Tuesday, September 6, 2016

VFL Football Requirements and How You Can Use That Info

Last week I came across this article by Northern Blues Strength and Conditioning Coach Sean Potter detailing the requirements of VFL footballers.

As great as AFL training programs are they're not really suited to local/amateur players and even AFL affiliated VFL teams like the Northern Blues is still probably out of our reach.

That being said it's still interesting to read about so here were my main take-away points:

- 20% of game time is spent at steady state speeds which is a speed that is the same as basic jogging
- High intensity efforts range from 158 - 208 total meters per game
- 100% of high intensity efforts lasted for 6secs or less
- High intensity efforts had a work:rest ratio of 1:2 to 1:6 meaning if you if you performed 1 high intensity effort for 3secs then you rested 6 - 18secs before performing another one.
- 80 to 85% of these high intensity efforts last 3 seconds or less in duration
- If you aren't already then you should really learn to look at your total work in meters per second (m/s). Walking = 0 - 1.66m/s, jogging 1.94 - 3.88m/s,  running 4.16 - 5.55 and sprinting 6.11m/s or more
- I assume that high intensity efforts are those in the sprinting range of 6.11m/s or more.
- The use of velocity based training for power testing
- Whether it's yourself or your team, work out your ideal plan of the work you want completed and then modify it on a player by player case
- Ideal world - real world = work actually completed (which is all that matters!)

So what can you do with this info?

100, 200 and 400m repeats are probably useless for us local/amateurs, especially the way teams usually perform them with short rest. For example I was doing some aerobic power runs about 4 - 6 weeks ago and my best run was over 190m where I covered that distance in 24.35secs for a m/s speed of 7.8.

This is above the high intensity effort minimum of 6.11 which is great and I didn't manage anything below 7m/s for the 4 weeks I did these runs for.


Well for power, aerobic power in this case you need rest FULLY between sets in this case was 8 - 10mins. Yes, that's 8 - 10mins.

If I were to have rested only 60 - 120secs like most local teams do in their training I'd probably have not registered a single set at or above 7m/s.

1 - I wouldn't have gone all out for the 1st set knowing I wasn't getting full rest between them


2 - My speed would have drastically dropped each set from fatigue.

So if I'm doing say 5 x 190m then it might look something like this:

Set 1 - 26.78secs / 7.09m/s
Set 2 - 29.45secs / 6.45m/s
Set 3 - 32.39secs / 5.86m/s
Set 4 - 35.63secs / 5.33m/s

In the example above I dropped 10% of my best time for set 1 then 10% of the previous set for the next but in reality I'm thinking my speed would drop a lot faster then that!

As you can see though I complete 2 sets at a high intensity, 1 set in the running zone and 1 in the middle.

So if I can only maintain a high intensity for 2 sets before slowing down then should I continue to do more?

I'd say no.

I'm not building speed. I'm not building endurance as that relies on the use of oxygen and by set 3 and 4 I have don't have any so I can't breath and I can't get oxygen to my muscles during the set, nor after it, when I'm supposed to be recovering.

The recovery you have between sets pretty much determines what the next set will look like.

As a coach this could be the key to getting your players as fit as they possibly can with minimal "junk" fatigue which can build fatigue over the short and long term and can both result in injury.

The article in fill can be found here:

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