Tuesday, June 19, 2018


The new pain science model that has been out for a few years now is simply amazing.

Local/Amateur football conditioning methods is more than 10 years behind, making pain management in football about 50 years behind.

I really believe that my ability come back at injuries at near 40 years of age is assisted by me following the new pain management model - something that I had been following anyway my entire career without even knowing it!

Ben McCormack from Cor-Kinetic has been putting out easy to understand information on this type of stuff for a few years now and this came from him.

As a coach, player or even a trainer at a L/A football club - this is pretty much must-know information.

It pertains more to chronic, re-occurring injures and pain but holds up for acute rehab as well.


- Rule them out (major injuries etc)
- Remain vigilant (on alert for what else it could be)

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - No break but lets; check the foot and knee as well just in case something further up the chain has an issue


- There's probably not anything serious going on
- Use effective analgesic measures

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Just a rolled ankle but let's see if you can start to walk on it or again and if possible jog. I've done a heap of these from my basketball days and have always managed to go back on. Make sure to ice for 2 - 3 rounds of 20mins on/off afterwards though


- Pain is simply an alarm that something has happened
- Try not to become oversensitive about it

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Initial pain is through the roof in some cases but trying to walk on it decreases your brains sensitivity about it as it's getting positive input from loading it again.


- Graded exposure to restore appropriate level of threat to the central nervous system

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Progress through walk, to jog, to run to decrease the perceived threat from the acute phase


- Increased movement demand and build increased zone of homeostasis

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Progress to sprint + jumping + change of direction so now all perceived threat from the acute phase can be taken away

As a trainer or treatment person you should:

- Listen to the person and their story and try find a relevant narrative

- Try to appreciate how they think and feel

- Help them think and feel differently using aspects of their narrative if required

- Watch and get a sense of how they are moving

- Help them move differently, explore movement or simply move more in ways that they are able to

- Help them perceive moving differently

- Testing does not always have to find something wrong but rather instead highlights positive movement

- Move more regularly with progressive load

I should have done a huge pain science post before now, I've got a mini book I've made up on it a year or so back that I will post at some point but hopefully gives you a slight taste of how pain is not just 1 thing that happens and it goes away without you having to do anything about it.

Let me know any questions you have on this.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Part 1 from last week can be found here.

I got the chance to watch our women's again yesterday even though from the Saturday night/Sunday morning rain and ground was knackered.

Luckily we escaped actual rain during the entire game.

Here's some more tips/thoughts I picked up from yesterday and a few I left out of last week's post.


Coaches don't want the huddle style of play but they also need to make sure it doesn't happen, or limit how often it happen as best they can.

Giving out positions to players is fine but you also need to let them know exactly how they should play that position but pointing out that when the ball is "here" then you should do a, b and c for a variety of scenarios.


Paul Roos introduced this to the Sydney Swans back in the early 2000's when he took over as coach and it's pretty simple.

If you can make an impact on the contest, then either of those things needs to happen and should be EXPECTED that it happens so teammates in the vicinity play off one of those 2 results.


Once you've won the ball you can get all offensive and start to run forward of the ball to provide a wave of options going forward.


If a tackle is made then players can stick to their own players without getting sucked into the contest, leaving a spare on the outside where the ball can easily spill out to an uncovered player.


The 1 meter rule piggy backs off the previous point and is again pretty simple.

If you are within 1m of the ball or contest then go as hard as you can except this needs to be a split second decision as their might be a few teammates in this same situation as the ball moves slower and gets congested.


A lot of women are brand new to this game and extra brand new to a ball that doesn't roll in a straight line but I've seen a lot of ground balls where players run to the ball, literally stop to bend down to pick it up, literally stand back up to a full vertical base, and then try and run off again.

Unfortunately the time it takes to do all of this means the opposition catches up, makes the tackle, the huddle forms again and it's another congested stoppage.

Plenty of practice of ground balls should be used each and every week, probably more then marking considering the ground ball to mark ratio in most levels of women;s footy right now.

The team we played yesterday were excellent at handballing off the ground, limiting the amount of time our girls has to get there and make the tackle, keeping the ball moving and us chasing.


Most goals seem to be getting kicked from 0 - 15m out so a goal keeper to cut off this kick or to apply front on pressure is crucial.

We must have allowed 3 - 4 goals from this not happening yesterday and when we went down by 4 girls, was probably the difference in the end.


This is an all-around footy issue at various levels but being able to react to what's just happened on the in play is very important.

Quick reactions to basic things like manning up when there's a turnover, mids and wingers getting back when the ball is going into the opposition forward line and even just someone manning the mark, can be as good as an extra kick.


