Protecting Young Athletes in AFL – A Concussion Prevention Guide for ParentsCategoriesBlog

Navigating AFL Concussion Injuries and the 12-Day Recovery Protocol

The AFL’s 12-Day Concussion Protocol

The AFL’s approach to concussion management is structured and meticulous, ensuring that players receive the care and time needed to fully recover before returning to the field. The protocol is a testament to the league’s commitment to player safety, encompassing a comprehensive 12-day process that begins the moment an injury occurs.

The Australian Football League (AFL) takes player health and safety seriously, especially when it comes to concussion injuries. Concussions are a significant concern in contact sports, and the AFL’s 12-day concussion protocol is a testament to the league’s commitment to player welfare. This article delves into the specifics of the protocol, the research backing its effectiveness, and how emerging technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Machine Learning (ML) are shaping the future of concussion management in sports.

 

Concussion management is a critical aspect of player health and safety in the Australian Football League (AFL). As a sport known for its high-impact collisions and fast-paced action, the incidence of concussion is a significant concern. This blog post explores the intricacies of concussion in AFL, highlighting the league’s 12-day concussion protocol, the role of technology in managing these injuries, and the future directions for concussion management in the sport.

In-Depth Analysis of the 12-Day Protocol

The protocol is designed to monitor symptoms and recovery through a phased approach that carefully balances rest and gradual re-introduction to physical activity. This ensures that players are not rushed back into play, reducing the risk of long-term health issues associated with concussions.

Innovations in Concussion Management

Emerging research and technologies, such as Virtual-Reality Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening and machine learning models, are at the forefront of enhancing concussion management. These innovations offer new ways to assess and predict concussion outcomes, potentially revolutionizing how concussions are handled in sports.

The Role of Technology in Concussion Protocols

The integration of technology into concussion protocols represents a significant leap forward in personalized and precise concussion management. The AFL’s adoption of these tools reflects a broader trend in sports towards leveraging technology to improve player health and safety outcomes.

Player Experiences with the 12-Day Protocol

Personal accounts from players who have undergone the concussion protocol shed light on its effectiveness and areas for improvement. These stories highlight the critical importance of adhering to the protocol and the role of medical professionals in guiding players through their recovery.

Comparative Analysis with Other Sports

Examining how concussion protocols in other sports stack up against the AFL’s can provide valuable insights into best practices and potential areas for enhancement. Learning from the experiences of other leagues is crucial for the ongoing evolution of concussion management strategies.

The Future of Concussion Management in AFL

The landscape of concussion management in AFL is poised for continued evolution, driven by advances in research and technology. The league’s commitment to incorporating the latest findings and innovations into its concussion protocols is vital for safeguarding player health and well-being.

The AFL’s structured approach to concussion management, underscored by the 12-day concussion protocol, reflects a comprehensive strategy to mitigate the risks associated with concussions. Through ongoing research, technological advancements, and a dedication to best practices, the AFL is leading the way in concussion management, ensuring the safety and longevity of its players’ careers.

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Research:

    1. Virtual-Reality based Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening for Concussion Detection using Machine Learning (2022-10-13)
    • This paper explores the use of virtual reality (VR) to standardize Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) for concussion detection, showing that machine learning models can achieve high accuracy in identifying concussion symptoms based on VR-generated data. Link to paper
    1. Predicting Post-Concussion Syndrome Outcomes with Machine Learning (2021-08-04)
    • This study uses machine learning models to predict outcomes for patients with persistent post-concussion syndrome (PCS), finding predictive factors such as PTSD, perceived injustice, and symptom severity. It demonstrates that machine learning can accurately predict PCS outcomes. Link to paper
    Sport-related concussion (SRC) depends on sensory information from visual, vestibular, and somatosensory systems. At the same time, the current clinical administration of Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) is subjective and deviates among administrators. Therefore, for the assessment and management of concussion detection, standardization is required to lower the risk of injury and increase the validation among clinicians. With the advancement of technology, virtual reality (VR) can be utilized to advance the standardization of the VOMS, increasing the accuracy of testing administration and decreasing overall false positive rates. 
    In this paper, machine learning models are used to predict outcomes for patients with persistent post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Patients had sustained a concussion at an average of two to three months before the study. By utilizing assessed data, the machine learning models aimed to predict whether or not a patient would continue to have PCS after four to five months. The random forest classifier achieved the highest performance with an 85% accuracy and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.94. Factors found to be predictive of PCS outcome were Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), perceived injustice, self-rated prognosis, and symptom severity post-injury. The results of this study demonstrate that machine learning models can predict PCS outcomes with high accuracy. With further research, machine learning models may be implemented in healthcare settings to help patients with persistent PCS.
Achieving Success Through BalanceCategoriesPlayers PLP Podcast

