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

The AFL Women’s (AFLW) rising popularity has given rise to a vital role in Australian Rules Football – Athlete Development Coach. This article explores their roles and responsibilities, emphasizing their importance in developing AFLW players.

Watch highlights from the 2022 grand final: 

What is the AFLW?

The AFLW, which started in 2017 with 8 teams, has been a significant milestone in women’s football. Moreover, the league expanded to 10 teams in 2019 and then to 14 teams in 2020, signifying its rapid growth and popularity. Notably, it’s highly attended and popular worldwide. For instance, the 2019 Grand Final saw a record-breaking 53,034 attendees. As a result, this tremendous success sparked significant interest among women players, ultimately leading to the rise of AFLW Athlete Development Coaches. Now, let’s delve into their crucial and transformative role.

What is an Athlete Development Coach?

An Athlete Development Coach specializes in improving athletes of all levels, ranging from beginners to elite players. They play a pivotal role in sports clubs or organizations, meticulously creating and implementing tailored training programs to enhance skills and performance. At Prepare Like A Pro, you can find these dedicated coaches with a wealth of knowledge and experience in AFLW strength & conditioning, fitness training, and running programs. Consequently, they play a vital and multifaceted role in developing AFLW players, helping them reach their full potential and achieve excellence on and off the field.

Check out our AFLW collaborative event:

The Roles of an Athlete Development Coach

Athlete Development Coaches have several crucial roles and responsibilities. Let’s explore them through subheadings:

1. Help Players Improve Their Performance

Athlete development coaches play a vital role in enhancing athletes’ performance on game day. They identify areas for improvement through comprehensive evaluation and analysis. By designing specific training programs with drills and exercises targeting these areas, coaches provide ongoing feedback and support to keep athletes on track.

2. Create Training and Development Programs for the Athletes

Athlete development coaches tailor training and development programs to each athlete’s unique needs, helping them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Drawing on their understanding of human performance science, they focus on improving different AFLW fitness components like strength, power, and endurance.

3. Assist with the Design and Implementation of Applied Strength and Conditioning Programs

These coaches collaborate with other specialists in strength, nutrition, psychology, and physiotherapy to create comprehensive programs that optimize AFLW players’ strength, agility, coordination, and stamina.

4. Work Closely With All Members of the Team and Organize, Plan, and Oversee Athletes and Coaches

Athlete development coaches foster collaboration among athletes, coaches, and support staff by developing training and practice plans aligned with the team’s goals. Through monitoring and adjustments, they guide athletes and teams toward success.

5. Effective Communication and Relationship Building

These coaches must communicate clearly and concisely with all team members, listening attentively to understand different perspectives. Building strong relationships helps create a cohesive environment where everyone works together toward the same goal.

If you are interested in improving your AFLW athleticism or becoming a part of the development process for future AFLW athletes, consider reaching out to Prepare Like A Pro, an organization with years of experience developing elite-level footballers. They can help 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 | Prepare Like a Pro

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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Platform Review of TeambuildrCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Training Program

Is Teambuildr Programming Software good? A Coaches Perspective

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: 


 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.


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
You can also send an email at


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Benefits of Private Coaching Under Prepare Like A ProCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Training Program

The Benefits of Private Coaching Under Prepare Like A Pro for Aussie Rules Footballers

If you have aspirations of becoming an AFL player, then you know that the competition is fierce. There are thousands of players of all ages who are trying to make it to the top, and only a select few will make it. If you want to be one of those players, then you need to start preparing like a pro.

Seriously though it means getting regular feedback from professionals that know where you need to focus your hard work. Private coaching from experts in the field is a great place to start if you don’t have access to a coach at your club.  In this blog post, we will discuss some of the benefits of private coaching with our Prepare Like A Pro coaches.

The Significance of Private Coaching for AFL Players

Anyone who has ever played a team sport knows that having a great strength & conditioning coach can make all the difference. A PLP coach can teach the skills and strategies needed to gain a physical advantage over your opponents, but they can also instill confidence and encourage players to reach their full potential. In the world of Australian Rules Football, private coaching is becoming increasingly popular among professional players. While AFL clubs provide their own coaches, many players feel that they can benefit from the additional guidance and support of a private coach. Private strength & conditioning coaches often have more time to spend with each individual player, and they can tailor their training to the specific needs of the athletes they work with. As a result, private coaching can give players the edge they need to succeed at the highest level of competitive football. For many AFL players, private coaching is an essential part of their training regime.

The Benefits of Getting Private Coaching From Prepare Like A Pro

 If you want to improve running economy and lifting technique, through video analysis and direct coach feedback, book your private coaching session with Prepare Like A Pro today. You can choose between a one-on-one session or a small group session where Prepare Like A Pro strength and conditioning coaches will provide you with the specific feedback and training needed to improve your game. Our coaches have worked with some of the best AFL players in the country, we know what it takes to succeed at the highest level. With his help, you can reach your full potential as an AFL player.

