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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

THE 5 R'S OF TREATMENT


The new pain science model that has been out for a few years now is simply amazing.

Local/Amateur football conditioning methods is more than 10 years behind, making pain management in football about 50 years behind.

I really believe that my ability come back at injuries at near 40 years of age is assisted by me following the new pain management model - something that I had been following anyway my entire career without even knowing it!

Ben McCormack from Cor-Kinetic has been putting out easy to understand information on this type of stuff for a few years now and this came from him.

As a coach, player or even a trainer at a L/A football club - this is pretty much must-know information.

It pertains more to chronic, re-occurring injures and pain but holds up for acute rehab as well.

#1 RED FLAGS

- Rule them out (major injuries etc)
- Remain vigilant (on alert for what else it could be)

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - No break but lets; check the foot and knee as well just in case something further up the chain has an issue

#2- REASSURE

- There's probably not anything serious going on
- Use effective analgesic measures

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Just a rolled ankle but let's see if you can start to walk on it or again and if possible jog. I've done a heap of these from my basketball days and have always managed to go back on. Make sure to ice for 2 - 3 rounds of 20mins on/off afterwards though

#3 RECONCEPTUALISE

- Pain is simply an alarm that something has happened
- Try not to become oversensitive about it

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Initial pain is through the roof in some cases but trying to walk on it decreases your brains sensitivity about it as it's getting positive input from loading it again.

#4 - RECALIBRATE

- Graded exposure to restore appropriate level of threat to the central nervous system

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Progress through walk, to jog, to run to decrease the perceived threat from the acute phase

#5 - ROBUST

- Increased movement demand and build increased zone of homeostasis

ROLLED ANKLE EXAMPLE - Progress to sprint + jumping + change of direction so now all perceived threat from the acute phase can be taken away

As a trainer or treatment person you should:

- Listen to the person and their story and try find a relevant narrative

- Try to appreciate how they think and feel

- Help them think and feel differently using aspects of their narrative if required

- Watch and get a sense of how they are moving

- Help them move differently, explore movement or simply move more in ways that they are able to

- Help them perceive moving differently

- Testing does not always have to find something wrong but rather instead highlights positive movement

- Move more regularly with progressive load

I should have done a huge pain science post before now, I've got a mini book I've made up on it a year or so back that I will post at some point but hopefully gives you a slight taste of how pain is not just 1 thing that happens and it goes away without you having to do anything about it.

Let me know any questions you have on this.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

LOCAL/AMATEUR WOMEN'S FOOTBALL TIPS PART 2


Part 1 from last week can be found here.

I got the chance to watch our women's again yesterday even though from the Saturday night/Sunday morning rain and ground was knackered.

Luckily we escaped actual rain during the entire game.

Here's some more tips/thoughts I picked up from yesterday and a few I left out of last week's post.

1 - DON'T ALLOW THE AUSKICK HUDDLE TO HAPPEN

Coaches don't want the huddle style of play but they also need to make sure it doesn't happen, or limit how often it happen as best they can.

Giving out positions to players is fine but you also need to let them know exactly how they should play that position but pointing out that when the ball is "here" then you should do a, b and c for a variety of scenarios.

2 - GET THE BALL OR MAKE THE TACKLE

Paul Roos introduced this to the Sydney Swans back in the early 2000's when he took over as coach and it's pretty simple.

If you can make an impact on the contest, then either of those things needs to happen and should be EXPECTED that it happens so teammates in the vicinity play off one of those 2 results.

RESULT 1: WIN THE BALL

Once you've won the ball you can get all offensive and start to run forward of the ball to provide a wave of options going forward.

RESULT 2: MAKE THE TACKLE

If a tackle is made then players can stick to their own players without getting sucked into the contest, leaving a spare on the outside where the ball can easily spill out to an uncovered player.

#3 - 1 METER RULE

The 1 meter rule piggy backs off the previous point and is again pretty simple.

If you are within 1m of the ball or contest then go as hard as you can except this needs to be a split second decision as their might be a few teammates in this same situation as the ball moves slower and gets congested.

#4 - PICK UP THE BALL WHILE YOU'RE MOVING

A lot of women are brand new to this game and extra brand new to a ball that doesn't roll in a straight line but I've seen a lot of ground balls where players run to the ball, literally stop to bend down to pick it up, literally stand back up to a full vertical base, and then try and run off again.

Unfortunately the time it takes to do all of this means the opposition catches up, makes the tackle, the huddle forms again and it's another congested stoppage.

Plenty of practice of ground balls should be used each and every week, probably more then marking considering the ground ball to mark ratio in most levels of women;s footy right now.

The team we played yesterday were excellent at handballing off the ground, limiting the amount of time our girls has to get there and make the tackle, keeping the ball moving and us chasing.

#5 - THERE MUST BE 1 BACKLINE PLAYER BETWEEN THE GOAL AND BALL AT ALL TIMES

Most goals seem to be getting kicked from 0 - 15m out so a goal keeper to cut off this kick or to apply front on pressure is crucial.

We must have allowed 3 - 4 goals from this not happening yesterday and when we went down by 4 girls, was probably the difference in the end.

#6 - FASTER REACTION TIME TO THE PLAY

This is an all-around footy issue at various levels but being able to react to what's just happened on the in play is very important.

Quick reactions to basic things like manning up when there's a turnover, mids and wingers getting back when the ball is going into the opposition forward line and even just someone manning the mark, can be as good as an extra kick.

#7 - PERCEIVED PRESSURE

With most women still developing the skill of mastering the art of handing a footy, like point #4 more time is taken to get a handle of the roll of the footy and picking it up.

By encouraging your players to chase and/or run towards the opposition when this scenario occurs, they may just fumble enough to get you a chance to get there and get right into point #2 - but only if you keep chasing.

You're never out of the contest until the ball is literally cleared the area as you can apply perceived pressure from further away.

#8 - ASK YOUR PLAYERS DO THEY HAVE ANY QUESTIONS

New players to a new game - there has to be a million questions they have.

Don't assume that what you've told them pre-game and at training has been enough for them to go on.

Yesterday our back up ruck who isn't overly tall, asked me "what should I do against this girl, she's way taller then me?"

Fair question.

A simple tip of making contact with her will probably result in the ball dropping to the ground where you can then use your strength - which she did on 3 - 4 occasions from then on.

1 question usually leads to more questions which leads to more learning!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

THE MAGIC PILL FOR MAX SPEED

2 weeks ago I posted about how I used some speed potentiation exercise variations in my own training set personal bests all over the place after training 4 days in a row previously and with footy the next day.

Oh and I'm almost 40.

Since then this is what I've done training wise:

FRI - Speed Potentiation Session from Above

SAT - Game - Seniors

SUN - Game - Over 35's

MON - 6km Bike Ride

TUE - Chain Iso Pull + Sprint

WED - Upper Gym

THU - Max Iso Pull + Sprint

FRI - Upper

SAT - Off

SUN - Max pull Iso Release + Sprint

MON - Off

TUE - Max Velocity Speed Session

WED - Upper Gym

THU - Upper Gym

FRI - Speed Potentiation Session Today

Last week I performed a sort of concentrated block using these sprint start variations because the session from 2 Fridays ago I only did 2 set of each sprint so I wanted to see what happens when I did 4 sets in a single session.

Maybe it was the sprint session into 2 games of footy 3 days n a row from the previous weekend but my times were slow compared to that initial Friday:

* Chain Pull - 5m x 1.09secs to 1.18secs...10m x 1.8secs to 1.89secs...15m x 2.45secs - 2.48secs...20m x 2.96secs - 3.10secs

* Iso Pull - 5m x 1.17secs to 1.15secs...10m x 1.84secs to 1.86secs...15m x 2.41secs - 2.51secs...20m x 2.97secs - 3.09secs

* Pull Release - 5m x 1.02secs to 1.09secs...10m x 1.77secs to 1.83secs...15m x 2.34secs - 2.48secs...20m x 2.89secs - 3.08secs

As you can see there was a minor drop across the board and there's plenty of reasons why this might have happened but the fatigue factor from the 2 games in a row and the lesser role of variation as now I'm repeating the same thing, are all viable options for this.

