Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In-Season Training Part 2 - The High / Low Training System

Who remembers Ben Johnson? 100m sprinter who was the first high profile athlete to be banned for steroid use after setting a new world record in the 100m at Seoul?

Well his coach was a guy named Charlie Francis who also happens to be one of the most highly respected strength coaches who ever lived. If you're in the strength and conditioning game like I am then you'd have heard of him for sure as a lot of his principles are still reinforced by today's current crop of coaches.

As part of his training methodology he devises the high / low training system. His reasoning was, for sprinters especially, to train all high intensity activities on the 1 day followed by all low intensity activities the next day.

These days would alternate throughout the week or training cycle.

His theory was that the high intensity work (95 - 100% fastest time or heaviest lift) had a high nervous system demand which enhances muscle fibre recruitment and requires a minimum of 48hrs recovery.

Low intensity work (75% of fastest time or heaviest lift) enhances speed through increased capillary density (greater oxygen distribution) and enhances recovery through activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.

This what constitutes the high and low days.

Medium intensity work 76 - 94% of fastest time or heaviest lift), where most teams and players train, is what he avoided. Basically, medium intensity work is too light or slow to get faster or stronger from (not in all cases though), and is too high an intensity to recovery from in 24hrs as it builds up the greatest amount of fatigue.

Here are a list of what he classified as high intensity activities:

  • Sprinting
  • Jumps
  • Explosive Medicine Ball Work
  • Max Agility Drills
  • Explosive (Olympic) Barbell Lifts
  • Lower Body Max Effort Strength Training

Here is a list of what he classifies as low intensity exercises:

  • Tempo Runs
  • Medicine Ball Circuit Throws and Passes
  • Bodyweight Circuits
  • Sub Maximal Agility Drills
  • Range of Motion Work

If we're talking footy, which we do here, then our list looks like this:

High - Specific Sprint Training, Specific Jump Training, Specific Agility Training, Max Effort Speed/Strength Resistance Training

Medium - Long Skill Drills

Low - Aerobic Work, Short Sub Maximal Skill Work

At footy training you should be covering almost all of these at some point during the year which means Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are your high days.

This leaves as Monday and Wednesday as your low days with Friday and Sunday probably being your off days.

This means that any extra training you are doing needs to fit in line with your high and low days. So if you're a bit of an animal and love a few gym sessions during the week then your heavier stuff is probably best placed on the Tuesday which, yes means you'll train twice that day, but it also means that you've out all your high stress on the as little days as you can meaning more days for recovery - which is king during the season.

You'll also see that a lot of out skill drills from Tuesday and Thursday will probably fall in the medium intensity category which we can't avoid but we can avoid inducing even more fatigue with what you do outside of team training. 

Have a look at your training plan see how it all lines up with the high / low system and if you need a hand re-jigging things a little let me know via our Facebook page.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

In-Season Training Part 1 - Training Residuals

I posted on this several times but it's still an unknown concept at elite levels let alone amateur and local level.

Training residuals refers to how long a specific strength or fitness quality can stay with you without being directly trained. When energy resources are capped as per the in-season period, this is a pretty important concept to know about.

Aussie Rules Football requires the need to train pretty much everything the body has to offer and probably more then any other sport in the world but obviously we can't train everything and we certainty can't train everything all the time.

Being the bearer of good news I'm here to tell you that you don't even have to and shouldn't even try to.

When talking training residuals we're referring to energy and nervous system demanding qualities such as;

  • Aerobic Training
  • Anaerobic Training
  • Speed Training
  • Strength Training
Each of these qualities has a lag time where max performance can stay with you without actually having to display it.

Here's how they stack up.

  • Max aerobic performance will stay with you for 25 - 30 days with an optimal time of 30 days.

  • Max anaerobic performance will stay with you for 14 - 22 days with an optimal time of 18 days.

  • Max speed performance will stay with you for 2 - 8 days with an optimal time of 5 days.