 Here are some benefits that you and other AFL players can experience with private coaching under Prepare Like A Pro:

1) On-the-Spot Technique Feedback for Reduced Training Injury

Australian Rules Football is a demanding sport that puts a lot of strain on the body. As a result, injuries are common, and many players find themselves sidelined for extended periods of time. One way to reduce the risk of training injury is to seek out private coaching. A good coach can provide on-the-spot technique feedback that can help players avoid overuse injuries. They can also tailor programs to individual needs, which can help reduce the likelihood of muscular imbalances and other problems. In addition, private coaches can offer motivation and support that can keep players from getting complacent in their training. As a result, private coaching can be an invaluable tool for AFL players looking to stay healthy and on the field.

2) Refine Your Running Economy for Faster, More Explosive, and Efficient Running

Many professional AFL athletes use private coaching to help them refine their running economy. Studies have shown that even a small improvement in the running economy can lead to faster, more explosive, and efficient running. Private coaching can help AFL players learn how to run with better technique and become more efficient runners. In addition, private coaching can help players develop the strength and power needed for explosive speed and acceleration. As a result, private coaching can be an important tool for AFL players who want to improve their running economy.

3) Individualized Coaching for Recovery and Nutrition Goals

AFL players are under immense pressure to perform at their best week in and week out. As a result, many of them turn to private coaching to help them stay sharp and focused. Private coaching can provide individualized coaching for recovery and nutrition goals, helping players to optimize their performance. In addition, private coaches can work with players to develop specific game plans and strategies. By tailoring their training to the individual needs of each player, private coaches can help AFL players take their game to the next level.

If you’re an AFL player who is looking to take your game to the next level, then private coaching from Prepare Like A Pro is the right choice for you. With the help of our experienced and knowledgeable coaches, you can reach your full potential as an AFL player. 

Contact us today to learn more about our private coaching services. We look forward to helping you take your game to the next level!



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How to Train Like an AFL MidfielderCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Get Better Plan Training Program

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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How Australian Rule Footballers Should Warm UpCategoriesBlog Training Program

How Australian Rule Footballers Should Warm-Up

As an AFL footballer, you know the importance of warming up before a game. Warming up not only helps to prevent injuries but can also help improve your performance on the field. Here are some tips on doing a proper AFL warm-up to make sure your body is ready before taking the field.

The Significance of Footballers Warming Up Before Playing

You may be tempted to just run out onto the field and immediately get in the game. However, skipping your warm-up can actually increase your risk of injury. A good warm-up should prepare your body for the physical activity about to occur. It helps increase your heart rate, prepare you mentally and get your blood flowing so you feel ready to compete with maximum effort!

A proper footy warm-up should include a mix of light-moderate and high-intensity movement and mobility drills. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on your warm-up, but it is essential to do it properly. If you’re not sure how to warm up for football, here are some tips to get you started.

Warm-Up Activities

For AFL preparation, start with light aerobic exercises such as jogging or run drills. Mix inside shuffles, backward pedaling, lunging, and jumping. These exercises will increase your body temperature and prepare your body for more strenuous activity.

Once you’ve completed a few minutes of aerobic exercises, it’s time to start mobilising. Australian Rules Football is a sport that requires a lot of mobility, so it’s crucial to take your muscles through range before playing. Ideally, avoid static stretching and look to incorporate dynamic mobility to mimic the movement patterns you are about to face during the game.  

You can also add in some basic ball skills such as handballing and kicking, this is an essential part of the preparation for yourself and the team. This will help get your body ready for the game-like movements you’ll perform on the field. In addition, it is best to have a strength and conditioning coach like the ones at Prepare Like a Pro to guide the team with a comprehensive footy warm-up routine.

What are the Risks Involved with Not Warming Up Properly?

Not warming up before playing can have some severe consequences. Muscles that are cold and unused are more susceptible to injuries. In addition, you may also find yourself mentally not switched on and sluggish during the game if you don’t take the time to warm up properly. 

AFL players need to make sure they take the time to properly warm-up before every game, whether it’s an AFL preseason or the regular season. By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of injuries and be at your best on the field.

Here are several injuries that can occur if you don’t warm up before playing Australian Rules Football:

1) Hamstring Injury

This is one of the most common injuries in AFL. It can occur when the hamstring muscles are suddenly stretched beyond their limit. A proper warm-up can help prepare these muscles and reduce your risk of this injury.

2) Knee Injury

Knee injuries are also prevalent in AFL. They can range from minor strains to major ligament tears. A good warm-up can help increase the stability of your ankles & hips which can help reduce your risk of knee injuries. 