This week I went back to my schedule from that week 2 weeks ago which has me doing a max velocity session, my main sprinting session, on a Wednesday but this week I did it on a Tuesday.

So today I repeated the potentiation workout from 2 weeks ago exactly an this is what it resulted in:

** Chain Pull - 5m x 1.09secs to 1.16secs...10m x 1.8secs to 1.82secs...15m x 2.45secs - 2.41secs...20m x 2.96secs - 2.94secs


** Iso Pull - 1.15secs to 1.14secs...10m x 1.84secs to 1.75secs...15m x 2.41secs - 2.41secs...20m x 2.97secs - 2.89secs


** Pull Release - 5m x 1.02secs to 1.10secs...10m x 1.77secs to 1.75secs...15m x 2.34secs - 2.31secs...20m x 2.89secs - 2.81secs


Plenty of improvements and this personal bests again!

The most pleasing part was that I added a regular bodyweight standing 20m sprint which I'll compare to my best times from the last 2 - 3 weeks:

*** Standing 20m Sprint - 5m x 1.26secs - 1.13secs...10m x 1.96secs - 1.72secs...15m x 2.57secs - 2.32secs...20m x 3.15secs - 2.85secs


Plenty of mammoth personal bests there again!

I'm not exactly sure what's going on and why this is happening but I'll stick with this until it doesn't work anymore and see where it takes me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

LOCAL/AMATEUR WOMEN'S FOOTBALL THOUGHTS


I finally got the chance to watch our newly formed women's team on the long weekend, albeit on the vast expanses of Trevor Barker Oval where they played the curtain raiser to the curtain raiser of the Sandringham/Werribee VFL game on Sunday.

18 degrees, sunny and lovely green grass for all - not a sight we see too often at point of the year in Melbourne.

We don't quite have full numbers but I think both teams played with 14 for a half then 13 for the 2nd half, with the other team (Frankston) providing the extra for us the entire game on a rotation policy.

If I was coaching the women's team this week then these are the things I picked up and would discuss with them before this week's match in no particular order:

#1 - RUN TOWARDS THE BALL

There were a lot of times where our players waited for the ball to come to them which won't happen to often at this level of football which left the opposition easy pickings to simply move forward and get easy ball.

#2 - IF YOU'RE WITHIN 5 METERS OF THE BALL, TRY AND GET IT

Piggy backing off the last point if you were to find yourself close enough to make the ball or an opposition player with the ball, do it at all times.

You ever know what level of pressure will end up with them coughing the ball up.

#3 - KICK THE BALL OFF THE GROUND BUT ONLY WHEN NEEDED

I am a fan of picking the ball up off the ground at all times but with less overall skill level comes even less skill level under pressure so if you find yourself in a sprint race to the ball and you'll get there at the same time, then I'd suggest kicking the ball off the ground in your direction but ONLY to gain some extra space and thus time, for you to now pick the ball up and hopefully run way with it.

#4 - USE THE SPACE

Low skill level means that coaches need to try and take away some of the skill dependent parts of the game.

So many times from both teams players tried to hit teammates up under pressure but sprayed the kicks and turnovers ensured.

I wouldn't want to try an st this entirely but we had some pretty good runners in our team so using the space could have really paid off for us on such a big ground and only 26 - 28 players on the ground.

If you have the ball, kick it into space to give your runners a chance to do what they're best at.

If your up the ground preparing for the ball to come to you then try and push into space for your teammate to kick it into.

In both scenarios the kick only needs to be "good enough" and in the vicinity of where it needs to go plus your teammate will hopefully some extra time to pick up the ball and make decision of what to do with it instead of getting and getting tackled straight away by 3 opposition players.

#5 - TOUCH THE BALL ON THE GROUND

I also see this in Auskick each week where players love to try and bounce the ball on the ground, and I saw it a lot on the weekend with our gun runners.

Unfortunately without perfecting the bounce, as we all know it can become a shambles when it all goes pear shaped!

3 - 4 times we were running into out forward line only for an errant bounce from our player with the ball to wreck it all

By the time you find the ball and pick it back up again, the opposition has made up the ground to tackle you and it's a wasted opportunity.

Again I wouldn't take the bounce right out of the game but I would strongly encourage touching the ball on the ground until bouncing perfection is attained at training.

You could use the kicking off the ground point here though to get extra space again once the bounce goes awry and hopefully you an regain possession in the clear again.

#6 - TALK

Women love to talk so if you tell them the intricacies of "footy talk" then this should be picked up quite easily.

Teammates telling players they are clear would make them feel comfortable touching the ball on the ground if they know they have the time t do so.

#7 - LEARNING

I did the runner's role on Sunday and all of the girls seemed appreciative of the tips and feedback I was giving them while out on the ground.

I don't think they've had a runner all year so they were only given instructions at the breaks which isn't idea for 1st year players 5 games into a brand new sport!

Resources are being stretched at teams with big football programs - we have 6 football teams and 4 netball teams - and thus having people at each and every game is very hard, especially with conflicting draws where teams might play at the same time opposite sides of the city.

As a player, if there's something you'd like to learn about footy then don't just assume they'll tell you.

Ask questions.

Ask many questions.

#8 - DON'T BE A LOOSE MAN UNLESS TOLD TO BE

With uneven team numbers at times (13 v 13 for example) there was times where they had 4 forwards v 3 backs and then vice versa up our end.

As they were the stronger team it didn't make sense to have more forwards up our end with the backline under siege.

I  moved our spare back where she cut off an entry straight away but as a player or a coach, be aware of these things and if you see something a it off, again ask your coach about it.

#9 - SPACE...AGAIN

As the distance on kicks is 20 - 25m on average, again keep ample space between you and the ball if your not directly in the contest.

A lot of times we had the ball in our 50 but our players were 10m off the ball which is a bit of no man's land as it's too close and kick will go over your head, but it's too far away for a handball or spillage to reach you.

I'd push back 30m so that kick that comes out is yours for the taking.

Don't get drawn into the play if you already have players there.

#10 - TACKLING

This is obviously a foreign skill for most women bit instead of tacking with just your arms, get your whole body into it and pretty much give them a bear hug of epic proportions.

#11 - WIN THE TERRITORY BATTLE

There's 2 ways to play football:

* The possession game where you handle the ball very often and use precise disposals to work the ball up towards your goals requiring a very high level of skill

** The territory game where you focus on getting the ball as close to your end as possible, as fast as possible with long kicks and running of the ball which doesn't require as much skill level.

With skill level being low I'd play the territory game as much as possible right now and train my team to play that way.

Again with kicks being 20m on average, on a 150m oval that's 7 - 8 kicks in a straight line just to get to the other end.

The chances of being able to hit target after target like this is very low.

If you can kick to space so the kick goes 20m, slides 10m and a running player can take off with it for another 30m then that's now 60m per kick and you'll only need 3 of these to get to your goal line.

#12 - POSITIONING

Teaching positions and positioning are 2 completely different things.

Most of my input as runner was positional things and the players soaked it up like a sponge and often what I said would happen, did happen.

Slight positional changes can have huge implications on a low skill level type game and only requires basic understanding to perform so it can have a huge immediate impact as well.

#13 - BEST BITS

Every time I offered advice as the runner i was greeted with a very nice "thank you" and a player had also baled some brownies for post game snack.

Far better then getting sworn at and cans thrown at you that's for sure!