  • Max strength performance will stay with you for 25 - 35 days with an optimal time of 30 days. 

Looking at this should provide you with some training plan relief knowing that you don't have to cram a little bit of everything into each session and gaining little if any benefits for any of them.

During the in-season we have little outings called games that, no matter how game simulated you try to make training, is far more intense then training will ever be where you display most if not all of these qualities.

This means that depending on what position you play and the style of game you play, you need to take that into account as well when planning this out over a season.

For example I'm a sprinter type who pretty much sprints at 90 - 100% for the ball over 5 - 15secs as I play full forward. Compare this to a winger and they'll be running at something like 75 - 85% speed up and down the wings covering 50 - 100m in a single bout.

This builds up different types of fatigue, depending on your current fitness level and muscle fibre make up so it stands to reason for conditioning staff and/or a coach that there needs to be a little bit individualisation for some players which you would base of their player monitoring results.

Getting back to our residual times, it doesn't mean that you wouldn't train say aerobic performance at all, but you might perform some sub-maximal type aerobic work or set up your skill drills to incorporate longer running volumes.

But within the time frames provided you'll need to perform some dedicated, specific training for those strength/fitness qualities.

 So sit down and plan this out for your team's training sessions or of course it's all covered and planned out for you already in the Aussie Rules Training Manual and if you'd like to purchase it then let me know and I'll send you the link for it.

I'm picking the Cats by 22 today too!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Round 1, HRV Wrap Up and In-Season Training

How good is it when footy comes back!

Round 1 is here and with the mighty Swans coming a huuuggge win against a dodgy Collingwood team, it's time to shift our focus to how we train during the season.

Your in-season training model should start once your practice matches start as recovery is probably at it's premium from the exposure to game like intensity.

If you're not allowing adequate recovery for your players then some of then could be well on their way to fatigue-ville before round 1 even gets here.

This means that you shouldn't still be be,ting out endurance time trials and 400m sprints every 30secs (which makes little sense at anytime!)

Over the last month I've been going on about heart rate variability and player wellness which is crucial to determine player fatigue levels which in turn lets you know how you should be training them during them during the week.

Here's a list of those posts:

I'm still standing by knowing where you;re at from a fatigue level point of view is still more important then what training you do which is why I covered it all before diving into actual in-season training stuff.

In the next couple of weeks I'll be covering several in-season training topics such as:

  • Training Residuals
  • General to Specific Exercise Progressions
  • High / Low Training System
  • Individualising Energy Systems Work
  • Recovery
and a few other bits and pieces to get you thinking in the right frame of mind. 

I'm just gonna add that I set some speed records today recording a 1.15sec fly 10m sprint time (my best ever) that included my best fly 5m time (.46secs). I also have a sprint start I call a 'footy start' basically because I'm a full forward so most leads come off a little lateral shuffle sort of thing into a straight lead which I also do over 10m where I recorded another all time best of 1.58secs.

It's amazing what a couple of days of no stress (work, time constraints etc) can do for performance readiness.

I'll be back tomorrow with our first piece on in-season training.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Analysing My Off - Season Training

I did my last off season training session today with our first practice match tomorrow (wouldn't mind the rain holding off either to be honest!).

Now that all the work is done it's time look to analyse my results.

My off season was broken up into 4 main sections as you'll see below.

Section 1 - Knee Rehab Part 1 for Strength

As discussed in multiple blog posts since last August, I suffered a severe hyper-extension of my left knee in the last game of the season. It was quite severe as far as hyper-extensions go I think as I ran a little tonight at Auskick and I can still feel it a little. If I didn't have tree trunks for less then it might have resulted in a knee done good and proper as the action of the injury is how an ACL can be torn. So section 1 was rehabbing the knee and get it back to full, or near full strength before anything else.

Aim - Front Squat 100kgs + Pistol Squat to Parallel

Result - Achieved + Achieved

Section 2 - Knee Rehab Part 2 for Running

Once the knee was at the strength level I wanted to get back to it was time to start running which I hadn't done at all for 88 days! I've written all this previously but I started with hills progressing to resisted sprints and finishing with flat sprints so high force/low velocity to low force/high velocity like all rehab and early off-season training should be.

