Monday, October 9, 2017

Women's Football - Too Many Combines

With the AFLW Draft just around the corner it's Combine season for all the hopeful draftees.

In 2017 prior to inaugural AFLW Draft there were state ran combine days to provide opportunities for women all over Australia the chance to impress recruiters in the hope of being selected in the inaugural AFLW Draft.

With the introduction of the AFLW, talent searches has increased dramatically for women footballers, and fair enough.

My minor gripe is that there seems to be too much testing and not enough development.

Just last week I saw a women's football training camp advertised with a huge emphasis on testing.

Breaking it down, most women footballers will be still be in the beginner stages in regards to training and playing age.

Players at this level require great exposure to the repetition of skill and tactical development along with being taught the basics of running mechanics.

Testing requires a 1 all out effort of intensity and with as intensity increases, technique usually decreases.

These women don't need testing.

They need to be taught the intricacies of kicking, handballing and marking.

If any tests should be conducted then it should be around the aspects, especially for local/amateur players.

If you do go ahead with physical testing then fine but testing cannot be effective on it's own so once you do some testing then there must be a plan on improving the qualities that go into the test so that the test can be beaten next time around.

Most times after these testing days, players will "train the test" which can yield some results, but it has a very little lifespan in that regard because once you master the technical elements of the test, then you'll plateau.

If you keep repeating the test at this stage you'll enter into diminished returns where you now start getting slower!

The biggest improvement in AFLW this season will com from skill development as we had too many players last year who hadn't played enough footy to be good enough from a skill level point of view and skills is the hardest part of footy to develop.

At local/amateur level there will players just as fast and just as fit but in the end it's the elite skill level of players like Daisy Pearce, Emma Kearney and the Brianna Davey that runs the show.

So testing is fine IF you provide further training to these women to improve their output the next time around, otherwise provide them with training that will reap a personal improvement either during the testing day/training camp, or in the weeks afterwards from the training information you provide them.

Do you need your training optimised?

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