a coach who is aspiring to become the best version of yourself, then you should check out the Prepare Like a Pro Academy! 

I have set up this membership to share my years of experience in elite-level sports and business to help you to achieve your goals. 

For more information head to www.academypreparelikeapro.com.au
You can also send an email at jack@preparelikeapro.com

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