Monday, June 4, 2018

RETURN TO PLAY CHECKLIST


As long as there had been football there has been injuries...and plenty of them.

How many times have we seen a mate return from an injury and break down before quarter time?

Countless.

I'm sure most people in footy severely underestimate what you need to have completed before returning to play from any form of injury - regardless of how sever it is.

Here is a general checklist you can go by but please understand every injury is different so use strictly as a guide, and not all injuries will require each step.


PHASE 1


Following the acute phase you'll want to promote healing through:

- Rest

- Stretching (pain free range of motion only via static, passive, active and assisted stretching)

- Isometrics (short, medium, long duration)

 - PNF Stretching (hold/relax, contract/relax, contract/relax/contract/dynamic etc


PHASE 2


- Full range of motion resistance training focusing on perfect technique and local muscular endurance

- Skill (functional progression through skill specific drills)


PHASE 3


- Return to sport specific training

- 50% effort team training

- 100% effort team training

- Practice matches/game simulation

- Return to sport (games)


**** ENSURE THAT YOU CAN COMPLETE THE SAME MECHANISM THAT INJURED YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE BUT AT GREATER SPEED/INTENSITY THEN YOU DID IT AT ****

Sunday, June 3, 2018

TRAINING FOR SPEED - POTENTIATION FOR PERSONAL BEST TIMES

I'm long over my calf and lower back niggles from a month ago and have such been able to string a few weeks of full training together which always a positive.

I've taken to trying train lower body 3 times a week with a schedule of:

MON - Lower Body Gym (Max Effort Trap Bar Deadlift + 2 x Isometric Assistance Exercises)

TUE - Upper Body Gym (Max Effort Military Press + 2 Assistance Exercises)

WED - Max Velocity Speed (10, 20 and 50m sprints with Full Rest)

THU - Lower Body Gym (Max Effort Landmine Press/Medicine Ball Throw + 1 Assistance Exercise)

FRI - Acceleration Speed (10 + 20m Sprints with Full Rest)

Last week I discovered the Instagram account of a Chicago based Spots Performance Specialist Michael Drach and the many different speed and power exercises he posts.

As a PT ad Strength and Conditioning Coach I'm not one to see an exercise on youtube and throw it into my or clients programs without knowing exactly where it will sit in my or the clients development, it has to be worked up to then worked off from to deliver sustained results.

As you can see above I have acceleration speed schedules in for a Friday to potentiate my nervous system for Saturday game day and there were a few exercises I could slide into that workout from MD's Instagram that I have done before but with different variations.

After my warm up I started with Block Chain Resisted Max Isometric Pull x 3secs paired with a Block Start 20m Sprint


It's hard to see but I have a chain wrapped around a pole and attached to a belt around my waist. I connect them both together, assume a crouched/sprinter start and pull against it as hard as I can through my front leg fr about 3secs.

As you can see I rest about 10secs then performed a block 20m sprint where I clocked a personal best of 2.93secs.

After that I moved to a Standing Max Isometric Pull x 3secs and paired it with a Standing 20m sprint.


I'm now holding each end of the belt and again, pulling against it as hard as I can through my front foot for 3secs, again resting about 10secs and going straight into a standing 20m sprint where I clocked 2.97secs

I'm hoping to improve on this one next time as I didn't really get a good enough acceleration position in the iso hold portion, but still another personal best in the standing 20 anyway and my first UNDER 3secs, something I've been aiming to do from last September.

The last variation I did was the Standing Max Isometric Pull x 3secs and Release into 20m Sprint.



So a 3sec max pull against the belt and chain, letting go and immediately going into the 20m sprint that clocked in at 2.89secs.

What the max isometric holds do is fire up more motor units then you can normally and then you're sprinting with a bigger engine afterwards.

It is essential that you literally pull as hard as you can or you won't recruit those extra MU's and you'll be trying to run faster with the same engine.

I'll be giving this a few more looks over the next 2 weeks as we have the week off this weekend and see if I can build on my personal bests from last week.

Feel free to give it a go!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

TRAINING COMMITMENT


The NBA Finals are about to start and of course Lebron is involved and it's no secret way he is able to maintain the highest level of basketball play n the world at age 33 with no signs of slowing down.

Earlier this year it was reported that the King sends $1.5 million per year, US dollars of course, on all things recovery as well as personal chiefs and trainers.

Of course James has all the money in the world so he can control all of this but are you committing to all that you can control?

This is from an article by Matt Foreman which can used to calculate your commitment to the cause.

Step #1 - Divide your training commitment up into 5 categories

* Taking care of yourself outside f training such as stretching, icing, massage etc

* Getting enough sleep

* Keeping personal stress down

* Keeping a positive attitude

* Nutrition

Step #2 - Give yourself a rating score from 1 - 10 (10 being excellent) from each category

Step #3 - Add them all up to get your score and divide it by the maximum score (50)

Step #4 - Move the decimal point 2 spaces to the right to get your %

So a score of 42 gets divided by 50 which equals .84 or 84% compliance

This shows that you're giving 84% of yourself to your training and the other (in this case) 16% might be why you're not where you want to be.

Monday, May 28, 2018

FATIGUE INDICATORS


This gem from my files comes from a powerlifitng coach Chad Wesley-Smith from Juggernaut Training who I'm pretty sure I've mentioned a few times in the past.

This article looked at fatigue indicators. and here's the juicy bits.

- The 3 fatigue indicators are leading, concurrent and lagging

- Leading is fatigue that isn't super high yet but it's getting up there so you need to take this into account within your programming

- Concurrent is the fatigue that is high right now so you better address it immediately

- Lagging is evidence that fatigue has been high for some time (usually through dome form of heart rate variability testing)

- You need to keep an eye on all indicators and make sure that they are pointing all in the same direction and not just 1 or 2 f them or everything falls apart pretty quickly

- The goal is to train hard and let fatigue rise slowly and only once it;s high then do what you need to do to bring it down (micro dose, deload, rest etc)

- If leading indicators are high then look at things like previous days nutrition (under-eating, food selection, macros etc), previous days stress/recovery management (sleep, rest, outside stressors etc), previous weeks training volume/intensity/performance and jump height (power degrades faster then strength)

- If concurrent indicators are high then look at things like bar velocity, load rate of perceived exertion vs capability, relative performance (not progressing like you normally do) and grip strength.

If lagging indicators are high then look at things like heart rate variability, resting heart rate, desire to train, mood, appetite, sleep, illness, wear and tear and actual performance.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

SAME SCORE, DIFFERENT NEEDS

Another article summary taken from my files this time from Rugby strength coach Kier Wenham-Flatt, who I've discusses a bunch of times on this blog.

This article of his looked at how athletes can get the same score on a particular test but get it in different ways, which you need to know, because it will then dictate how you train them going forward.

The points I took down were:

- 2 athletes can get the same score but in different ways

- In the Yo-Yo test they might both get 19.5 but athlete 1 spends most of his time below his anaerobic threshold but when he goes over it he dies in the arse very quickly

- Athlete 2 is raises above his anaerobic threshold pretty early but can hang on for a long time

- Athlete 1 is an aerobic based athlete and athlete 2 is anaerobic based

- You have bulldogs (A1) and greyhounds (A2)

- Physically there will be variations between how well athletes use the stretch shortening cycle and stiffness, what part of the force/velocity curve they are comfortable at producing force, the development of various strength qualities, how quickly they can develop force, heir ability to relax quickly, the mechanisms of the sporting skill, aerobic/anaerobic energy production balance and conscious/unconscious central nervous system tolerance of fatigue

- Don't be average at everything, be excellent at 1 or a small amount of things

- Coaches are judged to raise the performance of the individual, not the group

- Look at the qualities of each position as they may not be the same

- The reason you suck at 1 test might be why you dominate another test

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

DECISION MAKING


This blog is taken from an article summary I read by cricket coach Paddy Upton, who lead India to the 2011 World Cup and also the #1 ranking in test cricket around the same time.