With most women still developing the skill of mastering the art of handing a footy, like point #4 more time is taken to get a handle of the roll of the footy and picking it up.

By encouraging your players to chase and/or run towards the opposition when this scenario occurs, they may just fumble enough to get you a chance to get there and get right into point #2 - but only if you keep chasing.

You're never out of the contest until the ball is literally cleared the area as you can apply perceived pressure from further away.


New players to a new game - there has to be a million questions they have.

Don't assume that what you've told them pre-game and at training has been enough for them to go on.

Yesterday our back up ruck who isn't overly tall, asked me "what should I do against this girl, she's way taller then me?"

Fair question.

A simple tip of making contact with her will probably result in the ball dropping to the ground where you can then use your strength - which she did on 3 - 4 occasions from then on.

1 question usually leads to more questions which leads to more learning!

Thursday, June 14, 2018


2 weeks ago I posted about how I used some speed potentiation exercise variations in my own training set personal bests all over the place after training 4 days in a row previously and with footy the next day.

Oh and I'm almost 40.

Since then this is what I've done training wise:

FRI - Speed Potentiation Session from Above

SAT - Game - Seniors

SUN - Game - Over 35's

MON - 6km Bike Ride

TUE - Chain Iso Pull + Sprint

WED - Upper Gym

THU - Max Iso Pull + Sprint

FRI - Upper

SAT - Off

SUN - Max pull Iso Release + Sprint

MON - Off

TUE - Max Velocity Speed Session

WED - Upper Gym

THU - Upper Gym

FRI - Speed Potentiation Session Today

Last week I performed a sort of concentrated block using these sprint start variations because the session from 2 Fridays ago I only did 2 set of each sprint so I wanted to see what happens when I did 4 sets in a single session.

Maybe it was the sprint session into 2 games of footy 3 days n a row from the previous weekend but my times were slow compared to that initial Friday:

* Chain Pull - 5m x 1.09secs to 1.18secs...10m x 1.8secs to 1.89secs...15m x 2.45secs - 2.48secs...20m x 2.96secs - 3.10secs

* Iso Pull - 5m x 1.17secs to 1.15secs...10m x 1.84secs to 1.86secs...15m x 2.41secs - 2.51secs...20m x 2.97secs - 3.09secs

* Pull Release - 5m x 1.02secs to 1.09secs...10m x 1.77secs to 1.83secs...15m x 2.34secs - 2.48secs...20m x 2.89secs - 3.08secs

As you can see there was a minor drop across the board and there's plenty of reasons why this might have happened but the fatigue factor from the 2 games in a row and the lesser role of variation as now I'm repeating the same thing, are all viable options for this.

This week I went back to my schedule from that week 2 weeks ago which has me doing a max velocity session, my main sprinting session, on a Wednesday but this week I did it on a Tuesday.

So today I repeated the potentiation workout from 2 weeks ago exactly an this is what it resulted in:

** Chain Pull - 5m x 1.09secs to 1.16secs...10m x 1.8secs to 1.82secs...15m x 2.45secs - 2.41secs...20m x 2.96secs - 2.94secs

** Iso Pull - 1.15secs to 1.14secs...10m x 1.84secs to 1.75secs...15m x 2.41secs - 2.41secs...20m x 2.97secs - 2.89secs

** Pull Release - 5m x 1.02secs to 1.10secs...10m x 1.77secs to 1.75secs...15m x 2.34secs - 2.31secs...20m x 2.89secs - 2.81secs

Plenty of improvements and this personal bests again!

The most pleasing part was that I added a regular bodyweight standing 20m sprint which I'll compare to my best times from the last 2 - 3 weeks:

*** Standing 20m Sprint - 5m x 1.26secs - 1.13secs...10m x 1.96secs - 1.72secs...15m x 2.57secs - 2.32secs...20m x 3.15secs - 2.85secs

Plenty of mammoth personal bests there again!

I'm not exactly sure what's going on and why this is happening but I'll stick with this until it doesn't work anymore and see where it takes me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


I finally got the chance to watch our newly formed women's team on the long weekend, albeit on the vast expanses of Trevor Barker Oval where they played the curtain raiser to the curtain raiser of the Sandringham/Werribee VFL game on Sunday.

18 degrees, sunny and lovely green grass for all - not a sight we see too often at point of the year in Melbourne.

We don't quite have full numbers but I think both teams played with 14 for a half then 13 for the 2nd half, with the other team (Frankston) providing the extra for us the entire game on a rotation policy.

If I was coaching the women's team this week then these are the things I picked up and would discuss with them before this week's match in no particular order:


There were a lot of times where our players waited for the ball to come to them which won't happen to often at this level of football which left the opposition easy pickings to simply move forward and get easy ball.


