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Monday, January 23, 2017

Local Footy Training Gems from AFL/TAC S&C Coaches Burgo and Matty Part 2/9


Part 1 looked at the requirements of footy depending on the standard of footy you play. This week we look at what to train and when over the off and pre-season training periods.

FROM A LOCAL/AMATEUR FOOTY TEAM VIEW POINT, WHAT WOULD YOU FOCUS ON THROUGH THE PRE-XMAS, POST X-MAS AND PRE-COMPETITION TRAINING BLOCKS?




BURGO - Repeat speed work is crucial for all AFL players at all levels.


I'd just start with longer sprints and shorter recovery in order to keep speed down and to stress the aerobic system, then progress to shorter distances with more recovery to promote more velocity work


WOULD YOU USE A PERFORMANCE DROP OFF FOR THE SPRINTS WHETHER IT BE SPEED OR DISTANCE COVERED IN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME?

BURGO - Yep I quite like the YoYoIR2 test for this - pretty short rest and definitely a repeat speed protocol. 

NOTE - I'll blog about the YoYoIR2 test later this week.



MATTY - I'm not conviced that at L/A level you need to be doing a lot of specific training pre-Xmas. 

You can adequately prepare for a season in 3 months from January to March, even at TAC level. At a L/A level the recruiting process is outrageous so I can see why clubs would start early, to solidify their list and attract new players.

Also, no doubt there will be a percentage of guys who are happy to forget about footy and sink piss all summer so keeping them involved in the footy landscape can be advantageous.

So both from a retention perspective and making the club more attractive to recruits, I would get a way from the footy oval a fair bit and have a mix of the stuff they need to do, with the stuff they need to do.

I would want them doing basic speed development work, strength work and injury prevention but that's a boring session so I would sprinkle that into a session containing cross-training (golf course/beach/trail runs, boxing/strength circuits etc) and some small sided games work.

Before braking for Xmas perform some type of fitness test (6min run, YoYo test etc) and maybe a Pull Ups test and give them something to follow over the break to maintain these.

Post-Xmas you are going to need to run so however you dress it up is up to you but I would try and do less structured running then you'd see at TAC/VFL/AFL level and try and hide it within other stuff. 

I also don't think you can get away with all small sided games work but some of that combined with some off-ball running is a good compromise and you can manipulate the grid dimensions, team size and rules to suit what you're trying to develop. 

After re-testing the same battery of test you did pre-Xmas, those who have hit or surpassed their targets get to shift their focus to more anaerobic development while those who aren't up to standard spend more time on aerobic work.

WHAT DO THEY DO EXACTLY?

MATTY - We generally use the beep test at TAC level, not because it's a great test, but because there is a great deal of data on it and that;s what they'll be tested on at the Combine so we fall in line.

If our outside mid-fielder comes back and beeps 15.05, we could spend the next 6 weeks of training beating him up to reach 15.07, or we could look at his profile and , likely, he neds work on his speed or his strength, so there's more 'bang for your buck" in switching focuses for him.

Conversely, if he runs a 15.05 before breaking for Xmas but returns with a 14.05 after the break, its likely he doesn't need too much more aerobic base but he's obviously skipped out on training over the break, so he can spend a few weeks in "aerobic hell" to send a message. 

In the gym, strength development is key and I would be starting every session with some dedicated acceleration work with adequate rest periods where you can use stationary skill drills to pad this out.  

Again you'll run the same tests as you did before breaking for Xmas and hopefully there's been improvement and entering the pre-competition phase you can throw most of the structured runs away.

The pre-competition phase is the time to focus on match simulated drills as conditioning and again, you can manipulate grid dimensions, team size and rules to get some overload.

In the gym you want to be training rate of force development and even using medicine balls, sleds and resisted running at the beginning of your footy training session sis a good way to bridge the gap from the gym to the field.

I also like to use wrestling and grappling drills to get them ready for contact.


MY SUMMARY

- If speed is king, then repeat speed is the queen but without actual speed then what are you repeating? This means that you need to look at your training early to see what you need to get from point a to point b, then what you need after that to get from point b to point c and so on. You'll never just turn up and already have points a, b and c under your belt from sinking beers.

- Running with the balls is fine but again, you need to be able to break down what you need to make this work your players. So you might have some players that can do a huge volume of running and they seem everywhere in ball drills but if their skills are still lacking then is all the running and fatigue work really helping them? 

- Testing is great for keeping players accountable but also make sure that you have a training plan for improving whatever testing you want improved or the testing is completely useless. I'll do a blog on testing too very soon.

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