It's all about why coaching is about encouraging players to take responsibility and helping them understand what is best for them.

Here's what I took down from it:

- In high pressure moments, DM is more important than skill.

- Create your tram based on strengths, personal preferences learning styles etc so get this info from your players.

- Don't preach fear of failure or fear of repercussion of failure as then players will not try that skill again and it can halt mental/physical development.

- A coach needs to remove a fear of failure

- Don't focus on stopping the opposition because then you're asking your players to do things they might not be very good at in high pressure situations and you're essentially setting them up to fail.

- Instead work to their strengths and find what they are comfortable doing in high pressure situations.

- In high pressure situations it will be the quality of the decision made under that pressure that will get you in trouble rather then actual skill itself as the skills are practiced repeatedly, but high pressure situations might only occur rarely.

- Hypoxic underwater breath holding is one of the most direct feedback mechanisms you can experience because as soon as you feel out of breath the first thing that happens is a natural hiccup like a spasm in the stomach, you panic and then hold your breath for that amount of time repeatedly before panic sets in.

- As soon as you panic, then you worry, then you overthink, you leave the present and your body forces you to lift your head up but if you keep calm and stay in the present then you'll stay under for longer so it's actually a mental thing that makes you lift your head out, not a physical thing.

- Provide all the resources for the players and give them responsibility for preparation, performance and recovery and you as coach get them in the right frame of mind to carry it out

The full article can be found here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

JOEL JAMIESON'S THOUGHTS ON CONDITIONING


Joel Jamieson's book titled "MMA Conditioning" changed the game for me from a energy systems point of view and how I now go about training it.

Unlike many of the football fitness drills we do this actually explains what each drill does from a physiological stand point rather then doing something, getting knackered and hoping for the best as far as increased endurance is concerned.

Hoping is is not good enough by the way.

I can't find the link for this article right now but here's what I out in my files about this one specifically that might tick the old brain over a bit more then usual:

* There's a difference between fitness and conditioning

* Fitness is being strong, fast etc which sits on the energy output side of things

* Conditioning is a skill set that gives us the ability to utilise and manage our energy effectively and puts out fitness to work/energy expenditure

* For conditioning you need dynamic energy control which is the ability to control your heart rate/output so you need to actually know what you;re limits are and develop a strategy to work around it

*  Recovery/respiration is the ability to breathe better, recover faster and perform better

* Fatigued motor control is the ability to maintain technique under fatigue

Read this again and then think about what caches and players expect in footy.

W e want everyone to end the game totally f%&ked, give 110% and all that bullshit but at what cost - not getting the footy that's what.

Train smart to play smart!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

SELF MANAGEMENT PROCESS FOR TEAM SUCCESS


A few weeks ago I introduced you to track coach Stuart McMillan and his weekly blog called "A Very Stable Idiot" where he discusses all sorts of things each week in a ramblings sort of way.

This topic is from one his weekly blogs a few weeks back on the self management process that he read about written by Peter F Drucker.

At local/amateur levels of football there are players from all different backgrounds, vastly different playing abilities as well as playing for a variety of different reasons which usually ends up resulting in a fair bit of unevenness across the board and the coach and left to try and tie it all together each and every Saturday.

Here's what he talked about:

* Determine what are your strengths and focus on them

* Developing your weaknesses is required, but don't put in anywhere near as much time and effort as your strengths

* Putting a lot of time in your weaknesses might only result in going from poor to mediocre level rather then going from good to great

* Your strength/s define who you are

* Through an honest assessment determine what conditions you perform best under, are you a natural leader. are you assertive, are you a workhorse or are you a jet?

* You need to knowing your function within the team and hopefully this is noticed by your coach and teammates.

* Your values is your ultimate test so how do you want others to recognise you and how do you want to recognise yourself?

* Do you need to change to fit what you want it to be?

* Where, what and how can you contribute to your team based all of the above

* the change/s should be difficult to achieve, the results should be meaningful and the results should be visible and measurable

* Give yourself a lot of time to make and instill these changes, maybe up to 18 months

Sunday, May 13, 2018

WEEK OFF TRAINING REGIME


This week is inter-league week so we have the week off, which I actually thought was a another week or 2 away.

As usual I alter my training as for  weeks I have nothing to plan around (i.e Saturday game + recovery).

My current schedule, when I could do it but was able to get it all in last week, is:

MON - Max Speed session at the athletics track

TUE - Footy Training

WED - Upper Body Gym Session

THU - Lower Body Gym Session

FRI - Upper Body Gym Session

SAT - Game

SUN - Off

With the weekend free I can overtrain myself (overreaching is a far better word though) slightly with more resources available for recovery in the back end of this week and early next week then usual.

With my lack of max speed training in the last 3 - 4 weeks I will take this time to focus on that for this week and then get back to something resembling my normal week above, next week.

3 times during the off-season I used a sled training program that resulted in my fastest ever standing 20m sprint of 3.00secs and I've use some of the principles from that program to develop this week's training.

I also want to use this time to get a fair bit of volume in as my volume drops dramatically in the in-season compared to my off and pre-season volume.

Here's how my next 2 weeks look:

MON - Sled Sprints @ 70% Bodyweight + Bodyweight Sprints 3 x 20m (each)

TUE - Sled Sprints @ 80% Bodyweight + Bodyweight Sprints 3 x 20m (each)

WED - Sled Sprints @ 90% Bodyweight + Bodyweight Sprints 3 x 20m (each)

THU - Sled Sprints @ 80% Bodyweight + Bodyweight Sprints 3 x 20m (each)

FRI - Sled Sprints @ 70% Bodyweight + Bodyweight Sprints 3 x 20m (each)

SAT - Max Velocity Sprints

SUN - Off

MON - Upper Body Gym Session

TUE - Footy Training

WED - Upper Body Training

*THU - Acceleration Sprints

*FRI - Lower Gym Power Session

SAT - Game 

I'm clearly going to have to see how my times and heart rate variability are tracking as to whether I stick with this 100%, what with doing the same thing for 5 days in a row.

If my performance is dropping faster then I want it to then I can easily insert a rest day if needed.

I could also throw some upper boy stuff in and around this week as well as my gym is at home so I can easily duck into the garage, do a quick 15 - 20mins on 2 or so days and that's all I need to do really.

The back end of next week is more unclear as I'll need to ripe for Saturday so whether I do 1 or both of those workouts, or a combination of them, we'll have to wait and see.

Regardless I like to train the Friday before a game in some capacity so maybe I could do another upper body gym sesh if the legs need some extra rest from the previous week.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

1750 DAYS BETWEEN SENIOR GAMES


Somehow this week I've been picked to play in the 1's for the first time since August 13th, 2014.

We have been nothing short of shattered with injury and unavailability this season in all grades, with 30 blokes out last weekend over all grades.

We seemed to get a few back this week but also some others out and it is killing us in a very competitive league this season.

Like all almost 40 year olds I'll be coming off the bench to spell a small forward I assume and I'm actually looking forward to it.

 This past Monday was the first day in weeks where I didn't have even 1 ache or pain (had a lower back then calf issue for a little while there) and was able to hit the sprint track for the first time in weeks.

Tuesday I was also able to train which went well and my speed seemed to be back to 100%.

Wednesday I did an upper body session.

Thursday I almost made it to training but the wife needed the car so I did a lower body gym session instead.

Today (Friday) I;ll do another upper body session as planned before the game tomorrow.

So I've actually completed a full week of training pretty much which again I haven't been able to do for a little while.

The only downside is that my exuberance for training this week has left me with a slight case of the sniffles, but nothing a little Sudafed on game day can't fix to tie me over for a couple of hours.

