Thursday, November 23, 2017


Most of you are well aware of the metric AFL system where every tiny bit of data is collected and is then put into a pile to hopefully deliver some data that we can then use to transfer our training and preparation directly onto the field.

As I've said, local/amateur football clubs are not the AFL.

We severely lack time, resources and know how.

Last year my local team took some game day stats for the seniors like inside 50's, clearances etc which I reckon most clubs do currently.

They are then used throughout the game to reinforce game style tactics and form.

Once the game finished they get scrubbed off the board and are forgotten about.

The most important aspect of data collection is what you do with it.

As per my team above, a good move would be to stack this data up against each weeks performance.

We had a very lopsided competition in season 2017 so any data needed to be broken down even further against the good and bad teams of the competition.

Against the good teams you might break it down again into good v bad quarters of footy which can then give you a fair idea of what you do well, what you don't do so sell and then what tam identity you would be best at solidifying.

Data collection and interpreting will take extra time and resources, make no mistake about that but I think that can be out-weighted by the team and player development that it can deliver.

I wrote about fitness testing in #2 Better Testing so I'll back over that again with some of things I'd be testing right now and in the very near future if I had full control of a footy team.


- Resting Heart Rate Upon Waking of Each Player
- 6min Run Test
- Recovery Heart Rate of Each Player Post 6min Run @ 1, 2 and 3min Intervals

Every player gets tested regardless of when they start training.

Every player will get retested too do they know they need to do the work.

All results are put up in the change rooms for all to see to build accountability.

I would set up a kicking and handballing test with a scoring system that would be tested about 3 times per pre-season.

I would try my hardest to time some maximal sprints about 3 times per pre-season.

I would track training load as much as I could for each player and track total training load prior to the season with a set number required to be reached by each player.

I'd make a list of each player who attends each session.

I would also implement a quick fatigue survey system for each player too.

Now that I have this data then what could I do with it?

For the 6min test, as well as having a baseline number for the test I can also use this result to break the team up into running groups for fitness work using max aerobic speed to group up everyone.

Every year I see the same blokes make the same skill errors every year, and week so knowing that skills are being tested will make players more conscious of improving the most vital aspect of any sport - specific skill.

The speed results can dictate how I train certain players as you don't want to "run the speed out of your jets', who will need a slightly different regime to your "workhorses".

Training load can be used for selection purposes early on in the season as playing players who aren't quite ready can result in early season injuries which puts your team on the back foot, as well as the player.

This then results in other players having to do too much too soon, and the result is even more fatigue and even more injuries, derailing your season before it even gets started.

It's no secret that keeping your best players on the park will be your best chance of success at L/A level.

So in a nutshell, collect data for something you want to, and will analyse, as well as retest to gauge improvement.

Without testing players players have no idea how they're tracking until the season comes around, 4 - 5 months away and by then it might be too late to make the necessary improvements they need to.

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