#304 – Salvatore Cilmi, Aussie Rules Footballer for Palm Beach Currumbin

Unlocking Success: Strategies for Balancing Life and Sport

In the fast-paced world of sports, achieving success through balance finding the perfect balance between training, work, and personal life can be a daunting task. However, for athletes like Salvatore Cilmi, a talented Aussie Rules Footballer for Palm Beach Currumbin, mastering this balance is essential for achieving success both on and off the field. Achieving Success Through Balance

Key topic:  Strategies for Success: AFL Star Salvatore Cilmi Reveals His High-Performance Habits 

In this special edition, we welcome Prepare Like a Pro member Salvatore Cilmi, better known as Sammy, a top-tier Aussie Rules Footballer from Palm Beach Currumbin. He’s not only a force on the field but also an inspiration for athletes and sports enthusiasts alike. 

🏉Deep Dive into Aussie Rules Football with Salvatore Cilmi: 

Sammy’s story is not just about sports; it’s a masterclass in perseverance and strategic thinking. He will offer a rare glimpse into his life as an elite athlete in the highly competitive world of the Australian Football League (AFL). Expect personal stories that resonate, strategic and actionable advice, and insights that only a player of his caliber can provide.

Highlights from the episode:

  • His strategy to balance his uni, work, and training load
  • Resources he uses to enhance his craft
  • His advice for those wanting to specialize in the small-forward role
  • Results he gained with the strength & power program and conditioning of Prepare Like a Pro
  • Tips to improve your first 3 steps and agility

Prioritizing Tasks for Optimal Performance

One of the key aspects of Cilmi’s success lies in his ability to prioritize tasks effectively. Balancing university commitments, work responsibilities, and rigorous training schedules requires careful planning and discipline. By creating and adhering to daily habits, Cilmi ensures that he maximizes his time and energy, ultimately enhancing his performance in all areas of his life.

Managing Energy and Fatigue

Despite his best efforts, there are inevitably days when Cilmi feels mentally or physically drained. During these times, he employs various strategies to rejuvenate himself and maintain peak performance. From short power naps to focusing on proper nutrition, Cilmi understands the importance of listening to his body and providing it with the care and rest it needs to excel.

Drawing Inspiration from Role Models

Like many athletes, Cilmi finds inspiration in the achievements of others. By studying the techniques and tactics of renowned players such as Cyril Rioli and Cody Weightman, he gains valuable insights into his own game. Watching highlights and analyzing gameplay allows Cilmi to refine his skills and elevate his performance to new heights.

Shifting Perspectives for Greater Impact

Over the years, Cilmi has undergone a significant shift in mindset regarding his role on the field. While goals were once the primary focus, he now recognizes the value of contributing to the team in other ways. Whether it’s assisting teammates, making crucial tackles, or relentlessly chasing the ball, Cilmi understands that success is measured not only by personal achievements but also by the collective efforts of the entire team.

Building Physical Resilience and Agility

In addition to mental fortitude, Cilmi places great emphasis on physical conditioning. Through a comprehensive strength and conditioning program, he has developed the necessary body armor to withstand the physical demands of the game. By improving his conditioning and agility, Cilmi aims to broaden his playing position options and become an even more versatile and impactful player on the field.

Unlocking Your Potential

The journey to success is never easy, but by adopting the strategies and mindset of athletes like Salvatore Cilmi, you can unlock your full potential both in sports and in life. By prioritizing tasks, managing energy levels, drawing inspiration from role models, shifting perspectives, and building physical resilience, you can overcome obstacles and achieve your goals with confidence and determination.

People mentioned:

  • Mark Williams
  • Jack Mclean
  • Dylan Vizzari
  • Caleb Morgan
  • Aaron Hall
  • Tom Hickey
  • David Armitage
  • Dale Tapping
  • Cyril Rioli
  • Kysaiah Pickett
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your game? Our program is designed to propel footballers, like yourself, towards greater fitness, speed, and strength, ensuring you’re fully prepared to dominate on the field!

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Mentorship Resilience Success SportsCategoriesPlayers PLP Podcast

#bitesize – Ben Serpell, Performance Coach at Geelong Football Club

Unlocking Success: The Power of Mentorship and Resilience in Sports

In the dynamic world of sports, success often hinges not just on physical prowess but also on mental resilience and the guidance of mentors. Mentorship Resilience Success Sports Ben Serpell, a Performance Coach at Geelong Football Club, sheds light on the critical role mentors play in shaping careers and the importance of resilience in achieving peak performance.