When I first arrived at the club in 2011 (I think), I was a backman and kickout specialist before coach Marndog threw me forward in 2015 and I've stayed there ever since.

I haven't played a senior game in the forward line since the early 2000's or even late 90's but I am looking forward to playing with a lot of the younger guys I haven't had a chance to play with even though they've been at the club for years.

Hopefully the weather report improves between now and then, I can hopefully snag a sausage or 2 and have our first win for the season.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

QUALITY TRAINING MATTERS


I was getting into some of my "to read" file yesterday and came across an Eric Cressey blog where he talks about a firefighter study and how it has huge implications on performance training.

Here's a summary of it.

- 52 firefighters split into 3 groups

- Group 1 was movement based fitness who received a training program and coaching

- Group 2 was conventional fitness who received a training program only

- Group 3 was a control group that received nothing

- Before and after the 12 week program they were all tested on the usual strength/fitness qualities (strength, endurance etc)

- They also used 5 whole body tasks that were not actually trained at during the 12 weeks and looked specifically at spine and knee motion to gauge movement quality under various conditions of movement

- The movement based fitness group improved in spinal and frontal plane knee control

- The conventional fitness group exhibited less control in spinal and knee motion

- Only the movement based fitness group received positive changes through improved control  after the 12 weeks and fewer negative changes were also noted as well

So what does this all mean?

QUALITY TRAINING MATTERS

Training without coaching does not have as much upside as with caching and has more incidences of lower adaptation (i.e. actual results).

Actual performance results are so much more about just a good training program and/or a great training environment - it's about hammering home loads of consistent high quality reps of whatever it is you need to to get better, which greatly enhances your chances of positive movement quality adaptation.

Skill development is exactly all of the above and it might make sense to somehow break up your players into some form of "skill abilities" and have them practice kicking at their level.

Otherwise what you're left with is players trying execute skills in a drill, environment or at a speed that they are simply not ready for and they will never improve until they are given a situation they can thrive in.

Once an adequate level is reached then they can shift up a level and so on.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

WHY I STRAINED MY CALF AND HOW I'LL REHAB IT PART 2


Earlier this week I posted about my strained calf last weekend and how I was rehabbing it in the hope of playing this weekend.

Usually a near 40 year old dong a calf strain spells disaster but not this old man!

I finished up my last post at mid Tuesday and here's what I've done since.

TUESDAY

- I did 2 rounds of 20mins on the EMS machine while I was doing my last post actually
- Applied some heat cream to my calf
- Went down to the Strand here in Newport/Willy Town and did some easy change of direction cone drills with drills like run into backpedal, side to side shuffle, diagonal change of direction cone run, lateral change of direction cone run etc.
- I could still feel the calf during this which felt like a 3 day old corkie more then anything
- A kick of the footy with Archie

WEDNESDAY

- I did another 2 rounds of 20mins EMS machine on my calf
- Did an upper body workout as planned

THURSDAY

- Today was fitness test day where if I couldn't run, I'd rule myself out immediately
- Again I headed down to the Strand and did the following workout:

* Be Activated Reset
* A and B Skip Sprint Mechanic Drills
* 2 x 10m Sprints from standing, jump back, block and footy start
* 2 x 2 laps of jog/sprint/trail off laps which specifically was 30m lead in, 30m max sprint, 30m trail off into 50m walk x 2 = 1 lap...I did 2 continuous laps, rested 2 - 3mins then repeated it

- The calf felt fine besides the residual "corkie" type pain
- The thing that literally determines if I play or not is how it pulls up tomorrow and I'd rather re-injure today then Saturday to be honest
- I can get to, or very close to, 100% on my tippy toe range of motion which is crucial for anything involving running and jumping and I also did some running 1 legged jumps to test take off and landings which were also fine.

FRIDAY

- I'll do another upper body workout and maybe some lower body power work in the gym to potentiate for Saturday - even if I don't play

Monday, April 30, 2018

WHY I STRAINED MY CALF AND HOW I'LL REHAB IT


My very first non-contact soft tissue injury in my entire football career occurred on the weekend - the dreaded calf strain.

And worst of all, the old man calf strain too!

It was in the dying stages of the 1st quarter and I'd already taken a strong pack mark and goal and was hungry for more - as usual.

The ball came into the forward 50 and was bouncing around as I trued to pick it up and at some point it took a light turn of it's trajectory so naturally I followed suit, changing direction to keep tracking the ball.

At that point I felt was I've experienced in the past as a calf cramp except this usually happens deep in the last quarter when it does happen, not the 1st quarter.

The other differing thing was that it felt like cramp but then it didn't "un-cramp" and I hobbled to the huddle for the quarter time break.

The club as a whole had an horrendous week with 7 - 10 injuries already stretching player availability with 3 - 4 of those players still playing on the weekend who in a perfect world would be taking a week or 2 off to recover.

To add insult to injury we had a major flu bug go through the club last week with another 5 or so blokes (and the coach!) playing this weekend even though they had all missed work at some point during the week because of it.

The weekend prior I had jarred my back in the 3rd quarter and had been hobbling around for the most of the week but was able to play but more on that later.

I reluctantly strapped the ice pack on and I was done for the day, with no real idea of what grade of strain I'd done.

On the positive, my body seems to have a great ability to recover from these low to medium grade injury episodes in the past so rehab started right there and then.

SATURDAY

- Apply ice pack for 2nd quarter of my game
- Had my usual post-game protein shake to get some amino acids flowing through the body which are the building blocks of muscle and can assist with rebuilding with whatever damage I had done.
- I purposefully stayed n my feet for the most part and stayed on the bench to watch the game
- Took the ice pack off for the half time break while I had a shower
- Reapplied the ice pack again in the 3rd quarter until the end of the game.
- Once I got home I set up the couch and did a couple of rounds of heat pack on the calf while watching a terrible game of footy on the TV

A quick on note on icing injuries - ice restricts blood flow which is great for reducing swelling but my reading tells me that 2 bouts of about 20mins icing is enough to to treat the acute symptoms of an injury. Blood flow delivers blood to the injured area where it can bring oxygenated blood into the area while taking away any waste products in there which is now where the healing takes the place. If you ice for too long then you are taking longer to start the healing process. And I've never been a huge icer anyway even when I had a string of rolled ankles back in the day where I'd play basketball on a Wednesday night, roll an ankle, walk around on it until it felt good enough to play again and play the game out - essentially going straight from injury to healing I suppose - and being able to play footy on a Saturday.

SUNDAY

- Without a choice I was up to do junior footy as our usual coordinator was away this weekend so I couldn't not go even if I couldn't! I limped down the stairs and rubbed some heat cream into the calf before I left the house but that was all I had time for. I umpired and coached the under 8's and then went straight to the under 10's where I coached them while staying on the field to coach them as well so I was on my feet from 10am to about 1:30pm and it felt good after that. I always say to blokes to walk around on rolled ankles and similar injuries - ALWAYS!
- When I finally got home I had a hot bath with some magnesium salts to relax all the surrounding muscles of the leg and because I love a good hot bath.

MONDAY

- I started the day with a round if my electric stimulation machine for 20mins on/off/on which supplies the area with very tiny contractions which is equivalent to a very easy training session increasing blood flow to the area and thus continuing on with the healing process. It can also be used as a warm up tool which I was also doing to see if I could possibly get out and try some form of a run but it didn't take well enough.
 - I was still able to do a little lower body strength gym session though
- I noticed at some point today that my limp had gone already - a good sign.