Piggy backing off the last point if you were to find yourself close enough to make the ball or an opposition player with the ball, do it at all times.

You ever know what level of pressure will end up with them coughing the ball up.


I am a fan of picking the ball up off the ground at all times but with less overall skill level comes even less skill level under pressure so if you find yourself in a sprint race to the ball and you'll get there at the same time, then I'd suggest kicking the ball off the ground in your direction but ONLY to gain some extra space and thus time, for you to now pick the ball up and hopefully run way with it.


Low skill level means that coaches need to try and take away some of the skill dependent parts of the game.

So many times from both teams players tried to hit teammates up under pressure but sprayed the kicks and turnovers ensured.

I wouldn't want to try an st this entirely but we had some pretty good runners in our team so using the space could have really paid off for us on such a big ground and only 26 - 28 players on the ground.

If you have the ball, kick it into space to give your runners a chance to do what they're best at.

If your up the ground preparing for the ball to come to you then try and push into space for your teammate to kick it into.

In both scenarios the kick only needs to be "good enough" and in the vicinity of where it needs to go plus your teammate will hopefully some extra time to pick up the ball and make decision of what to do with it instead of getting and getting tackled straight away by 3 opposition players.


I also see this in Auskick each week where players love to try and bounce the ball on the ground, and I saw it a lot on the weekend with our gun runners.

Unfortunately without perfecting the bounce, as we all know it can become a shambles when it all goes pear shaped!

3 - 4 times we were running into out forward line only for an errant bounce from our player with the ball to wreck it all

By the time you find the ball and pick it back up again, the opposition has made up the ground to tackle you and it's a wasted opportunity.

Again I wouldn't take the bounce right out of the game but I would strongly encourage touching the ball on the ground until bouncing perfection is attained at training.

You could use the kicking off the ground point here though to get extra space again once the bounce goes awry and hopefully you an regain possession in the clear again.

#6 - TALK

Women love to talk so if you tell them the intricacies of "footy talk" then this should be picked up quite easily.

Teammates telling players they are clear would make them feel comfortable touching the ball on the ground if they know they have the time t do so.


I did the runner's role on Sunday and all of the girls seemed appreciative of the tips and feedback I was giving them while out on the ground.

I don't think they've had a runner all year so they were only given instructions at the breaks which isn't idea for 1st year players 5 games into a brand new sport!

Resources are being stretched at teams with big football programs - we have 6 football teams and 4 netball teams - and thus having people at each and every game is very hard, especially with conflicting draws where teams might play at the same time opposite sides of the city.

As a player, if there's something you'd like to learn about footy then don't just assume they'll tell you.

Ask questions.

Ask many questions.


With uneven team numbers at times (13 v 13 for example) there was times where they had 4 forwards v 3 backs and then vice versa up our end.

As they were the stronger team it didn't make sense to have more forwards up our end with the backline under siege.

I  moved our spare back where she cut off an entry straight away but as a player or a coach, be aware of these things and if you see something a it off, again ask your coach about it.


As the distance on kicks is 20 - 25m on average, again keep ample space between you and the ball if your not directly in the contest.

A lot of times we had the ball in our 50 but our players were 10m off the ball which is a bit of no man's land as it's too close and kick will go over your head, but it's too far away for a handball or spillage to reach you.

I'd push back 30m so that kick that comes out is yours for the taking.

Don't get drawn into the play if you already have players there.


This is obviously a foreign skill for most women bit instead of tacking with just your arms, get your whole body into it and pretty much give them a bear hug of epic proportions.


There's 2 ways to play football:

* The possession game where you handle the ball very often and use precise disposals to work the ball up towards your goals requiring a very high level of skill

** The territory game where you focus on getting the ball as close to your end as possible, as fast as possible with long kicks and running of the ball which doesn't require as much skill level.

With skill level being low I'd play the territory game as much as possible right now and train my team to play that way.

Again with kicks being 20m on average, on a 150m oval that's 7 - 8 kicks in a straight line just to get to the other end.

The chances of being able to hit target after target like this is very low.

If you can kick to space so the kick goes 20m, slides 10m and a running player can take off with it for another 30m then that's now 60m per kick and you'll only need 3 of these to get to your goal line.


Teaching positions and positioning are 2 completely different things.

Most of my input as runner was positional things and the players soaked it up like a sponge and often what I said would happen, did happen.

Slight positional changes can have huge implications on a low skill level type game and only requires basic understanding to perform so it can have a huge immediate impact as well.


Every time I offered advice as the runner i was greeted with a very nice "thank you" and a player had also baled some brownies for post game snack.

Far better then getting sworn at and cans thrown at you that's for sure!