3) Ankle Sprain

 An ankle sprain is a very common injury in sports that involve running and jumping. It occurs when the ankle joint is twisted or turned beyond its normal range of motion. Warming up can help prepare the surrounding muscles and increase the range of motion in your ankle. This can help reduce your risk of ankle sprains.

 4) Groin Strain

A groin strain is a type of injury that occurs when the muscles in the groin area are stretched or torn. It is a common injury in sports that involve a high-speed change of direction running and twisting movements. A proper warm-up can help prepare the muscles and reduce your risk of this injury.

5) Back Injury

Back injuries are one of the most common injuries in all sports. They can range from mild strains to serious spine injuries. A proper warm-up can increase the range of motion of your posterior chain (calves/hamstrings/lower & middle back while also preparing your core for combat. This can help reduce your risk of back injuries.

The Bottomline

Warming up before playing Australian Rules Football is essential for reducing your risk of injuries. By following the tips in this article, you can help prepare your body for the strenuous activity involved in playing this sport. If you want to prepare your body for the rigors of AFL, get in touch with Prepare Like A Pro. We offer a variety of strength and conditioning programs that can help you stay injury-free this season including working with your local football club. For more information check Football Clubs and Schools

AFL Athletic Development Training for the YouthCategoriesBlog Elite Lifestyle Training Program

AFL Athletic Development Training for the Youth

Australian rules football or AFL is a great sport to play. It is intense, fast-paced, and exciting. But it can also be dangerous if you are not adequately prepared. That is why AFL athletic development training is critical for young developing players. Strength & Conditioning coaches will help you learn good habits with proper techniques and improve your overall athleticism. This will make you a better player and help keep you safe on the field. So if you want to excel at AFL, be sure to participate in athletic development training!

What is AFL athletic development training?

AFL athletic development training is a strength & conditioning program designed for physically developing players. This conditioning program develops the physical attributes that are necessary for AFL competition. Typical areas of training include speed, strength, and agility. But these types of workouts can vary depending on the specific skills needed on each team or position. Most teams also have a different regimen they follow each day to stay on top of their game.

Some employ junior weight training and junior lifting programs.

These programs help players increase muscle strength and size. For experienced players, this can also help with injury prevention. Other teams may focus more on cardio workouts, yoga, or Pilates. These are great for improving athleticism, endurance, and flexibility while helping you avoid injuries. Players who participate in intense training sessions should always give themselves plenty of rest days in-between workout days. This will help their body recover to perform at top form every time they are on the field.

To learn more about the benefits of different training methods check out our Get Better Plan YouTube playlist:

 How to get started with AFL athletic development training?

To begin athletic development training, you should find a reputable strength and conditioning coach or professional that you trust. Look for someone who has experience working with athletes your age and has a good reputation in the community. Once you find a trainer, ask about their training regimen and what they recommend for players just starting out.

 Next, set up a time to meet with them to discuss your athletic development training program. You should also establish a timetable to follow along that accommodates school, work and sport. This timetable will ensure you never miss a workout or come to a training session unprepared. Once you begin, make sure to stay consistent with your regimen and attend every training session! This will keep your body from becoming fatigued and give you better results. Plus, it is always good to have someone keeping tabs on you and ensuring that everything is going smoothly.

 What should you look for in an athletic development training regimen?

 Now that you know what AFL athletic development training is and how to get started, it is time to look at some of the qualities you should look for when designing your program. First, be sure to search around and find a trainer with excellent credentials. Make sure they have worked with athletes your age before, have a lot of experience working with kids, and are well respected in the community. Once you find someone who checks all these boxes, establish a time to meet them for an evaluation. During that session, be sure to ask about their qualifications and get examples of past clients they have worked with. Also, try asking about their training regimen and what you can expect with AFL athletic development training. 

Last, ask them when they think you should work out and what days would be best for your schedule. Second, make sure to find a program that includes plenty of elements from all three areas of athletic development: speed, strength, and agility. These skills are essential for all players on the field.

What exercises are expected in AFL athletic development training?

You can expect to see many typical exercises in AFL athletic development training. Start by looking up examples on our YouTube channel: 


This will start your body off on the right foot, allowing you to work out harder with less risk of injury. When it comes time to do speed drills, you should focus on running drills like the Y-drill, T-drill, and shuttle run. As you work out your strength with lower bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges, make sure to keep proper form; drop down into each squat slowly and come up explosively. Also, do not forget about mobility! Focus on doing explosive movements like box jumps, broad jumps, and obstacle courses. These movements will help to build synaptic connections in the brain and increase your coordination and speed on the field.

 What are some benefits of AFL athletic development training?