Having an extensive experience working in elite environments across Europe and Australia, Ben has demonstrated success collaborating with a range of high-performing teams and individuals in professional and international Rugby (Brumbies Rugby, NSW Waratahs, Mentorship Resilience Success Sports Munster Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, Wallabies), Australian Rules football (Port Adelaide Power, Geelong Cats), individual athletes (Ellyse Perry, Maitlin Brown), and high-performance consultancy for physical, coach, and high-performance program development in Olympic Sports (Australian Institute of Sport, Cycling Australia, Australian Taekwondo).

Highlights from the episode:

  • Why do you need mentors to develop you technically and sponsors to advocate for you
  • Doing lifting before running and how it boosts testosterone and energy
  • Building emotional resilience in AFL
  • What a good primer session for young athletes looks like
  • Recovery tips to help athletes mentally and physically recover after a football match

The Influence of Mentors and Sponsors

Serpell emphasizes the distinction between mentors and sponsors, highlighting how mentors support development while sponsors advocate for new opportunities. Drawing from his own experience, he credits figures like Dean Benson and John Prior for their instrumental mentorship and sponsorship, which helped him establish a robust network and open doors to new roles.

The Benefits of Lifting in Football Training

One of the key insights Serpell shares is the significance of lifting before training in football. He delves into the scientific rationale behind this practice, citing its neurological, hormonal, and physiological benefits. However, he acknowledges the cultural shift needed in the AFL to fully embrace this approach.

Developing Emotional and Mental Resilience

Building emotional and mental resilience is crucial in sports, particularly in high-pressure environments like professional football. Serpell underscores the importance of injury prevention and maintaining basic movement patterns to enhance resilience. He also highlights the role of testosterone production in promoting resilience through pre-session priming.

Strategies for Lower-Level Players

For younger athletes or lower-level players, Serpell offers practical advice for optimizing performance and recovery. He recommends short, explosive movement sessions with low resistance and emphasizes the inclusion of sprints in warm-ups. Additionally, he suggests recovery strategies such as cherry juice and post-match meditation to aid in winding down and improving sleep quality.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your coaching? Uncover the strategies to build a thriving online platform, liberating yourself from the time-for-money constraints while pursuing a career as an AFL S&C coach.

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Fitness for Football MasterclassCategoriesPlayers PLP Podcast

#bitesize – Fitness For Football Masterclass

Unlocking Peak Performance: The Footballer’s Guide to Success

In the high-stakes world of football, success hinges not only on physical prowess but also on mental resilience and strategic preparation. From heart rate variability monitoring to embracing vulnerability, let’s delve into the Fitness for Football Masterclass, Fitness for Football Masterclass key components that contribute to peak performance on the football field.

Highlights from the episode:

  • HRV, stress, and hormones
  • Mind and Body benchmark
  • Nutrition and Simone Austin’s book Eating Like an Athlete
  • Sleep and Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep
  • Using GPS for running
  • Funnel Periodization

Monitoring Heart Rate Variability for Morning Readiness

Understanding the body’s response to stress is essential for optimizing performance. By monitoring heart rate variability each morning, athletes can gauge their readiness for the day ahead. Factors like poor sleep or high-stress periods can impact heart rate variability, highlighting the importance of lifestyle habits in supporting peak performance.

Navigating the Impact of Stress on the Body

Stress is an inevitable part of an athlete’s journey, but its effects can be managed through awareness and strategic intervention. A graph illustrating the relationship between tissue growth, cortisol levels, and testosterone highlights how stressors like football matches or public speaking can impact hormonal balance. By acknowledging and addressing these stressors, athletes can optimize their physical and mental well-being.

Embracing Vulnerability in Performance Culture

In the pursuit of excellence, vulnerability emerges as a powerful tool for personal and team growth. Successful clubs recognize vulnerability as a strength, fostering a culture where athletes feel empowered to share their challenges and seek support. Programs like the Resilience Project encourage open dialogue and promote resilience in the face of adversity.

Optimizing Nutrition for Peak Performance

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in fueling athletic performance and supporting recovery. Sports dietitians like Simone Austin offer valuable insights gleaned from years of experience working with elite athletes across various sports. By prioritizing nutrient-rich foods and strategic meal timing, footballers can enhance their energy levels, endurance, and overall well-being.

Prioritizing Quality Sleep for Recovery

Sleep is the cornerstone of recovery, yet it’s often overlooked in the pursuit of athletic excellence. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker’s research emphasizes the critical role of sleep in physical and cognitive function. By prioritizing quality sleep and implementing effective sleep hygiene practices, footballers can optimize their recovery and performance on the field.

