Monday, December 11, 2017


Step 1 - Head to this page which has a list of the specialty training programs available.

Step 2 - Decide what 3 programs you'd like to purchase.

Step 3 - Use this link to purchase and in the description, put what programs you'd like me to send you.

Easy as that.

Available from now until Xmas.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, or in this case failing to set the standard is failing to reach the standard.

We've all heard of or been in teams who might not have had the cash and resources as other local/amateur teams but still manages to bat far above it's weight from a string culture and team ethos.

The team that I've played the last 6 years for has been a nomad team of sorts, having been moved from ground to ground over it's 50 year existence, including a recess year in the 2000's.

These constant "rebuilds" have meant that we've pulled players from all over and although we're all pretty good mates with the current crop, without years in the trenches together, the culture of the club on and off the field isn't as strong as it could be in my opinion.

Setting the standard early and being hard on it can be THE ingredient that takes you a level above what you're team has ever done before.

Bringing us back to the player motivation continuum where at one end you have the players who play for fun or just to play with mates vs players who play for ultimate success at the other end, team culture and setting hard standards squeezes that continuum closer together, probably the biggest battle a L/A coach has it's it's hands.

As a team you want to unpredictable to the opposition yet predictable to your teammates so your style of play is proactive rather then reactive.

Building these types of things also requires more responsibility to handed to, as well as excepted by, the playing group.

Here's some 1%er type of things you can use to help with building team culture, setting team standards and becoming predictable to your teammates: 

THE 1 METER RULE - if you are within 1m of the ball then you MUST GO AND GET IT and your teammates will rely on you to do this and react accordingly. If you don't do this, and your teammates already react as though you will, then everyone is out of position on the rebound.

BASE YOUR TEAM ON WORK ETHIC - regardless of the talent you have, it can be unpredictable, and just like the Tigers did in the AFL this year, effort can be brought each and every week and give you a chance to win even when the talent is not firing

FOOTY JUMPER STAYS OFF THE GROUND - my brother worked for Richmond for for 5 years or so and I think this was one of their team rules to build respect for the jumper. Everyone raves about playing for the jumper but make it REAL to the players.

WIN THE BALL OR MAKE THE TACKLE - this is one of the biggies from the coaching ethos of Paul Roos. Similar to the 1m rule, you either win the ball or make the tackle. That's it. 2 options. The responsibility of the player involved here is paramount, they have to make 1 of these 2 things happen because that's what will be expected.

You could make a million of these but they need to be specific to your playing group and where they are as a team right now, then they van be built upon in the coming seasons.

As I've mentioned with fitness data, setting the standard and going back over it time and time again is what will drive this. If you do a time trial and don't give out any times, retest to beat them or make them "public", the players will not find any motivation to set these standards, reach them, drive them and go above them.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


When you run sprint, your knee lifts up and over then comes down to the ground which is where the magic happens.

Your ability to hit the ground on each and every contact in a forceful and powerful manner is the foundation of how you'll sprint, run or jog.

Elite sprinters train to perfect and each and every sequence in a 100m sprint in ridiculous detail because .1-2.secs can be the difference between a gold medal and a no place result.

They execute knee lift, foot/ankle stiffness, core stiffness, force transfer and a million other things but what they started with to be fast in the first place is the natural ability to develop great force upon ground contact.

When you hit the ground in a single leg stance, you can be putting 5 - 6 x your own bodyweight through that single leg every single step.

Your foot needs to be able to hit the ground and with limited deformity, absorb all that external force from each step and redistribute it back into the ground.

This all needs to be performed in as little .15 of a second.

FYI, running is about .2 of a sec, jogging is about .25of a sec and fast walking is about .6 of a sec.

As you can see, there's not a lot of time to get things done during walking, let alone at top speed.

If you can't develop this kind of force naturally, and if you're not very fast right now then you aren't (like most of us), then you can train to do this.

All this involves is a to get stronger.

Yep, that's it.

You simply need to get stronger at either a deadlift or squat movement.

If you've not done much weights work before, especially for the upper body, then this can increase quite dramatically if you follow a program designed specifically for it.

If you're not really into weights then don't sweat, I'm not against you simply working just 1 exercise and nothing else because this is all about improving performance so we can ultra specific no problems.

Local/amateur footy clubs would be extremely wise to set aside as little as $300 - 400 to purchase some weight plates and a bar of some description and set it up at the footy club.

