I wanted to see what sort of training information was wanted and needed by L/A footballers of all grades, and I received plenty of responses.
In the end I had to categorise them all, then mix them together to make 1 "super question"!
I also shot them through to Matt Glossop, TAC S&C Coach at the Murray Bushrangers, to get a slightly different view. Matty also still plays L/A footy in the North East when the Bushrangers schedule allows him to and he's also been featured on this blog before.
I'll be posting the questions in separate blog posts so be sure to check back over the next week or 2 as there are 9 or 10 parts to this so it;s not 1 huge block of text.
Q1 - FOR LOCAL/AMATEUR FOOTBALL, AS YOU DROP DOWN IN GRADES OF FOOTY, HOW DO YOU THINK STRENGTH, SPEED.AND ENDURANCE REQUIREMENTS CHANGE?
BURGO - I think there will always be a requirement for all those aspects but as you drop down levels of footy I think skill becomes more relevant because strength, speed and endurance deteriorate with fatigue.
MATTY - In the North East of Victoria we have a couple of 2nd tier type leagues but 1 is played on bigger grounds with flat surfaces and the other on smaller, boggier grounds. So while both leagues have a high standard of footy, the type of footy (outside + running v inside + contested) and thus the requirements to play each style of footy (max velocity speed + repeat speed v acceleration speed + body contact), are very different.
A lot of athletes are genetically gifted in a certain strength/speed quality (speed, endurance, strength etc) and at the L/A level most can get away with just that, but as you move up levels of footy you need more and more tricks in your arsenal.
There are many L/A players with endurance levels comparable to AFL players but AFL players have far superior speed and/or strength levels.
Personally I think speed is king and if you possess superior speed then you have a chance at any level.
From a technical standpoint, tackling (both being the tackler and you being tackled but also being able to dispose of the ball effectively) is a huge jump as you go up levels as well.
- Skills win out above all else. GPS readings have show that teams that have superior skill levels perform much less work then teams with lesser skill levels. This means that less fatigue is induced throughout a game so you're are able to maintain greater levels of speed, strength and endurance which also feeds better decision making which all adds up to superior skill levels.
- If you have a proven strength in regards to skill, speed, endurance etc then at the L/A level you're number 1 goal is to keep it at a very high level at the very least. Coaches also need to recognise this and allow individual training time to do this and also not to train them the complete opposite way too often. On the other hand trying to improve something you're already extremely proficient in can result in a lot of hard work for little reward. When bringing up your weaknesses you need to do a needs analysis to determine what you need to bring up the most. For example if you you're a small forward picking balls off packs like Eddie Betts then do you need to spend 8 weeks trying to increase your vertical leap? Probably not. It would be great to be able to jump higher but how much will it improve your game in the long run versus getting faster or training repeat the superior speed you already have?
- Coaches need to develop game plans and thus training plans around their personnel and the ground they'll play on, preferably your home ground. If you can win most of your home games then you're almost finals bound right there.