Harnessing GPS Technology for Performance Insights

Advancements in technology, such as GPS tracking, offer invaluable insights into player performance and workload management. By analyzing metrics like intensity and workload density, coaches can tailor training programs to optimize performance and minimize the risk of injury. GPS data provides a comprehensive view of player exertion, allowing for informed decision-making in training and game preparation.

Strategic Periodization for Optimal Performance

Periodization, the strategic planning of training cycles, is key to optimizing performance throughout the season. By gradually increasing intensity and specificity as game day approaches, athletes can peak at the right time. Coaches like Andrew Russell utilize periodization techniques derived from track and field, ensuring that training programs are tailored to the unique demands of football.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your game? Our program is designed to propel footballers, like yourself, towards greater fitness, speed, and strength, ensuring you’re fully prepared to dominate on the field!

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Learning my AFL Reconditioning Philosophy (1)CategoriesBlog

Unlocking the Power of Reconditioning in AFL: A Comprehensive Guide to Athlete Return to Performance

Introduction

In the high-impact world of Australian Football League (AFL), the significance of reconditioning cannot be overstated. Reconditioning in AFL encompasses a broad spectrum of strategies aimed at ensuring athletes recover efficiently, maintain peak physical condition, and return from injuries stronger and more resilient. This comprehensive guide aims to unlock the power of reconditioning, offering insights into the athlete-centered approach that integrates the latest in sports science. As we gear up for an upcoming live Zoom presentation on AFL reconditioning, we invite you to explore the pivotal role of reconditioning in enhancing athlete recovery and performance.

The Rehab Journey: An Athlete-Centered Approach

Reconditioning in AFL is not a one-size-fits-all process. It’s a personalized journey that begins with an in-depth individual assessment, tailoring the recovery plan to meet each athlete’s unique needs. The key pillars of this journey include:

  • Individual Assessment and Customization: Understanding the specific needs and challenges of each athlete to develop a bespoke recovery plan.
  • Mental Health and Resilience: Recognizing the mental and emotional aspects of recovery, fostering resilience, and supporting athletes through their rehab journey.
  • Nutrition and Recovery: Highlighting the critical role of nutrition in accelerating recovery and optimizing performance.

Communication among athletes, coaches, and medical teams is paramount, ensuring that everyone is aligned in the recovery and reconditioning goals.

Reconditioning Philosophy: Keeping the Big Picture in Mind

The philosophy behind AFL reconditioning is holistic, focusing not just on immediate recovery but on the athlete’s long-term health and career longevity. This involves:

  • Periodization: Implementing a phased approach that includes off-season preparation, in-season maintenance, and post-season recovery.
  • Long-Term Development: Keeping the athlete’s long-term development and career progression in view, beyond the immediate competition season.

Applying the Science: Objectivity and Integration

Sport science plays a critical role in AFL reconditioning, providing objective data to guide decision-making. Key components include:

  • Objective Measurement and Monitoring: Utilizing technologies such as GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring to gather real-time data on athlete performance and recovery.
  • Case Studies and Best Practices: Learning from successful reconditioning strategies through case studies.
  • Techniques for Flexibility and Injury Reduction: Implementing stretching and support strategies to enhance flexibility and reduce the risk of injuries.

Integrating Reconditioning Principles

The ultimate goal is to seamlessly integrate reconditioning principles into daily training and competition schedules, tailoring plans to the individual needs and goals of each athlete. This requires continuous evaluation and adjustment, ensuring that the reconditioning strategies evolve in line with the athlete’s progress and the demands of the sport.

A comprehensive approach to reconditioning in AFL is vital for optimizing athlete recovery, performance, and longevity. As we conclude, we underscore the importance of embracing an athlete-centered approach, informed by sport science, to achieve these goals. We invite you to join our live Zoom presentation for deeper insights and interactive discussions on applying these principles to your practice or team.

Interested in seeing the above information being presented by our founder Jack Mclean? sign up to our academy for free via this link:

Coaches Monthly

Research:

Hughes L, Rosenblatt B, Haddad F, Gissane C, McCarthy D, Clarke T, Ferris G, Dawes J, Paton B, Patterson SD. Comparing the Effectiveness of Blood Flow Restriction and Traditional Heavy Load Resistance Training in the Post-Surgery Rehabilitation of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Patients: A UK National Health Service Randomised Controlled Trial. Sports Med. 2019 Nov;49(11):1787-1805. doi: 10.1007/s40279-019-01137-2. PMID: 31301034.