Set aside 10 - 15mins pre and/or post training for your players to hit the exercise of choice for 3 - 5 sets where 2/week would be almost perfect here.

Actually make it part of team training and like everything else, track every players numbers so that improvement can be seen over time.

You don't need a mammoth 5 day training program for this, nor should you be using one for footy anyway.

Just 1 exercise  (my choice for practicality reasons is the Trap Bar Deadlift), 3 - 5 sets x 8 - 3 reps, 2 - 3mins rest between sets, all reps performed explosively.

In the end you'll be able to use more of the force you absorb from each step that like a pumped up footy, will bounce faster and further upon each step so you'll cover more ground per step = increased speed.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


I'm currently doing the pre-season training for some local/amateur teams and on of the things I'll be implementing is the grouping of players depending on their running ability.

Using a 1-fits-all approach means that out of 40 players you might get 3 - 5 of them who get trained optimally for any given running drill, with the others being under or over trained during that drill.

The "we all do it' mantra is great for team morale but not so great for fitness benefits. 

What I have done with the teams I'm training is to do a group time trial then divide them into groups based on their results.

I'm going to take myself as an example as someone who can't run long distances at pace which most people would think of as inadequate endurance.

What this shows more of though is my genetic make up (anaerobic vs aerobic) and that I am a product of the type of training I do (sprinting speed for the most part).

Between bouts of high intensity sprints I can recover better then average so my repeat speed is good even if my endurance running is not.

So if I was to run with the best runners at the club I would get smoked and potentially get slower in my sprinting.

Not a great result right there because now I don't have endurance or speed.

Here's what a good (GR)  vs bad runner (BR) 5 x 200m every 90secs drill might look like:

Set 1 - GR in 40secs + BR in 40secs...both have 50secs rest

Set 2 - GR in 42secs + BR in 45secs...GR has 48secs rest v BR 42

Set 3 - GR in 44secs + BR in 50secs...GR has 46secs rest vs BR 37

OK you can see where this going.

Even by set 3 you can see the huge differences in speed and fatigue from GR v BR and you can clearly see what happens if we both do the same drill even though we are totally different running levels.

After the initial time trial I then break down every players run into a meters per second score.

This can now be used to prescribe different interval types but with the drill specified to the player, or group of players.

If you want individual improvement in your players then everyone cannot simply do the same thing and you just hope for the best as I don't think has worked in any any situation ever.

Need me to organise the fitness aspect for your footy team? Let me know

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Some tams have already started but my own personal team and another team I'm doing the fitness work for is slated to kick off this week and here's what I have laid out for them.

The training aspects I have chosen to roll with this between now and Xmas are all things that I have touched on in my previous "pre-season" post series.

1 - Develop an efficient and effective warm up so it doesn't take 30mins with half it being next to useless for warming up for an extremely dynamic activity.

2 - Extensive Plyometrics to prepare the body for fast and efficient ground contacts when the high speed sprinting starts after Xmas.

3 - Speed work with an emphasis on short distance acceleration at this time to again to prepare for high speed sprinting and longer acceleration work post Xmas.

4 - Running test to set a baseline for all players for the to improve upon. There will be running homework to do that will be critical to improvement so whoever doesn't do the extra work won't get the improvement and the coach will know who they are from their results.

5 - Max Aerobic Speed will be used to set our running specific drills where I'll group players to make it easier for the coaches to st up and track. This sounds technical but I organise the groups, the distance and the times to run so the coach simply needs to run the drill and take the results.

6 - Tempo running is a low intensity training method where the player gets to work on running QUALITY over quantity as efficiency will increase endurance all on it;s own. There will be linear (straight line) and change of direction tempo running.

7 - Steady State running which is the real boring slow and long work which simply HAS to be done to increase your endurance - there's no getting around it.

I currently have 1/week and 2/week programs made up for teams RIGHT NOW as well as homework sessions depending on your team training frequency.

There are videos for all training drills and exercises too so there is minimal work for the coach to do.

If you want me to organise you team's fitness for the entire season, let me know as I can get you the program immediately.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Marginal gains is something I found Olympic athletes use to further improvement.

These athletes are literally in the top 1% of their sport so every teeny tiny bit of improvement counts.

In the 100m sprint, the times between first, second and third were 9.92, 9.94 and 9.95secs - if the third place getter was just .3 of  sec faster then he would have won.

In athlete terms this can be the difference between gaining enough sponsorship to be able to dedicate full time to training or only being able to dedicate to training.