Aim - Run W/Out Pain + Achieve 90% of Speed from Last Year (10m sprint x 1.81secs, 20m sprint x 2.94secs, 30m sprint x 4.57secs, Fly 10m sprint x 1.19secs)

Result - Achieved + Achieved + Achieved + Achieved (10m sprint x 1.60secs hand timed, 20m sprint x 2.93secs, 30m sprint x 4.71secs, Fly 10m sprint x 1.41secs)

Section 3 - Energy Systems Conditioning

Post Christmas it was start to hit the main conditioning block. I had already done a tonne of aerobic capacity work pre-Christmas in my rehab blocks so I was ready to hit it pretty hard been if I hate it with a passion But of you're going to aim to do something you've never done before (win a premiership) then you must train like you never have before. This was the bane of my existence during this 34 days where I trained 19 times.

Aim - Beat 12min Run Distance from Last Year (2600m)

Result - Achieved (2808m which included 24 changes of directions which could have equated to another 50 - 100m maybe if ran in a continuous fashion)

Section 4 - Speed

The final block is my favorite one - max speed! We're talking 100% sprints with full rest (2 - 5mins between sets). I timed each set with a little iPhone app I use so the times were a lot more "real" then the handheld stop watch times I used in the past. I kept lower body strength work to about 1/week during this phase only pushing heavy loads towards the end of the block and I actually missed the last strength session as I got a cold last week and took a day out of my schedule I couldn't catch up but no big deal.

Aim - To Equal or Better 10 (1.60secs), 20 (2.93sec), 30 (4.71secs) + Fly 10m (1.19secs) Times from Last Year or Previous Block (whichever was fastest)

Result - Achieved + Not Achieved + Achieved + Achieved (10m sprint x 1.66secs electronic timed, 20m sprint x 3.44secs + 30m sprint x 4.53secs, Fly 10m sprint x 1.16secs).

I haven't actually retested these yet as these were the times I set during the training block but once rested and then re-tested should hopefully test better, especially the 20's that never felt fast at all during this block!

So seeing that I have pretty much achieved all I set out to do it should put me in a pretty good position to have another solid season at Full Forward even at 168cms. The best part is that I know my preparation is probably better then half of our senior team who may have done a tonne more ball work (I've kicked the footy once since last August!) but I had 30 sessions under my belt before some of them even got off the couch, let alone the blokes in the ressies I'll be playing on.

Monday, March 14, 2016

What I do With Your Player Monitoring Results

Data collection is only as good as what you do with it.

When you become part of the Aussie Rules Training Player Monitoring Program, you'll send information to me and I will decipher it for you and whip it up in a neat little weekly report with a few recommendations on it.

I sent on of these out to other day to a player who is part of the program and below is what it entails. He's currently at the back end of a minor knee hyper-extension 7 - 10 days ago which explains his ratings.

Aussie Rules Training Player Monitoring Week 1 Results

This is your 7 day report determined by your daily ratings.It the average of your scores over the 7 days from March 2nd to March 9th.

Resting Heart Rate - 60 beats per minute

HRV points - 9.43

Soreness - 7

Training RPE - 4

Weekly Training Load - 503

Sleep Quality - 5.5

Sleep Duration - 9hrs/night

Nutrition Quality - 73%

Weekly Recommendations: focus on sleep quality as you're getting enough sleep but the quality could be higher. This can be helped by "turning off" before bed with some diaphragmatic breathing and try and stay off your phone/laptop once you do the breathing - get yourself a good book! 

We also want to keep track of the weekly training load as you'll start back at training soon but to avoid a repeat or new injury, we want the weekly training load to increase gradually. Just remember that the session that would have normally registered a 7 or 8 out of 10 RPE will now surely be a 10 with your lay-off and loss of aerobic and muscle strength conditioning.