  • Sandford GN, Laursen PB, Buchheit M. Anaerobic Speed/Power Reserve and Sport Performance: Scientific Basis, Current Applications and Future Directions. Sports Med. 2021 Oct;51(10):2017-2028. doi: 10.1007/s40279-021-01523-9. Epub 2021 Aug 16. PMID: 34398445.
  • Flatt AA, Allen JR, Keith CM, Martinez MW, Esco MR. Season-Long Heart-Rate Variability Tracking Reveals Autonomic Imbalance in American College Football Players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2021 Dec 1;16(12):1834-1843. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2020-0801. Epub 2021 May 26. PMID: 34039770.
  • Malone et a. 2016 Malone, S, Roe, M, Doran, DA, Gabbett, TJ and Collins, K (2016) High chronic training loads and exposure to bouts of maximal velocity running reduce injury risk in elite Gaelic football. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
  • Taberner M, Allen T, Cohen DD. Progressing rehabilitation after injury: consider the ‘control-chaos continuum’. Br J Sports Med. 2019 Sep;53(18):1132-1136. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100157. Epub 2019 Feb 8. PMID: 30737202; PMCID: PMC6818668.
Coaching Excellence StrategiesCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#303 – Glenn Stewart, High Performance Consultant at Stewart Sports Consultancy

Unlocking Coaching Excellence: A Guide to Success

“Coaching Excellence Strategies” Coaching is not just about leading a team; it’s about nurturing potential, maximizing capabilities, and fostering growth. In this article, we delve into the core principles and strategies that drive Coaching Excellence Strategies.

Welcome to the AFL High-Performance podcast dedicated to exploring the key elements that drive success in Australian Rules Football. In today’s episode, we delve deep into the world of coaching excellence with Glenn, exploring what truly constitutes excellence in the dynamic realm of AFL.

Key topic: Building systems skills and critical thinking to unlock High Performance!

Highlights from the episode:

  • James Clear
  • John Worslfold
  • John Edwards
  • Steve Stanley
  • Mick Malthouse
  • Sir Alex Ferguson

Prioritizing Athlete Development

At the heart of coaching excellence lies a commitment to prioritizing the development and potential of athletes. Coaches play a pivotal role in guiding individuals towards their best performances, both on and off the field. Understanding the coach’s role in maximizing capabilities sets the foundation for success.

Utilizing the Eisenhower Matrix

Coaches are often inundated with tasks and responsibilities, making time management a critical skill. Utilizing tools like the Eisenhower Matrix can help coaches assess where they spend their time and prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. By focusing efforts on high-priority activities, coaches can optimize their impact and drive results.

Fostering Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a cornerstone of effective coaching. It requires deep reflection, review, and analysis to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. Clear objectives and measures of success provide the framework for critical thinking in coaching, enabling coaches to make informed decisions and adapt strategies as needed.

Addressing Concerns Proactively

In coaching, addressing concerns promptly is essential for maintaining a positive and productive environment. This begins with identifying concerning behaviors and patterns. Employing appropriate tools and techniques, coaches can guide athletes towards a different path and address any issues that may arise, fostering growth and development.

The CARDS Approach: Foundations for Success

Summarizing the key principles of coaching and critical thinking is the acronym “CARDS.” Clarity, Alignment, Relationships, Discipline, and Systems serve as foundational elements for success in coaching. By focusing on these pillars, coaches can create a supportive and conducive environment for athlete development and achievement.

In conclusion, coaching excellence is a multifaceted endeavor that requires dedication, strategic thinking, and effective communication. By prioritizing athlete development, utilizing tools like the Eisenhower Matrix, fostering critical thinking, addressing concerns proactively, and adhering to the CARDS approach, coaches can unlock the full potential of their teams and drive success.

People mentioned:

  • Andrew Mackie
  • Mitch Duncan
  • Tom Hawkins
  • Jed Bews
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your coaching? Uncover the strategies to build a thriving online platform, liberating yourself from the time-for-money constraints while pursuing a career as an AFL S&C coach.

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5 Essential Agility drills to increase your lateral speedCategoriesBlog

Elevate Your Game: Power Tips for Aspiring AFL Footballers to Dodge Opponents

Aspiring AFL footballers, listen up! If you’re aiming to weave through your opponents with the grace of a gazelle, you’re in the right place. We’re about to dive into some game-changing advice that will not only help you dodge your opponents but also leave them in awe of your agility. With insights derived from the latest research, this post will serve as your roadmap to becoming a more elusive and effective player on the field. So, are you ready to take your AFL game up a notch? Let’s get the ball rolling!

Harnessing the Power of Small-Sided Games

First up, let’s talk about small-sided games. These aren’t just fun; they’re a goldmine for improving your agility. According to Young & Rogers (2014), small-sided games significantly boost your ability to make quicker decisions on the field. It’s not about how fast you move, but how quickly you decide to make that move. Imagine being able to out-think your opponent and be one step ahead, literally. That’s the edge small-sided games can give you, making them a crucial part of your training arsenal.