Monday, June 4, 2018


As long as there had been football there has been injuries...and plenty of them.

How many times have we seen a mate return from an injury and break down before quarter time?


I'm sure most people in footy severely underestimate what you need to have completed before returning to play from any form of injury - regardless of how sever it is.

Here is a general checklist you can go by but please understand every injury is different so use strictly as a guide, and not all injuries will require each step.


Following the acute phase you'll want to promote healing through:

- Rest

- Stretching (pain free range of motion only via static, passive, active and assisted stretching)

- Isometrics (short, medium, long duration)

 - PNF Stretching (hold/relax, contract/relax, contract/relax/contract/dynamic etc


- Full range of motion resistance training focusing on perfect technique and local muscular endurance

- Skill (functional progression through skill specific drills)


- Return to sport specific training

- 50% effort team training

- 100% effort team training

- Practice matches/game simulation

- Return to sport (games)


Sunday, June 3, 2018


I'm long over my calf and lower back niggles from a month ago and have such been able to string a few weeks of full training together which always a positive.

I've taken to trying train lower body 3 times a week with a schedule of:

MON - Lower Body Gym (Max Effort Trap Bar Deadlift + 2 x Isometric Assistance Exercises)

TUE - Upper Body Gym (Max Effort Military Press + 2 Assistance Exercises)

WED - Max Velocity Speed (10, 20 and 50m sprints with Full Rest)

THU - Lower Body Gym (Max Effort Landmine Press/Medicine Ball Throw + 1 Assistance Exercise)

FRI - Acceleration Speed (10 + 20m Sprints with Full Rest)

Last week I discovered the Instagram account of a Chicago based Spots Performance Specialist Michael Drach and the many different speed and power exercises he posts.

As a PT ad Strength and Conditioning Coach I'm not one to see an exercise on youtube and throw it into my or clients programs without knowing exactly where it will sit in my or the clients development, it has to be worked up to then worked off from to deliver sustained results.

As you can see above I have acceleration speed schedules in for a Friday to potentiate my nervous system for Saturday game day and there were a few exercises I could slide into that workout from MD's Instagram that I have done before but with different variations.

After my warm up I started with Block Chain Resisted Max Isometric Pull x 3secs paired with a Block Start 20m Sprint

It's hard to see but I have a chain wrapped around a pole and attached to a belt around my waist. I connect them both together, assume a crouched/sprinter start and pull against it as hard as I can through my front leg fr about 3secs.

As you can see I rest about 10secs then performed a block 20m sprint where I clocked a personal best of 2.93secs.

After that I moved to a Standing Max Isometric Pull x 3secs and paired it with a Standing 20m sprint.

I'm now holding each end of the belt and again, pulling against it as hard as I can through my front foot for 3secs, again resting about 10secs and going straight into a standing 20m sprint where I clocked 2.97secs

I'm hoping to improve on this one next time as I didn't really get a good enough acceleration position in the iso hold portion, but still another personal best in the standing 20 anyway and my first UNDER 3secs, something I've been aiming to do from last September.

The last variation I did was the Standing Max Isometric Pull x 3secs and Release into 20m Sprint.

So a 3sec max pull against the belt and chain, letting go and immediately going into the 20m sprint that clocked in at 2.89secs.

What the max isometric holds do is fire up more motor units then you can normally and then you're sprinting with a bigger engine afterwards.

It is essential that you literally pull as hard as you can or you won't recruit those extra MU's and you'll be trying to run faster with the same engine.

I'll be giving this a few more looks over the next 2 weeks as we have the week off this weekend and see if I can build on my personal bests from last week.

Feel free to give it a go!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


The NBA Finals are about to start and of course Lebron is involved and it's no secret way he is able to maintain the highest level of basketball play n the world at age 33 with no signs of slowing down.

Earlier this year it was reported that the King sends $1.5 million per year, US dollars of course, on all things recovery as well as personal chiefs and trainers.

Of course James has all the money in the world so he can control all of this but are you committing to all that you can control?

This is from an article by Matt Foreman which can used to calculate your commitment to the cause.

Step #1 - Divide your training commitment up into 5 categories

* Taking care of yourself outside f training such as stretching, icing, massage etc

* Getting enough sleep

* Keeping personal stress down

* Keeping a positive attitude

* Nutrition

Step #2 - Give yourself a rating score from 1 - 10 (10 being excellent) from each category

Step #3 - Add them all up to get your score and divide it by the maximum score (50)

Step #4 - Move the decimal point 2 spaces to the right to get your %

So a score of 42 gets divided by 50 which equals .84 or 84% compliance

This shows that you're giving 84% of yourself to your training and the other (in this case) 16% might be why you're not where you want to be.