TUESDAY

- As I type this I'm almost pain free with a little pain when I try and to go right up onto my tippy, tippy toes and range of motion wasn't quite 100% in plantar flexion either.
- I'll head down to the grassed area I run on and try and see what running I can get in which will be low to medium intensity - nothing resembling a sprint at all

REST OF THE WEEK

- I'll try some medium speed stuff today and hopefully I'll be able to get a proper sprint and change of direction session in on Thursday.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

Could of been 100 reasons why but as stated above last week I jarred my back which hindered me all week. It was actually pretty good come Wednesday and then Thursday it flared back up again to the point where I had to text the coach and say I was doubtful to play!

- I have a lower back "blow out" 1 a year as it's my "stress response" area (like migraines, shoulder, knee pain in times of stress - you'll probably have 1 too) which tells me my overall stress was getting up there anyway as your back doesn't just "go" for no reason even it seems it does.

- So throughout the week I was limited in what training I could do and didn't actually get to run at all from Saturday to Saturday - a very rare occurrence for me.

- By hobbling around all week my gait pattern may have been altered slightly making me vulnerable when the high intensity stuff was to be done (i.e game).

- I'm left with what I'll call "dysfunction" on my right leg from doing my knee 3 -4 years ago too which will also have a bearing on things as well.

- You know what? Maybe the calf just went on it's own.

However it happened, knowing what was going on in the lead up can drive my rehab where I can focus on getting more rest this week, get to bed earlier and do some extra corrective based training in the gym this week to hopefully get up for this weekend and more importantly, not to have it reoccur which would probably end up being a longer term injury then this one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

IS ENOUGH BEING DONE FOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT?

I love On the Couch on Fox Footy and is my footy panel show of choice by a long way.

This week they had a segment on the current skill level of AFL players and here's a summary of the discussion which appears in the video below from about the 20min mark onwards:

GARRY LYON - Disposal of the footy is the worst it's ever been...kicking efficiency is the lowest it has ever been since stats have been taken...full time professionals should not make skill errors like this...it;s nothing short of embarrassing (while showing clips of a bunch f clanger kicks from the weekends games including 3 terrible kicks in 10secs from 1 game)

PAUL ROOS - AFL footballers AREN'T full time professionals...they have 10 - 12 weeks off in the off-season, 2 half days er week in the pre-season and a day and a half off during the in-season per week and then some 4 day breaks during bye rounds etc...coaches simply don't have enough time with the playing group

JONNO BROWN - Monday or Tuesday is recovery work and the players are not allowed on the field at all on those days

GARRY LYON - Can't the Captain or the Coach pull rank over the fitness staff and say until we can kick from A to B, let's put all the recovery stuff aside?

PAUL ROOS - Once the players have completed the recovery day then that's when we want to get them back on the field and do some kicking but then they have a half day study day as warranted from the Player's Association.

GERARD HEALY - Incoming draftees don't have the skills when they come into an AFL club...I was talking to Buck's and he said they simply don't have time to teach someone to get an opposite foot so if they don't have one already...

JONNO BROWN - Are list sizes too big?

PAUL ROOS - The AFL is the only professional sport in the world who have 4 - 6 developmental coaches at the actual club but they should be at the TAC clubs developing players...Junior development is a massive issue all over Australia

GARRY LYON - How big of an issue is the skill level of junior players coming through?

PAUL ROOS - Let's look at t this way...the Sydney Academy has 30 kids and it's an elite environment at under 18 level. My (Roosy's) son joined the Sandy Dragons this year and at his first training session there was 80 kids which is too many and that's not an elite program.

Later in the episode following this discussion they had North Melbourne Coach Brad Scott and on the subject of Ben Brown said:

"...Ben Brown has 100's of shots per week and I will pull rank on the fitness staff if they suggest he's done enough - and the more shots the better..."

Gerard then asked him about increasing the draft age to which he has been pushing even since his playing days saying this:

"...in their draft year kids are already doing Year 12 as well as TAC footy in the hope of getting drafted and are simply being pulled everywhere...increasing the draft age to 19 would allow them to have a full year of being semi-professional before going to the AFL thus allowing an extra year for natural maturity...list sizes should be smaller, say about 30, with the ability to top up during the season where needed from their VFL reserves team...at the moment coaching resources are being spread across 45 players when at the elite level we should be focusing on the top 30..."   

I was talking with a bloke who is part of the strength and conditioning team of a Melbourne based TAC team and he was saying that more attention (video anaylsis etc) is paid to the players who have the better chances of getting drafted to AFL clubs over the rest of the players raising the question of are TAC teams more interested in developing under 18 players or simply there to see how many kids we can get drafted from our club - backing up what Paul Roos has talked about above.

The full episode can be found here:

https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/tv-shows/on-the-couch

Earlier this week there was an article that came out showing that in Australia preventable ACL injuries are becoming an epidemic proportions including kids as young as 5 doing ACL injuries which is insane and something I have not heard of at all in my lifetime.

There's plenty of reasons for that including early specialisation, society behavioral changes (technology, sitting, not as much movement) and possibly a gap in what I can only call "medium play" where kids go from the couch to competition sports with nothing in between.

Personally I think that metro and if possible, country leagues, should set up their very own development training centers and actually invest in their own players to provide actual strength and conditioning that isn't from a PT or HIT Group class background as well as specialist coaches to help with skills, tactics etc.

Yes this would cost a shitload but these leagues could receive help from the AFL and local/state/federal governments and would over time be an extra income stream for the leagues.

The league would also be looked upon more favorable among players looking to change teams, move locations etc as well as coaches. 

What's everyone's thoughts on this?

Monday, April 23, 2018

IN-SEASON TRAINING DO'S #6 - MICRO DOSING


As discussed, the in-season doesn't lave a lot of time to train all that you need to for footy.
With say a 90min Tuesday night session and then a 45min session Thursday you've got just over 90ins a week to train:

  • Warm Up
  • Speed
  • Agility/Change of Direction
  • Skills/Tactics
  • Endurance
  • Warm Down

Let's say your 2 warm ups and warm downs take a total of 15mins each or 30ins total - that leaves just 60 mins to cover the other 4 aspects of training at an average time of 15mins per aspect per week.

It just doesn't seem like enough time does it?  

Micro dosing refers to using very quick and efficient blocks of your training time to training the physical aspects of footy such as speed, agility/cod and endurance as you want to dedicate as much time as possible to skills and tactics but not at the expense of everything else.

When micro dosing you'll need to...

  • Determine the optimal exercise variations to use that will elicit the greatest stimulus in the shortest amount of time
  • Implement the most familiar activities you're group has previously used to minimise stoppage/instruction time
  • Program your session so each micro dosing aspect actually potentiates the next aspect all throughout the session essentially implementing the micro dosing aspects as an extended warm up
Let's take speed development as an example.

A specific speed session performed on it;s own might look like this:

1 - Warm Up consisting of Be Activated Reset, Glute Activation, Sprint Mechanics Drills, Sub-Maximal warm up sets

2 - Acceleration consisting of various positional starts of 5 - 20m sprints 80  -100m over 4 - 8 sprints

3 - Max Velocity consisting of 30 - 40m Acceleration to Velocity sprints + Flying Sprints x 5 - 20m over 3 - 5 sprints.

NOTE - Speed sets need to followed by full rest before the next set as you CANNOT and WILL NOT develop any speed at all when any fatigue is present.

This means that a dedicated speed session could take up to 70mins or longer with 3 - 5mins rest between all sprints which is pretty much your training week done.

So from the session laid out above you'll need to decide:

# What are the most important aspects of the session that I HAVE TO KEEP IN?

# What are the least important aspects of the session that I could eliminate to cut back time but not take too much away from the quality of the session?

# Can I break the session up further to fit my training week, yet still train what I need to from a speed point of view?

My suggestions would be to:

* Develop a warm up template that every players gets to know over time so you can easily insert different activities into it to hit new ranges of motions, actions and movements that might incorporate some  of the aspects of the speed warm up

* To again cut the warm up time and thus overall time down you could implement a ball/skills initial warm up with handball and/or touch drills to ramp up speed and intensity which can decrease the amount of warm up speed sets you'll need to do.