Rethinking Change-of-Direction Training

Change-of-direction training might seem like a no-brainer for agility, right? However, the same research by Young & Rogers (2014) suggests that its benefits might not be as pronounced as we thought, especially for developing the kind of reactive agility that makes a difference in real-game scenarios. This doesn’t mean you should ditch these drills entirely, but rather, integrate them with other training forms for a well-rounded agility workout.

AFL Draft Combine
AFL Draft Combine

The Neuromuscular Training Advantage

Zouhal et al. (2019) bring neuromuscular training into the spotlight, highlighting its significant impact on agility performance in elite soccer players. Given the similarities in agility demands between soccer and AFL, incorporating neuromuscular training into your routine could be a game-changer. This type of training focuses on improving your muscle response times and coordination, essential for executing quick turns and evasive maneuvers.

Sharpening Your Perceptual Skills

Perceptual skill, or the ability to quickly process and react to your surroundings, is another critical component of agility. Young & Willey (2010) emphasize the importance of integrating perceptual training into your agility drills. It’s not just about how fast you are but how fast you can perceive a gap or an opponent’s move and react accordingly. This skill can often be the difference between a successful evasion and a missed opportunity.

Speed, Agility, and Quickness (SAQ) Training

Lastly, Milanović et al. (2013) shed light on the effectiveness of SAQ training in enhancing agility. This approach, which combines speed, agility, and quickness exercises, has been shown to improve performance significantly, even when the ball is in play. For AFL players, this means being more adaptable and agile, with or without the ball, enhancing your ability to evade opponents and create opportunities.

Incorporating These Insights into Your Training

How do you put all this into practice? Start by integrating small-sided games into your training sessions to enhance your decision-making speed. Complement these with neuromuscular training exercises to improve your physical response times and coordination. Don’t overlook the importance of perceptual training; consider drills that mimic real-game scenarios to sharpen your reactive agility. Lastly, incorporate SAQ training to round out your agility development, ensuring you’re quick, nimble, and ready to outmaneuver your opponents.

Improving your ability to evade opponents in AFL requires a multifaceted approach, as research vividly illustrates. By focusing on small-sided games, neuromuscular, and SAQ training, while also honing your perceptual skills, you’re setting yourself up for success on the field. Remember, agility is not just physical; it’s a mental game, too. So, lace up, stay sharp, and get ready to leave your opponents wondering where you went.

Eager to elevate your AFL game further? Dive into more insights and tips on our blog and join a community of footballers who, just like you, are on their way to greatness. Let’s turn these insights into action and transform your agility on the field!

Try our program for FREE via this link alternatively, book a 15-minute call with Jack to discover the best program for you!

Check out our favourite change of direction strength drills with the below videos:

Young, W., & Rogers, N. F. R. (2014). Effects of small-sided game and change-of-direction training on reactive agility and change-of-direction speed. *Journal of Sports Sciences, 32*, 307-314. [https://consensus.app/papers/effects-smallsided-game-changeofdirection-training-young/07ed8e840b3a53c8b9318df2fc659bff/(https://consensus.app/papers/effects-smallsided-game-changeofdirection-training-young/07ed8e840b3a53c8b9318df2fc659bff/

Zouhal, H., Abderrahman, A. B., Dupont, G., Truptin, P., Le Bris, R., Le Postec, E., Sghaeir, Z., Brughelli, M., Granacher, U., & Bideau, B. (2019). Effects of Neuromuscular Training on Agility Performance in Elite Soccer Players. *Frontiers in Physiology, 10*. [https://consensus.app/papers/effects-training-agility-performance-elite-soccer-zouhal/95ea735b2fea57b78cab183208273266/ (https://consensus.app/papers/effects-training-agility-performance-elite-soccer-zouhal/95ea735b2fea57b78cab183208273266/

Young, W., & Willey, B. (2010). Analysis of a reactive agility field test. *Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 13 3*, 376-378. [https://consensus.app/papers/analysis-agility-field-test-young/01fec2786ef755b790d6db6db9637e75/ (https://consensus.app/papers/analysis-agility-field-test-young/01fec2786ef755b790d6db6db9637e75/

Milanović, Z., Sporiš, G., Trajković, N., James, N., & Šamija, K. (2013). Effects of a 12 Week SAQ Training Programme on Agility with and without the Ball among Young Soccer Players. *Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 12 1*, 97-103. [https://consensus.app/papers/effects-week-training-programme-agility-without-ball-milanović/967e40951a76536ea35fb260223e6752/(https://consensus.app/papers/effects-week-training-programme-agility-without-ball-milanović/967e40951a76536ea35fb260223e6752/

My favourite ways to improve footballers speed & accelerationCategoriesBlog

Boost Your AFL Game: Master the Art of Acceleration in Just Three Steps

Hey there, AFL enthusiasts! Ready to leave your opponents in the dust? It’s all about nailing those first three steps of acceleration. This blog post is your ultimate playbook, packed with the nitty-gritty on accelerating like a pro in AFL. We’re talking top-notch drills, insider strategies, and a deep dive into the science behind swift moves. Let’s get you up to speed and turn heads on the field!

