How many hours do AFL players train in seasonCategoriesFooty Program Footy Tips

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

Ever wondered what it takes to be at the top of your game in Australian Rules Football? AFL players are renowned for their incredible fitness levels and relentless training. But have you ever wondered how many hours they actually put in? Or what exactly goes on during their training sessions? Well, get ready to dive into the inner workings of AFL player preparation!

AFL players leave no stone unturned when it comes to training. During the season, they dedicate a minimum of 25 hours per week to honing their skills and conditioning their bodies. So, what does this rigorous schedule entail? Let’s break it down:

Physical, Skill-Based, and Tactical Training:

AFL players follow a comprehensive training schedule that encompasses three key components: physical, skill-based, and tactical training. Each aspect is crucial in preparing them for the challenges they’ll face on game day.

Physical Training: AFL players undergo rigorous strength and conditioning workouts to ensure they maintain peak fitness levels. These sessions focus on building strength, endurance, and overall physical resilience.

Skill-Based Training: Mastering the intricacies of the game is a vital part of AFL player development. They spend time practicing handpasses, kicks, marks, and tackles to sharpen their technique and improve their game performance.

Tactical Training: AFL is a strategic sport, and players need to be tactically astute. They engage in training sessions that focus on team strategies, positioning, and decision-making in various game situations.

The Weekly Training Routine:

Let’s take a closer look at how AFL players structure their training throughout the week:

Monday: After a couple of recovery days, players kick off the week with a light run-around session to get their bodies moving again. This is followed by skill-based training, which could involve drills like kicking circuits or handball games to fine-tune their technique.

Tuesday: Position-specific training takes center stage on Tuesdays. Players within the forward, midfield, and defensive lines work together to focus on specific aspects of their game, such as goal kicking or one-on-one contests.

Wednesday: Hump day means intense training. Players push their limits during skill and match practice sessions to fine-tune their abilities ahead of the upcoming game. Lower body strength and power training also take place to enhance performance on the field.

Thursday: Rest and recovery are key on Thursdays. Players take a day off to relax, engage in alternative activities, and rejuvenate their bodies for the challenges ahead.

Friday: The pre-game session, known as the captain’s run, is all about sharpening skills and maintaining intensity. Players focus on ball movement and kicking to prepare themselves mentally and physically for the game.

Saturday: Game day rituals come into play. Some players engage in light exercise or mindfulness activities to get in the right mindset before the match. Proper nutrition is also crucial for optimal performance on the field.

Sunday: Recovery mode is in full swing. Players take charge of their own recovery, utilizing techniques like Pilates, yoga, massage, and ice baths to promote healing and relaxation.

The Road to AFL Excellence:

AFL players are relentless in their pursuit of excellence. They understand that their bodies are their most valuable assets, and they invest countless hours in training and conditioning to reach their peak. Whether it’s lifting weights, fine-tuning skills, or focusing on tactical prowess, every aspect of their training is geared towards becoming the best in the sport.

So, if you’re an aspiring AFL player, take inspiration from their dedication and commitment. Embrace a comprehensive training program that covers physical fitness, skill development, and tactical awareness. Remember, the path to AFL success begins with a relentless work ethic and a burning desire to excel. Are you ready to take the first step? Contact us today to embark on your journey towards becoming

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

How many hours do AFL players train in season

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





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

How far do afl players run in a gameCategoriesFooty Program Footy Tips

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

How Far Do AFL Players Really Run? Unveiling the Incredible Distance Covered by Aussie Rules Footballers!

When it comes to fitness, AFL players are in a league of their own. They possess the ability to run vast distances at astonishing speeds, all while making lightning-fast decisions and executing incredible feats of athleticism. It’s no wonder they’re considered some of the fittest athletes in the world!

Picture this: during a single game, the fittest AFL players have been known to cover mind-boggling distances of up to 18 kilometers. That’s right, 18 kilometers! Just try wrapping your head around that. It’s a testament to the physical demands of the sport and the exceptional conditioning required to excel in AFL.

Curious about the average distance covered by AFL players in a match? Thanks to cutting-edge GPS technology, we now have a pretty accurate estimation. On average, AFL players run an impressive 12-14 kilometers per game, with some exceptional athletes even surpassing the 20-kilometer mark. It’s an incredible display of endurance and stamina.

But it’s not just about the sheer distance covered. It’s also about the blistering speed at which these players move. When sprinting, AFL players can reach mind-blowing speeds of up to 35 kilometers per hour. That’s faster than most of us will ever run in our lives!

To achieve such phenomenal fitness levels, AFL players undergo rigorous training regimens. In-season training sessions typically involve running between 3 and 7 kilometers, while pre-season sessions can ramp up to 5 – 16 kilometers. These sessions often incorporate interval sprinting, a vital component of their conditioning. Picture this: short, explosive sprints of 20-40 meters at maximum effort, followed by a brief rest period. This type of training not only hones their on-field performance but also builds the endurance needed for the full duration of a game.

To conquer the demands of AFL, players must also have a high level of aerobic fitness. That’s why their conditioning programs emphasize both long, slow-distance running and shorter, high-intensity sprints. By incorporating interval training, which alternates between periods of high and lower-intensity activity, players maximize their oxygen utilization efficiency and significantly improve their endurance.

So, how can this information benefit you? If you’re an aspiring AFL player looking to enhance your aerobic capacity, incorporating fitness into training drills is key. Imagine starting a drill with an all-out burst of speed, followed by a period of jogging or walking to recover. This technique keeps your heart rate elevated while allowing for necessary recuperation. By gradually intensifying and extending your aerobic training, you’ll witness remarkable improvements in your fitness level, propelling you toward becoming a top-notch AFL player.

Another crucial aspect of AFL player conditioning is high-speed running. To adequately prepare for the demands of the game, AFL players typically cover a range of 300 to 600 meters at high speeds during in-season training sessions. Pre-season sessions push these boundaries even further, spanning distances anywhere from 500 to 3000 meters. This specific conditioning not only enhances their on-field performance but also significantly reduces the risk of injury.

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

To accurately assess and track their aerobic fitness, AFL players and coaches rely on various tests. Some of the most commonly used tests include the beep test, yo-yo intermittent recovery test, and multistage shuttle run test.

The iconic beep test challenges players to run between two points 20 meters apart, with the pace quickening as beeps sound. The score is determined by the level at which the player can no longer keep up with the beeps. It’s a classic assessment of aerobic endurance.

The yo-yo intermittent recovery test pushes players to their limits as they repeatedly sprint back and forth between two points, adjusting the intensity

How far do afl players run in a game 1

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

How to Train Specifically for Your PositionCategoriesFooty Program Footy Tips

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

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


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

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

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

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


 Competition requirements


Aerobic capacity

Repeat acceleration

Individualised approach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Mental health

Psychological reactions to injury

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do AFL athletes respond to injury?

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

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

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

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


Field location

Passages of play for offense play

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

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

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


Effective Kicking

Ball in play

Effective Handball

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


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

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

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

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How to Train Like an AFL Midfielder
How to Train Like an AFL Midfielder