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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

You Must Excel in at Least 1 Football Skill or Quality


A lot of coaches, players and teams do a lot of different training stuff.

At some stage of the year you'll probably train everything there is to do with football in some capacity.

You might train it directly or indirectly.

Like Crossfit, this method means you train a lot of things, and maybe improve a little in each category, but excel in none of them.

Don't be misled by all the things that can be done in a game footy, no one does everything well in a game of footy.

No one.

Not everyone is as fast as Gary Rohan or Kate McCarthy.

Not everyone is has endurance like Tom Scully or Chelsea Randle.

Not everyone is can jump like Jeremy Howe or Tayla Harris.

Not everyone can kick like Zack Merrett and Daisy Pearce.

All of these players got drafted on their 1 thing that they could do better then everyone else, as listed above.

These blokes are probably in the top 2 - 3% of the AFL in terms of their specialised quality, if not higher.

If you're lucky than you might fit the mold of a Patrick Dangerfield or a Emma Kearney, who are blessed with both great, but not excellent, speed and endurance, but we're talking the 2 best players in the AFL and AFLW respectively here - not many of us will reach that level let's be honest.

So what do you excel in right now?

What does your coach tell you do before anything else because that's probably it.

Does he tell you to apply pressure? Then that must be what you're best at.

That's not a dig either - it's a huge part of football.

As an example my team had a bloke who played with us 4 or 5 years ago who came from a rugby background, so his skills weren't silky and his game sense wasn't quite there but he would pressure and tackle like a demon back then.

Our last game he made a return and I knew that's what he would do all day - which he did.

There was 1 passage of play where it was me and him against 2 or 3 opposition and he was going to get there first.

Now I knew that he would go hard and get the ball at the very least for a ball up.

I came from behind him and around the back of the "pack" as he gathered the ball and sort of rolled towards me, handballed it out and we were off.

Because he had a chance to do his 1 thing he excels at, and I knew what it was, I could position myself accordingly or just settled for yet another ball up.

In effect he did his thing he excelled at which allowed me to do the thing that I excel at, which is kicking.

I cut diagonally across the filed of play and kicked to a teammate on the far side with 2 blokes on him, but my kick was perfect for him to take the mark between them, he played on but unfortunately hit the post from 45 - 50m out.

Wed never even have that opportunity the first player didn't so what he excels at.

Once you know what you excel at (relative speaking of course) then you need to study it a little.

How can I use this to better my teammates?

How can I use this to the betterment of the team?

How can I fit what I do into the team's structure? (ask your coach if you're not quite sure how best to utilise your talents, or other leader type players)

How can I make my 1 biggest talent even better?

The AFL is all about solidifying strengths, because that;s what players got drafted for, but also about bringing up weaknesses.

AFL clubs collect so much data that they identify weaknesses players never even knew existed, let alone had.

At local/amateur level, I think focusing on your strength/s is your best bet and looking at your biggest weakness.

For me, my weakness since I was in my early 20's and gave up on extra running, is aerobic capacity.

My strength is kicking and speed.

Pretty much all of my training is focused on those 2 things (I don't train with my team for work reasons so I don't touch a footy between games).

I'll do 2 - 3 aerobic capacity sessions per week and 1 - 2 speed sessions per week then throw in some other gym stuff around it as there's only so much time and energy for so much.

Leave the 1 quality you excel in the most and your biggest weakness in the comments box on the Facebook page and let's get to improving both of them.

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