* With 2 sessions per week you could do 1 session of acceleration and 1 session of max velocity as an extended warm up. This would mean you could get away with 3 - 4 sprints for each aspect taking 10mins each time.

* During speed set rest periods you could again insert ball/touch drills to keep players engaged and occupied and limit standing around.

* Sprinting is the highest nervous system based exercise you can do so placing this after your warm up but before you're main skill drills can potentiate your players minds and bodies leading to better skills which is exactly what you're after.

* You might cut acceleration sets down to 3 - 4 and max velocity sets down to 2 - 3 sets.

Don't take this as an excuse to train at a lower level, for micro dosing to have it's effects it must be performed at 100% or you'll end up undertraining and that quality, not receiving the stimulus it requires to even be maintained, will start to drop off and performance will suffer.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

IN-SEASON TRAINING DO'S #5 - THE HIGH-LOW SYSTEM

The high-low system is something that ha been around for years but is used most in athletics circles, and was popularised by Ben Johnson sprint coach, Charlie Francis.


Now besides Ben being stripped of Gold in 1988 for steroid use and Charlie's terrible fashion sense, the high-low system stands as my go-to programming type personally.

The high-low system refers to training days consisting of high nervous system activity and training days of low central nervous system activity, of which you would alternate throughout the week.

By placing all your high nervous system activity on the same day/s, you can achieve the following:

- Greater Overall Training Volume of High and Low Activity

- A Consolidation of Stressors (future post alert #3) which matches up perfectly with the competing demands principle of in-season training

- More Recovery and Regeneration Days Per Week

As mentioned above high days include exercises that require a high neural output such as:

- Maximal Sprints

- Max Effort Gym Work @ 85+%

- Dynamic Effort Gym Work

- Jumps

- Throws

Even though the intensity might be low with various jumps and throws, they still require great power in the output side of things and thus belong on high days.

Low days include exercises that require low neural output such as:

- Aerobic Capacity Work

- Sub Maximal Gym Work @ 80% or less

- Hypertrophy Gym Work

- Stretching/Mobility/Flexibility Activity

Simply alternate these days throughout the week or whatever but do not do 2 high days...EVER.

This system works perfectly during the off-season but for the in-season I'd class your footy game and training days as your high days simply because of the use of your legs.

Iv you're gonna train legs in the gym then do so on a Tuesday or a Thursday and keep it low volume and high intensity for the most part.

Max Effort on a Tuesday and Dynamic Effort on a Thursday is what you're looking at.

So your week might look like this:

Monday - Recovery/Aerobic Circuit + Upper Body Gym

Tuesday - Leg Gym AM + Sprints/Footy Training PM

Wednesday - Off Legs Recovery/Aerobic Circuit

Thursday - Leg Gym AM + Jumps or Sprints/Footy Training PM

Friday - Upper Body Gym + Neural Charge PM

Saturday - Game

Sunday - Couch

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN VFL TRAINING

Last night I had to stay home and look after my son so I didn't attend training but instead we went and checked out Williamstown VFL training down the road after Archie's Karate.

I love watching how teams from all different levels train and how the different aspects can be added into my personal and my team's training.

We probably got there after the initial warm up and stayed for about 45mins and here's what I saw.

DRILL #1 - LANEWORK

Just your basic lanework here with 4 or 5 lanes.

As you would expect the skills were ridiculously good!

What I did notice was that after marking the spot up kick, every player took 3 or 4 real fast momentum steps before kicking, even though the groups were only 20m apart.

I suspect this is done to get the kick to the destination as quick as possible which is what you need to break up defensive zones, not kicks with too much height, and thus too much time in the air.

DRILL #2 - DIAGONAL LANEWORK


Same thing but you kick to the diagonal group now as indicated the video above.

This changes up the kick a lot but keeps the very same fundamentals of the kick in tact from the previous drill.

I added the extra bits onto the lanework drill myself in the video above.

DRILL #3 - UP AND BACK NO DEFENSE

The list was split in to 2 teams, Yellow v Blue but I'm not sure what the mix was (seniors v reserves etc) but it doesn't matter anyway at this level where everybody is exceptionally skillful.

The objective of this drill was for each team to simply transition the ball from back to forward and immediately switch to get the ball back from back to frowards again so up and back.

Each group had their own ball and used chip kicks, medium switches and spot up kicks to move the ball.

It was't a race between teams either, they just had to have clean skills from goal to goal to goal - which they did.

DRILL #4 - UP AND BACK AGAINST DEFENSE

Staying in their yellow and blue teams they performed the same drill but no one team was offensive and the other was defense.

Again the ball had to go from one to the other and back again but this time the defensive team would apply token pressure and the offensive team would stay offensive for a period of time before having a quick break and switching roles.

DRILL #5 - STOPPAGE AGAINST DEFENSE

Still in the yellow and blue teams now they would simply start the ball where the coach said whether it be a kick out like they had just been doing, or a stoppage on either wing.

The coach would usually nominate who wins the clearance and then they would kick it into their forward 50 where most of the tie the opposing team was allowed to mark the ball and then they had to bring it out out defense, move it forward, take a mark and have a set shot at goal.

The opposing team would need to spread from the contest during the clearance but then immediately shift into defense when the opposite team marked the ball.

At this point they'd start from somewhere else on the ground and so on.

If the ball was turned over then the defensive simply dropped the ball on the ground, the offensive picked it up and the drill continues from a stoppage kick.

What most people might find most interesting was that there were absolutely zero HATS to guide the players, which is something local/amateur footy needs to try and implement to have carryover to game situations.

It's hard to do because of the wide variety of skill levels, fitness abilities and game sense at L/A levels but if you can find a way to somehow implement it into your team's training I'm sure it will pay off come a Saturday - even if it's just 5 - 10mins worth with just your senior group and top end reserves players to keep the drill flowing without too many skill errors.

I actually hope to get down some games this year but geez that Newport winter wind is a mood killer!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

IN-SEASON TRAINING DO'S #4 - COMPETING DEMANDS


You definitely know that it's the in-season when you're playing an 12 degrees, gail force winds and driving rain!

Today let's tale a look at what's called competing demands of training.

Competing demands of training refers to how the various aspects of football (strength, speed, endurance etc) affect each other when being trained in a maximal context, at the same time.

Let's say your on a pretty fixed income, like most of us are, and you're saving for a car.

Each weekend you can't help yourself and you hit the town, putting a dent in those car savings each time and ultimately taking longer to reach your ultimate goal of purchasing a car, or just not purchasing it all.

Your demand to save money and spend it at the same time ate in total opposites of each other so you end up with no car and no money.

Now take training for maximal speed and maximal endurance at the same time.

If you are aware of the high-low system (future post alert) then you'll know that sprint and endurance training are polar opposites as well.

Sprinting requires huge input from the central nervous system but little metabolic input.

It also results in huge nervous system fatigue in the short term.

Endurance training requires a lot of input from your various energy systems that can result in huge metabolic fatigue (lactate etc),but little stimulation to the central nervous system in the short term.

With inputs from both ends of the speed-endurance spectrum you've got a few issues to worry about.

#1 - When training 2 qualities s far from each other such as spreed and endurance, the body doesn't know hat it needs to adapt to which can result in a whole heap of nothing in the end. You'll feel like you've achieved something when you really haven't.

#2 - You finish training and have a good meal to facilitate recovery so you're good to go for your next session - nice job. When you go to bed the real regeneration and adaptation takes place which requires a lot of recovery capacity. Your not just born with recovery capacity, you need to build it through your current training program and you can also feed it through sleep, nutrition and other recovery modalities. When you don't have enough recovery capacity, then at some point you're going to under-recover which is what a lot of people call overtraining.