Let me know when you're back into training and also as long as the knee injury is present, put a yes in the sickness box (I've been changing them to yes in my spreadsheet of yours) as this has the same effect as sickness on the body (elevated HRV, RHR etc).

You'll receive your weekly report each week whether you play or not. For more info check this link out.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Training with Low Heart Rate Variability

Yesterday I posted about how my HRV had been declining for 15 days until I got sick a couple of days ago.

A week earlier and this would have been disastrous because I can't train with my team at all from work commitments so these 2 practice games are very important to build team synergy and to get game simulated training under my belt. It will also be only the 2nd time I've kicked a footy since August last year. Fortunately I'm pretty lucky as my skills don't degrade too much without touching a footy like some other players do.

In yesterday's post I also mentioned "priority workouts" which basically refers to prioritizing your workouts, or exercises, so if you hit a period where you can't train as much as you want to or you do get sick where it sets your training back a few days, then you still get the work that you NEED to get in above all else.

At the moment I have 3 workouts that I'm running with:

Priority #1 - Speed Workout

These workouts have been covering acceleration work over 5 - 30m as well as max velocity fly sprints over 10 - 30m. They started at a total distance of just 45m but will peak at 160 - 200+ total meters this week depending what my HRV tells me. Speed is king so it''s easily priority #1, especially for a 37yr old.

I have 3 of these sessions left which has put me under pressure to fit them in as I hate not finishing what I started when it comes to training but more on this later.

These sessions are high intensity like all 100% sprinting is.

Priority #2 - Lower Body Gym Workout

I hadn't any lower gym work since pre-Christmas so I needed to get some more in and the best time to train strength is when you're training speed, especially acceleration. I have only been using 2 exercises per workout for these workouts every 5 - 7 days.

I do 1 Olympic lift then 1 strength lift. The O-lifts have been hang cleans and now I'm currently doing split jerks. The strength lifts have been 12" step ups and back squat pin 1/3rd lockouts. I've just got 1 of these workouts to go which is split jerk and lockouts.

These sessions are moderate to high intensity (last day of lockouts I'll work up to 145 - 150kgs)

Priority #3 - Upper Body Gym Workout

I basically use lower body sessions as an active recovery type session I like to do something most days of the week.

I've been using a complex of sort here for bench presses and chest supported rows that was split into 3 workouts geared towards strength and then 3 workouts geared towards power.

Sessions 1 - 3 was rebound reps into drop, catch and throws for bench but drop, catch and pull into pins for rows into dynamic effort with bands for bench and without for rows into pin bench presses and deadstop rows.

Sessions 4 - 6 is in reverse so pin/deadstop reps into dynamic effort into drop/catch into rebound reps.

These sessions are moderate to high but nowhere near the lower strength days as I'll only top out at 95 - 100kgs for benches compared to the 150kgs for the lockouts.

Today my HRV registered 7.8 (up from 6.3 yesterday) and my baseline increased back up 7.4 (from 7.2). Now the HRV4Training would app, which gives you a training recommendation each day depending on your current and past scores, told me as I am above baseline and I improved upon yesterday that I can train as hard as I can.

The beauty of logging your results (I put my HRV, resting heart rate, daily and baseline numbers in my training spreadsheet) is that you can notice patterns and levels that the average for you. My average is about 7.8 or higher for daily HRV which is why I said yesterday that I won't do a sprint workout until I register an 8 or more for a daily HRV which I hope is tomorrow.

Getting back to the priority workouts you need to be honest with yourself about what workouts, or exercises from workouts, are the most important for your needs. I can tell you right now that any upper body work will NOT register at #1 and if it does then you've confused the beach with football.

What I had to do to try and fit on my sprint work before Wed/Thu of this week is to break my sprint workouts into 2 different options - a 2/week option and a 3/week option.

If my HRV is 7.7 or above tomorrow then I will sprint. If it is lower then an 8 then I will opt for the 3/week option (Sun/Tue/Thu) that has an extra session but lower total volume per session (120 - 160m) so it will be easier to recover from.