Getting back to marginal gains, it refers to improving .5 - 1% in 5 - 10 different area's that all contribute in some way, shape or form, to your performance.

If everything goes well then you could have a 5 - 10% improvement in your performance 'markers' and surely some improvement to your actual performance.

The points that follows are probably all in the marginal gains bag as they aren't the biog rocks of footy training that we have been covering, but improvement in them will result in greater on-field success.

POINTS BOARD - keep data of who trains and then improves upon whatever data you decide to collect. Players might get 1 point for training, 3 points for an extra session (must provide proof) and 5 points for improving upon a time trial, skill or speed drill score. Put it all up on your special media so people see it because who doesn't want to be announced a winner in front of the world on Facebook?

BODY COMPOSITION - at local/amateur level body composition can have a huge impact on how you go. If you're a tad over wight then the stress going through your body might be more then it's ready to handle and what happens next - snap or tear. If you've got players who you believe have high potential but they're excess is holding them back in regards to endurance, speed, change of direction and/or injury then as a coach I wouldn't hesitate to have a 1-on-1 and ask them to try and drop a few kgs. Aim for 2 - 3kgs at first which can be done in 2 - 3 weeks easily - nothing major. If you're really serous about this then a simple weight in at various times of the year is pretty simple to do. Be sure that you have a solution in how to do this though - don't ask players to do something you can't tell them how to do (but I can wink, wink...)

ERADICATE FUMBLING - how many times would you have been away into an open goal if someone didn't just make a tiny fumble up field? Too many times to count in local/amateur footy that's for sure. On way around this is to purposefully train for it so instead of actually trying to hit someone on the chest with a kick, purposefully kick a mongrel, the type you see 100's of times in a game as you can't just roll up to a game and pick every ball up cleanly if you've been getting nice easy kicks on the chest at training all year. Get specific!

GROUP PLAYERS FOR FITNESS - with 60 - 80 players per team, a 1 size fits all training approach sense from a laziness point of view, but only a small 5 of your players will actually get trained optimally, making most drills close to useless for most players. By taking data such as time trial results for each player, then you can see your good, medium and bad runners and then you're able to group them up and train them to ACTUALLY IMPROVE. Let's say you're doing 5 x 200m with 60secs rest. Say the good runners finish each set in 35secs where the bad runners finish in 50secs. Now depending on where you start the rest period from, the good runners are getting MORE rest then the bad runners but this makes no sense for the bad runner who actually becomes an even worse runner because he done 1 decent 200m set (set #1) and the other 4 were pointless from a fatigue point of view. Getting back to the points board you might get 10 points for moving up a running group so it can also be used as a motivational tool. Grouping players is really a must when you think about it.

THE FIRST SESSION IS FIRST - You've got players who were there from night 1 but you get to Jan and then there's players just coming for their 1st night of pr-season so what should they do? The same first night as everyone else. Players need to know that if they start training late, then they'll be behind everyone else. For example where the initial players have already performed a decent amount of acceleration work prior to Xmas and are now ready for max velocity, this new batch of players will need to work through acceleration first. Same with aerobic capacity work - they'll need to do the long boring stuff before any more-intensive work as you need to build into these things, not go from the couch to 100.
OPPOSITE KICK/HANDBALL - a pet peeve of mine for 2 reasons. 1 - I'm a lefty and we are widely regarded as 1 sided but I kick on my right foot 10 x more often than right footers I play with or against so stick that and, 2 as a 5'6" full forward I cannot count the amount of times I had a 1-on-1 but in the time it takes my teammate to try and runaround a player to get a kick, or nit even get the kick away, is frustrating as hell. If they could have just chucked the ball on their opposite boot and tumbled the ball towards me, then we still have a decent chance of getting a result. If they spend 5secs trying to get onto their god side, or even worse get tackled while doing so, then we get nothing. Coaches expect players to be able to do this but rarely train it - lift!
PRE-SEASON MONDAY IS THE A SESSION - On the Monday your players should be at their freshest with coming off the weekend, only 1 day at work and 5 days since the last team training session. I would use this day for the most demanding training stuff you want them to do so the most physical and mental strength can go into them to facilitate greater learning and adaptation. You cannot learn when you're tired.

TRAIN POSITION SPECIFIC - at the local/amateur level we don't really swing our players from end to end too much like the AFL do these days and most players play the same position, or a similar set of positions every game which means they need a specific set of fitness. I'll post about this soon but look at the positions on the field, see how the players actually move in those positions during a game and train them accordingly. This also might mean you have a different battery of tests or performance indicators that these players require.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I'm all about sprinting speed.