#3 - When training maximal speed and maximal endurance at the same time, not only does the body have no idea which quality to adapt to, but now you're using up all of your energy systems which then need all the different recovery methods to regenerate. putting a lot of strain n your body to regenerate everythng at once. Going back to my analogy above, now you're saving for a car, hitting the nightlife and saving for a house all at once - but on the same money as above as well.

By training the qualities that rely on similar structures and energy systems to perform, you can be ultra efficient with your training and thus ultra efficient with your recovery as now the body can:

A - Focus on adapting to 1 major quality instead of 2

and;

B - Put all it's recovery efforts into regenerating 1 major energy system instead of 2 or more.

This is not to say you can only train 1 aspect per session, but put the focus on 1 aspect per session and micro-dose (future post alert #2) everything else on a maintenance level temporarily.

Here are the ma qualities we all train:

Aerobic Endurance - low intensity but long duration and continuous activity

Anaerobic (Glycolytic) Endurance - high fatigue over long, medium or short duration activity with incomplete rest

Alactic (Sprint) Power - high intensity but short duration activity with full rest

Maximum Strength/Hypertrophy - any gym training that might might cover all of the above

Learning New Technical Elements - new skills and/or tactics being introduced

Now how we train these qualities together is what will make or break us sooo....

Aerobic Endurance - alactic power, strength endurance, max strength/hypertrophy (afterwards)

Anaerobic (Glycolytic) Endurance - strength endurance, aerobic restorative activity, aerobic/anaerobic (mixed) endurance

Alactic (Sprint) Power - aerobic endurance, explosive strength, max strength/hypertrophy (afterwards), aerobic restorative activity

Maximum Strength/Hypertrophy - maximum strength, flexibility, aerobic restoration activity

Learning New Technical Elements - prior to any other training

So if you've planned that sprint/lactate session for tomorrow night then think again.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

MY 2018 PRE-SEASON BY THE NUMBERS


Round 1 tomorrow for my team and I so I thought I'd have a peek at my full off/pre-season just to see actually work I've performed.

It started all the way back on Aug 30, 2017...

# 226 Training Sessions

* 44 Days Off

# 1 Sick Day

* 84% training rate

# 116 Gym Training Sessions

* 40 Sprint Training Sessions

# 21 Non-Running Aerobic Training Sessions

* 6 Running Aerobic Training Sessions

# 8 Footy Team Training Sessions

* 2500m of Acceleration Sprint Distance (5 - 6 meters per second)

# 1965m of Max Velovity Sprint Distance (6 - 10 meters per second)

* 4465m of Total High Speed Sprint Distance (5 meters per second or faster)

# 1360m of Lactic Running Distance

* 5825m of Total Bodyweight Sprinting Distance

# 1330m of Total Resisted Sprinting Distance (4 - 60kgs)

* 7155m of Total Sprinting Distance

# 10.3kms of Total Aerobic Training Distance (100% Max Aerobic Speed)

* 42.6kms Biking Distance (Low End Aerobic)

# 9.6kms of High Speed Biking

NOTES:

 - I'm 40 this year


 - I play out of the square 85% of the time during games with the odd run at half forward and on the ball

 - I'm a sprinter/power athlete so I aim to maximise that in my training while reaching an average/above average level on aerobic markers

- Weather Forecast Tomorrow: Pissing With Rain

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

LEARN HOW TO ACTUALLY LEARN


Some time ago I came across some writings from Olympian track coach Stuart McMillan who coaches Andre De Gassi, the soon to be fastest man in the world (not ever though!).

This year he introduced a weekly collection of random thoughts of his titled "A Very Stable Idiot" which includes topics from athletics to learning to politics to whatever else you can think of.

A lot of the stuff is over my head but I still look forward to this every week.

A couple of weeks ago in the week 13 edition and he discussed a podcast called The Art of Manliness by Dr. Peter Brown on learning how to learn.

I haven't exactly nailed down how this can be related back to football but if you;re a coach who something who wants to learn about anything, then this stuff should interest you.

Here were the points I made from this part of the blog:

#1 - The learning strategies that we drawn to are low-yield strategies like reading and re-reading or doing things over and over again which only feeds short term memory so they're great for cramming before an exam but as soon as you;re done then the information easily falls out so it's ordinary fr long term memory which is what skill aquistion is.

#2 - Constantly making material/skills easier and clearer to learn seems like it;s working but the brain isn't really being challenged enough to learn anything new, or a new way of learning and if it's an easier learning method then what you're accustomed to then learning via easier methods don't always stick.

#3 - Even if you intend to learn something and make it a priority this also won't guarantee learning as new learning needs to be connected to some existing knowledge or you won't learn it

#4 - There's also no evidence that a personally preferred method of learning is optimal but it will result in you sticking to the learning process for longer, giving you more chance for the information for the be sent to the memory bank.

#5 - If you want to make learning stick then practice getting it out of the brain and not into the brain, so after you're read it a time or 2 then put it aside and asl yourself what are the main idea's of this, how does it relate to what I already know and then out it in your own words

NOTE - This is what I've been doing for 15yrs!

#6 - Practice recalling the information later when it's harder to recall which strengthens the connection of that material in the brain and your ability to recall it.

#7 - When it feels like you;re not making progress then that's probably when you are.

#8 - Moving learning from short to long term memory occurs during sleep and long term learning is an actual physical change in the brain which is why it takes time

Let me know tour thoughts on this.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

IN-SEASON TRAINING DO'S #3 - TRAINING RESIDUALS


Perhaps the 1 training ideology that has the greatest implications on in-season programming is training residuals.

Training residuals refers to the time it takes for a specific quality that once trained to adequate level, starts to deteriorate without direct training.

This is a huge concept to implement at this time of the season because training time has been decreased as you now need 1 - 3 days to allow for recovery from games.

You can still training during the recovery stage, but with the focus being on recovery and regeneration, you are not stressing the upper thresholds of your abilities and as the old saying goes - use it or lose it.

Obviously with less training time, you know need to find a way to at least maintain what you've built in the pre-season (speed, endurance etc) but more importantly you need to find the resources and time to fit it all in.

You can't train everything at 100% all the time and if you do, you're probably one of those players that tears up the track but average at best on the field.

Essentially your burning through all your "game resources" during the week and have little to give come game day.

You can probably name a player you currently play with, or have played with that fits this description.

There's no embarrassment if you are either, I was one of them in my younger days, because training residuals is a very little know concept outside of elite competition.

So here's the information you need to put this in action.

SPEED

- Max speed performance will stay with you 2 - 8 days
- Needs to be trained optimally once every 5 days

AEROBIC CAPACITY

- Max aerobic performance will stay with you for 25 - 35 days
- Needs to be trained optimally once every 30 days

ANAEROBIC CAPACITY

- Max anaerobic capacity will stay with you for 14 - 22 days
- Needs to be trained optimally once every 18 days

MAX STRENGTH

- Max strength performance will stay with you for 25 - 35 days
- Needs to be trained optimally every 30 days

BODYWEIGHT

- The maintenance of bodyweight is a game to game proposition as you'll lose different amounts of fluids each game, plus take in different amounts f fluids each game as well.
- Aim to get back to your pre-game bodyweight as soon as possible and by the next morning at the latest.

As you can see above you can now sit down and literally fit all the training in you need on Tuesday and Thursday training nights, and fitting each strength/fitness quality in before it starts to deteriorate as well.

You also need to ensure that when you do train what needs to be trained that it is trained at literally 100% intensity.

You can maintain performance with as little as 30% of the training volume it took to build that quality, so long as intensity is 100%.

If you fail to reach the intensity required then the intensity/volume trade off gets out of whack and now your training with fat too volume at moderate intensity and your performance will decrease.

Remember failing to plan is planning to fail.