Understanding Acceleration in AFL:

In the heart-pounding world of AFL, speed is your best friend. And not just any speed – we’re zeroing in on acceleration. It’s about blasting off the starting line, seizing control of the ball, and sidestepping the competition when it matters most. Mastering acceleration means you’re not just playing the game; you’re dominating it.

The Science Behind Acceleration:

Ever wonder what makes you zip across the field like a bolt of lightning? It’s all in the mechanics and muscle. We’re talking about explosive leg power, perfecting your body’s angles, and training those fast-twitch muscle fibers to react in a flash. Get this formula right, and you’re on your way to becoming an acceleration maestro.

Key Drills and Exercises:

It’s showtime! Transform theory into action with drills designed for AFL champs. Picture yourself nailing wall drills, powering through sled sprints, and leaping into plyometrics. And that’s just for starters. We’ve got a whole lineup of game-changing routines to skyrocket your acceleration.

Speed vs. Acceleration:

Let’s set the record straight – speed and acceleration are two sides of the same coin, but they play different games. Speed’s about the long haul, but acceleration? What’s your secret weapon for those make-or-break moments in AFL? Fine-tune your acceleration, and watch the game bend to your rhythm.

Tailored Training for Every Position:

No two AFL players are the same, and neither is their approach to acceleration. Whether you’re a midfielder needing quick bursts, a forward eyeing the goal, or a defender on the prowl, we’ve got bespoke tips to amp up your acceleration game.

Staying on Track:

Consistency is key, and tracking your progress is your roadmap to success. We’re dishing out pro tips on training smart, recovering right, and using tech to keep your acceleration gains on a steady climb.

To learn these strategies in greater detail watch the below YouTube Video where Jack Mclean discusses this topic on his podcast:

Strength training can enhance acceleration and performance in various sports. Research shows:

1. Resisted sprint (RS) training improves acceleration and leg power, similar to nonresistant sprint (NRS) training, without adversely affecting acceleration kinematics or gait [(Spinks et al., 2007)](https://consensus.app/papers/effects-resisted-sprint-training-acceleration-spinks/f38d54c9f4ef5b9ebab8039e17cc9ee0/

2. Heavy strength training leads to significant improvements in strength and power-related measurements, though its combination with plyometric training does not significantly enhance performance in professional soccer players compared to strength training alone [(Rønnestad et al., 2008)](https://consensus.app/papers/shortterm-effects-strength-plyometric-training-sprint-rønnestad/329b4634b11b5fa7a32919ff24522806/

3. Strength training with heavy versus light load on weighted sled towing significantly improves sprint acceleration ability without negative effects on sprint performance [(Kawamori et al., 2014)](https://consensus.app/papers/effects-weighted-towing-with-heavy-versus-light-load-kawamori/b2f73c3bc43855709a26fcc7fd262e59/

 

Wrapping Up:

You’ve got the power tips, the drills, and the insider strategies. Now, it’s your move. Take these insights, hit the field, and start your journey to AFL greatness. Remember, every champion’s journey starts with mastering those first three steps of acceleration. Ready, set, go!

Ready to make those acceleration gains?

Check out our favourite acceleration drills with the below videos:

Improve football power performanceCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#bitesize – How footballers can improve their power performance

Blog Post Excerpt

The quest for improved power performance, with a keen emphasis on how to improve football power performance, is a crucial aspect of a footballer’s training regime. Power, the explosive strength enabling athletes to execute rapid bursts of speed, jump higher, and strike the ball with formidable force, is a cornerstone of elite performance in football. This comprehensive guide delves into the multifaceted approach required to elevate a footballer’s power, incorporating the principle of improve football power performance through strength training, plyometrics, speed work, nutritional strategies, and more.

Highlights from the episode:

  • What is Post activation potentiation (PAP)
  • Exercises to improve power performance
  • Technique to perform these exercises

Understanding Power Performance in Football

Power performance in football is not just about the ability to exert maximum force but doing so in the shortest time possible. It influences a player’s capacity to sprint, change directions swiftly, and maintain physical dominance over opponents.

Foundational Strength Training

Strength is the bedrock of power. Incorporating exercises like squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts into a training regimen can significantly enhance a player’s force output.