 There are many benefits to participating in AFL athletic development training. Some of the most common include injury prevention, improved coordination, better endurance, and increased overall fitness. It is also one of the best ways to improve your ability as a football player and make sure you can keep up with your teammates and opponents. And the skills you learn through AFL athletic training will help you during training, practice games, and games throughout the season!

 Whether you are a parent of an aspiring young athlete or a young football player yourself, try talking to your school’s coaches about adding AFL athletic development training to their team’s weekly workouts. This will help keep everyone in shape and ready to play at game time!

For more information on how we can help put a program in place for your school or football club, check out our website: 

Football Clubs and Schools

Or email Jack at


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Strength TrainingCategoriesBlog Training Program

Strength Training to Improve Australian Rules Footballers’ Physicality on the Field

Australian rules football is a physical sport. To compete at the elite level, you need to have a high level of physicality. One of the best methods to improve your physicality is through strength training. Strength training will help you increase your muscle mass, improve your power output and reduce your risk of injury. So, if you want to become a better Australian rules footballer, start strength training today!

Combat Training For AFL

 What is strength training, and how can it improve Australian rules footballers’ physicality on the field?

Strength training is a type of exercise that focuses on increasing your ability to generate a high amount of force. There are many different types of strength training, but most of them involve lifting weights or doing resistance exercises. The key to improving physicality by strength training is performing heavy compound movements. Compound movements are multi-joint exercises that increase muscle groups more than isolation exercises. For example, a bicep curl is an isolation exercise that only works your biceps. In contrast, a barbell back squat is a compound movement that works several muscle groups, including your quadriceps, trunk, and glutes.

 To perform well in Australian rules football and improve AFL upper body strength, it’s crucial to have a high power output level. Power output has three components: strength, speed, and endurance. Strength for a developing athlete is the most important of the three because it increases your maximum output which ultimately increases your speed endurance and overall power output. As you are physically mature you will need to focus on power training to improve your ability to generate force faster! 

To make sure you are maximising your efforts and time it’s important to become stronger and train with an experienced strength and conditioning coach. If you want to become a better Australian rules footballer, consider training with heavier weights because that will help you gain more lean muscle, which will help bolster your AFL physicality.

 Australian rules footballers need to be strong in their lower body as well. Any time you’re on the ground during a game, your legs are providing stability and power to help you stay upright or dominate your opponent. This is why players with good lower body strength tend to excel at AFL tackling. To improve lower body strength, you need to do trapbar deadlifts, barbell hip thrusts, and barbell box squats because those exercises increase lower body strength while minimising the risk for injury. The best way to build power output in your legs is by doing explosive movements like jump squats or depth jumps.

Check out our recent podcast on this topic: 


Australian rules footballers that want to improve AFL power should also focus on their posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves). You need to do Romanian deadlifts, glute bridges, back extensions, and reverse hypers to improve your posterior chain. Australian rules football players that perform heavy compound movements combined with explosive lower body exercises have the best chance of developing the physical attributes to be assertive in contested situations when playing Footy.

 How often should AFL players strength train to see optimal results on the field during matches and tournaments throughout the year?

Australian rules footballers need to train with weights 3-5 times per week for optimal results. Too many training sessions can lead to overtraining the nervous system, decreasing performance. During the season, footy players should train with weights 2-3 times per week and perform either total body sessions or split body parts i.e. upper body one day and lower body on the other day. Australian rules footballers need to avoid only performing isolation exercises while training with weights because they’re not as effective at developing strength and power.

For optimal results on the field, AFL players need to train with heavier weights for fewer repetitions. For example, six sets of 3 reps are better than 4 sets of 10 reps. It’s more important to do the exercises correctly with the guidance of experienced football strength and conditioning coach than to perform more sets or reps.

 Training Australian rules footballers is not different from training any other athlete. To see success on the field, athletes need to train with heavy weights for fewer repetitions to play stronger and faster during matches throughout the year. The off-season is the best time for athletes to work on strength and power because they can do extra work with no game load to recover from. The closer an athlete gets to game day, the closer they need to be working on speed and power with explosive movements like the ones listed in our YouTube playlist: 


What are some tips for ensuring that AFL players get the most out of their strength-training sessions?

Australian rules football players need to have a strong mind-muscle connection with all their exercises. If an AFL player can move heavier weights with proper technique, they’ll become more confident on the field, and that will help them be successful in performing tackling drills or being tackled by another player. As a result, strength training sessions aren’t just about lifting heavyweights. The main goal of strength training sessions is to build confidence in AFL players through quality movement and understanding the purpose of each exercise in the weight room.

Prepare Like A Pro offers premier training programs for footy players. We have face-to-face training that caters to the individual needs of athletes.


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