There is nothing more coveted in team sports than speed.

The easiest way to be fast is to be born fast but if you fail at that, and most of us do, then you still train to become faster.

All that being said I'll suggest that just 1% of local/amateur football teams are training speed which is ridiculous.

They may think they're training speed but I can tell you tight now, with the lack of rest periods, you are not.

Speed is broken down into 2 categories:

1 - Acceleration

2 - Max Velocity

Acceleration is the initial part of any sprint whether from a dead stop or a moving start and most of footy actions are exactly this.

Max Velocity is your top speed style which is achieved by most L/A footballers at the 15 - 20m mark of a sprint but can only be held for 1 - 2secs.

1 - 2ses doesn't sound like much but when Usain Bolt covers over 10 meters per second at top speed, then that's over 20m in that time frame.

Also think of it like this - say you can sprint at 10m/s and your opponent 8.5m/s.

Yes you are already faster then them but as fatigue sets in during games then your 80% will still be faster then them (8m/s v 6.8m/s).

If your the slower bloke then he cannot fatigue even one ounce to be faster then you, which will not happen during a game.

Also you'll never hit true top speed in a game either as you'll rarely run in a perfectly straight line, under zero fatigue but your sub-maximal speed is still better then anyone else and you'll 'slow down the slowest" over the course of a game.

The reasons speed doesn't get trained properly is simply because coaches don't how to train it.

It's as simple as that.

Any personal trainers or fitness coaches you get to run your pre-season still struggle with it.

But you know what?

Training speed is simple.

For acceleration you would use a variety of starting positions starting as close to the ground as you can and working up to a more upright position as you progress through the weeks.

Low to the ground acceleration positions requires more 'muscle" to get out of these positions and utilise slower ground contacts so they are easy on the body, especially at this time of the year.

The slower the contact time, the less stress on the nervous system.

I would start over 5 and 10m for 3 - 5 sets with FULL REST.

Instruct your players to literally dawdle back to the starting position as speed can only be enhanced in a conditions of non-fatigue.

I would also pop the speed training segment on the end of your warm up.

Use sprinting cues with your players such as 'push the ground away from you" to elicit the response we're after.

5 - 10m sprints at anything short of full pace will not be suffice here - they must move, or attempt to move as fast as they can.

Looking forward, there should be an acceleration component in each of your training sessions throughout the entire year and I would also send your players home with another session to do on their own if your team is only training 2 per week.

They are only performed for low volume so they need to be done a bit more frequently to attain the volume needed for adaptation.

 Max Velocity has 2 methods it can be trained with.

The first is extending acceleration sprint sets from 10 - 20m, to 30 to 40m which is the easiest way to implement them in a team setting.

The other but better way, in my opinion, is to use flying sprints.

Flying sprints are performed by using a fly zone of 5 - 20m that you use a build up run into.

The build up run is similar to acceleration sprints but you'd just jog into a stride and then stride into a sprint, hitting top speed just at the start of the fly zone.

Velocity sprinting uses far quicker ground contacts then acceleration which stresses the nervous system more than just about anything in the world ever, so the volume only needs to be low and the quality needs to be super high.

Again use FULL REST between sets.

I'd introduce velocity sprinting post Xmas but only to those players who have done at least 4 weeks of acceleration training leading up to it.

If players only roll up in Jan, then they will need to wait until at least Feb to do velocity sprinting.

Post Xmas you would cut some of the acceleration volume down to accommodate the velocity work which would also be added onto the end of your warm up.

The last bit of speed training, well all training really, is take data.

Have your players do the sprints in groups of 4 - 6 like you normally would and use your iPhone to record each sprint.

Make sure you have clear markers every 5m, measuring it all out so it's actually right.

When .001 of a second makes a difference, then attention to detail MATTERS.

I use a heel to toe walk to measure out my sprints.

My foot is a perfect 25cms long (or short but whatever) so 20 heel to toes = 5m.


Use clear markers at 5m intervals so you can split times which can show specific strengths and weakness players have, which means you can individualise their training a little bit.

Once you've videos them, then send them to me over Facebook messenger and I'll time each player, if you've set it up right.

We'd repeat this on the first session of the week each week and gather the data to see improvements in your players speed.

I'm not super quick but I challenge your players to beat my sprint times, the times of a 39 year old!