Plyometrics for Explosiveness

Plyometric training, involving jump and hopping exercises, cultivates explosiveness. It trains the muscles to exert maximum force in minimal time, crucial for actions like jumping for headers or sudden sprinting.

Speed and Agility Work

Speed and agility are pivotal for footballers, allowing them to maneuver through defenders and make impactful plays. Drills that enhance these attributes contribute directly to a player’s power performance.

Nutrition and Recovery

Optimal nutrition fuels performance and recovery, enabling sustained power development. Proteins for muscle repair, carbohydrates for energy, and adequate hydration are fundamental. Equally, rest and recovery practices, including sleep and active recovery, are indispensable for peak power output.

Technology and Equipment

Leveraging technology, such as wearable sensors and advanced training equipment, can provide insights into performance metrics, enabling tailored training interventions.

Mindset and Mental Training

A strong mental framework bolsters physical performance. Techniques focusing on mental resilience, concentration, and visualization can enhance an athlete’s ability to harness their power under pressure.

Case Studies

The blog would feature case studies of footballers who have successfully improved their power performance, offering insights and inspiration from their training routines and methodologies.

Conclusion

Maximizing power performance in football requires a holistic approach, integrating physical training, nutritional support, and mental fortitude. By embracing these strategies, footballers can unlock new levels of performance, setting new standards on the field.

Power Training Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVS4ZGBUcw0zt0t8PanSJQyOB3j-ijE1d

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your game? Our program is designed to propel footballers, like yourself, towards greater fitness, speed, and strength, ensuring you’re fully prepared to dominate on the field!

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Team Success Through CollaborationCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#302 – Strategies for Managing Performance Teams in AFL with Scott Murphy

Empowering Teams: Strategies for Athletic Success

In the dynamic world of sports, achieving sustained success requires more than just individual prowess. Team Success Through Collaboration, teams, especially in the competitive realm of football, must operate cohesively with a shared vision. Team Success Through Collaboration, Scott Murphy, the Physical Performance Manager at Geelong Football Club, shares invaluable insights into the strategies that have propelled the Cats to a decade of sustainable success.

Join us in an insightful conversation with Scott Murphy, the Head of High Performance at Geelong Cats, as we explore the intricacies of AFL team dynamics. From defining effective team dynamics to strategies for effective high-performance teams, Scott shares his wealth of experience and insights in this exclusive interview.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Management techniques that have been proven successful in Scott’s extensive experience
  • Key pillars of a successful high-performance manager
  • Strategies to influence the athlete’s lifestyle outside of the club
  • How does he influence the perception of stakeholders when things don’t go as planned in pre-season
  • Adapting his strategies to keep things exciting for the players

Tune in to gain valuable insights into the world of AFL team dynamics and high-performance coaching with Scott Murphy. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or a high-performance coach looking to elevate your team’s performance, this episode provides a playbook for success both on and off the field.

Building a Strong Team Culture:

Murphy emphasizes the importance of collaboration, stating that being a lone rider is not an option in the world of sports management. Instead, he encourages the creation of a robust team culture where boundaries are set, and tasks are delegated with confidence. According to him, effective teamwork extends beyond the field and into the daily operations of the club.

Coaching Beyond Leadership:

While leadership is a key aspect, Murphy underscores the necessity of maintaining a coaching mindset. Regardless of one’s position, whether a manager or a player, the ability to influence athlete behavior remains crucial. This, he believes, is fundamental in instilling confidence in players’ bodies and fostering a belief in their capabilities.

Individualized Approach to Performance:

Murphy’s approach extends beyond the training ground. To influence players’ lifestyles outside the club, he advocates for a personalized, one-on-one strategy. Building trust, creating a dialogue, and fostering a genuine rapport are critical components of ensuring that players buy into the team’s vision.

Adaptability in Strategies:

The journey towards success is not static. Murphy suggests starting with a blank slate each year, reevaluating goals, and making necessary adjustments. This adaptability, he believes, keeps the strategies fresh and exciting for the players, preventing monotony in testing protocols and training methodologies.

Listening and Learning:

Murphy acknowledges the importance of listening to different perspectives, both within the team and from external stakeholders. He advises against dismissing viewpoints outright and emphasizes the value of learning from observations. This open-minded approach contributes to a more holistic understanding of the team dynamics.

Conclusion:

Scott Murphy’s decade-long journey with the Geelong Football Club offers a treasure trove of lessons for sports enthusiasts, coaches, and managers alike. From the significance of teamwork and coaching to the need for adaptability and open communication, his insights provide a roadmap for sustainable success in the highly competitive world of football.

People mentioned:

  • Andrew Mackie
  • Mitch Duncan
  • Tom Hawkins
  • Jed Bews
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

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