How to Train Like an AFL Midfielder

Do you have what it takes to become an AFL midfielder? It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make it in this competitive sport. In this blog post, we’ll outline some of the AFL training programs and AFL fitness tests that Australian Rules Footballer midfielders use to stay in shape and dominate on the field. So if you’re looking to take your game to the next level, keep on reading!

What is an AFL Midfielder?

An AFL midfielder is a player who is responsible for playing the game either as an inside midfielder: (center, ruck rover, rover) and the wing (outside midfielders). Their job is to link up the play between the forwards and backs, and they are often required to win the ball back from the opposition. Midfielders need to be super fast and strong to win the contest while covering a lot of ground during a game, and they need to have the stamina to keep going for four quarters.

What Makes an Excellent Midfielder?

There are a few AFL fitness components that make an excellent AFL midfielder. Firstly, they need to be strong and have the endurance to run all day. Secondly, they need to be good at both offensive and defensive play. Thirdly, midfielders need to have good ball skills and be able to make quick decisions under pressure. Lastly, they need to be good leaders and have the ability to inspire their teammates.

Some of the best AFL midfielders of all time include Adelaide’s Mark Ricciuto, Brisbane’s Simon Black, Carlton’s Chris Judd, Collingwood’s Scott Pendlebury, and Melbourne Clayton Oliver, just to mention a few of the greats. Now that we’ve covered what an AFL midfielder is and what attributes make a great one, let’s take a look at some of the training programs they use to stay on top of their game.

AFL Training Programs for Midfielders

The midfield, of all the positions in Australian football, is arguably the most difficult to master. This is particularly true when playing as an inside midfielder. Such is the case since most balls in play pass via the midfielders, especially the center midfielder. Midfielders must have the abilities and conditioning to get the ball and defend, whether they are delivering the ball to their fellow forwards at the 50-meter area or defending against the opponent’s 50-meter area. You can use our online AFL running programs and training drills as part of your training programs to prepare well for the midfielder position. 

An efficient strength and conditioning program can give midfielders a significant advantage in terms of fitness, strength, and even speed. High-performance coaches should handle midfielder training implementation, and the elements should be applicable for genuine AFL play scenarios.

Handballing, kicking, and tackling, to mention a few skills, should all be included in football drills to properly develop midfielders. Strength and conditioning are particularly important for midfielders because they will be doing a lot of running, chasing down loose balls, going one on one with opponents, and even reaching beyond the 50-meter area when given the opportunity.

Recommended Training Drills for Midfielders

There are plenty of AFL fitness training drills that midfielders can do to reach peak conditioning in both physique and skills. Here are a few of them:

 1) Interval Training 

This type of training involves alternating periods of high-intensity and low-intensity exercises. Interval training is a great way to improve your overall fitness and stamina.

2) Plyometric Exercises 

Plyometric exercises are explosive movements that help improve your power and speed. These types of exercises are often used by AFL players to help improve their explosiveness on the field.

3) Strength Training 

Strength training is important for all football players, but it is especially important for midfielders. This is because they need to be strong enough to win the ball back from the opposition and also provide plenty of run and support for their teammates.

4) Ball Skills Training

Ball skills training is essential for all footballers, but it is especially important for midfielders. This is because they need to be able to make quick decisions with the ball and also deliver accurate passes to their teammates.

Midfielders looking to get better can try these drills:

  •     Sets of up to 20 seconds of 100-meter run with a 20-second rest in between. This replicates on-and-off-the-field running conditions in midfield.
  •     Agility running drills lasting 5 to 10 seconds, with or without the ball. This simulates a midfielder who has taken possession of the ball and is rushing with it at high intensity either side shuffling or cutting. 
  •     Every 60 seconds, perform a set of 50-meter sprints. Reps should be done alternately from a kneeling, conventional position, and face away positions. 
  •     Sets of 20 to 90 seconds of maximum distance running, followed by 90 seconds of walk/jogging or skills between reps. This, too, simulates the running scenarios that midfielders experience.
  •     While at rest or roaming around, practice some handballing and goal kicking in between drills.

Final Thoughts

The role of an AFL midfielder is one of the most important roles in Australian football. Midfielders need to have good ball skills, be able to make quick decisions under pressure, and also be good leaders. If you’re looking to improve your game and become a better midfielder, make sure to follow the tips and training drills provided in our high-performance program. You can try it for a free 14 day trial by clicking the link below.



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