Friday, December 16, 2016

AFL Victoria Pre-Season Guidelines

These guidelines came out 2 weeks ago but I just came across them today.

There were probably a few articles on this but this is the one that came across my feed:

AFL Victoria's premise is to do light training sessions, have fun and use cross training methods which I'd agree with foe the most part.

The light sessions bit is the interesting part to me.

A "light' session isn't really a good way to describe any footy training session. What is light? Low volume/high intensity? High volume/low intensity? Something in between?

Unfortunately nobody at local/amateur football clubs really knows what this is and the guidelines does little to clear this up.

My main thoughts after reading this are as follows:

- The more training you can complete, the better prepared you will be for the competition period where you can't train as much and thus your level of trainability can decrease at local/amateur (L/A) level, leaving you vulnerable during games.

- I am a huge fan of the fact the author made the point that AFL teams have full-time staff on hand to facilitate recovery which in turn allows a greater training load to be completed - something L/A footballers don't have so if you jump on your AFL teams Youtube channel and find them doing repeat 400's then do not think that's a great idea for you team.

- Doing too little is far better then doing too much, but if you can nail the bit in between you'll be golden. How do you determine "the middle"? Assess your players in a variety (but not a lot of) strength and fitness qualities (speed, aerobic capacity etc) and once they have improved relatively significantly in one category, then maybe it;s time to ease of that specific quality and look to another area for improvement. If you've knocked 30secs off your 3km time trial then you've probably "done enough' and aiming for that extra 10secs could be extra stress that breaks the camel's back.

- As stated, I don't see it as a "clear set of guidelines" - they are extremely general which doesn't really help anyone as teams will take the generalness of the guideline s and simply run with them how they want, essentially what happens already.

- AFL has specific coaches for everything and we don't but hey, this is why my blog exists so I can fill that need so let me know if you need some assistance.

- I cannot agree with the statement by AFL Victoria that "there is little benefit in a significant pre-Christmas block." Yes it needs to be done correctly but if it is, then a solid pre-Christmas block can be one of the best thing you can do as a football team. You don't have any other conflicts of energy requirements (games can kill training intensity during the season) and you already know that you have a break coming up so you can push slightly further knowing that you will have ample recovery for 2 weeks or so. My belief would be that if you did complete a solid pre-Christmas, then it shows that you are committed to the coming season and I can see you doing some training over the Christmas break so as not to render the last 4 - 6 weeks useless. BUT, go back to my original statement at the start of this point - if it's done correctly.

- Football clubs and their coaches do have a responsibility to their players who after training, need to go home and be fathers and mother's, who need to get up ans go to work 5 - 6 days a week as well which you can't do with a torn hamstring or extreme soreness that renders you next to useless. More is not better. Coaches probably need to find ways to train divide their players into groups and train them at their specific levels. The poor bloke who rocks up for his first training session at the start of Feb should not be doing what the main group does in regards to fitness work - not even close to.

The guidelines can be found here.

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