If I'm over an 8 on my HRV then I will go for the 2/week option (Sun/Wed) that has a lot more volume per session (190 - 210m) and thus will be harder to recover from.

You've got to have contingency plans for your training or at least have the ability to alter what you're doing when fatigue tells you to slow down a bit. I can tell you when this is about to, or is actually happening and what to do in it's place to make sure you don't go over the edge and remain on track to tear it apart on a Saturday.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Own Heart Rate Variability in Action

Today I'm sick - got some cold like symptoms and slept like shit last night.

But you know I could have seen it coming.

Take a look at my daily / baseline HRV results for the last 15 days:

8.0 / 8.5
7.9 / 8.4
8.4 / 8.3
8.0 / 8.2
7.3 / 8.1
8.2 / 8.0
9.1 / 8.3
8.0 / 8.1
6.7 / 8.0
7.5 / 7.9
7.4 / 7.8
7.8 / 7.8
7.5 / 7.7
7.4 / 7.5 - got sick today
6.3 / 7.2 - worse sleep ever last night...resting heart rate was 87 when it's normally in the mid 50's!

As this is the off season for me then this isn't a deal breaker but what I had these results during the season?

I would have played 2 games in an already fatigued state and probably barely get a kick in either game.

Worst of all the intensity of a game coupled with my high fatigue levels would have a high potential of soft tissue injury attached to it.

From taking my HRV for a while now I know that anything from 7.7 or below tells me I'm not handling my current stress level so to be on the safe side I won't train until I hit an 8 which will hopefully be Sunday or Monday.

There's no point training now in any capacity as I'm just putting stress on top of stress and with practice game number 1 on the agenda for next Saturday, that is the priority right now. I've to 2 priority 1 sessions to complete, 1 priority 2 and 2 priority 3 sessions but I know already I'll only get 3 of these in tops before next Saturday.

The advantage of the Aussie Rules Training Player Monitoring System is that we can see these downward spirals before it gets to a state or sickness or injury. We don't want to miss games but if we need to miss a training session in an effort to get an extra 24hrs recovery, then with solid date to back up, your coach shouldn't have a problem with this.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Player Monitoring System NOW AVAILABLE!

How do you feel today? Good? Bad? In between?

How did you feel yesterday? Not the same as today huh?

How will you feel tomorrow? Could be different again, easily.

This is life.

The way you feel today, the way you felt 3 days ago and the way you felt a week ago can affect everything you do.

Stress is a pet of everything we do. We have physical stress in the form of football, training and manual labor and then we have mental stress in the form of education, office jobs, relationships and how we perceive things.

Some people handle stress well and some don't, there's no issue there.

And it's also fine to get stressed because that is when we are being challenges in some form and makes us better.

What is more important though is not overloading stress and if this does occur, then you need to know how to 'get out of stress".

Stress pretty much kills. It alters the way you move and it alters the way you think. Many illnesses can be put down to stress, or an overload of stress, during a given period of time.

If you're body is tired then immunity is stressed and if a bug breaks past your immunity, you get sick. If you were to manage the stress, then the bug wouldn't have a chance and you'd feel nothing.

When you;re body is tired it alters posture by moving into a fetal dominant posture with shoulders rounding and hips flexing so you're bum sticks out behind you like an old man on a walking stick.

Your breathing patterns change in an effort to conserve energy because now that you're posture has moved, it's harder to breath. This results in poor circulation of oxygen which makes you tired - constantly tired.

And this can all happen from 1 single episode of stress.

Now let's say you have a high stress job, work long hours, have young children and train/play a relatively high level. Everything on this list is causes high stress.

You're body has something called homeostasis which is a "point' where the body feels comfortable and it's where it sits at rest. All those things above move you away from homeostasis, into a state of un-comfortableness. This is great for trying to get better because it's where improvements can be made but by adding new stress on top of existing stress, can move your set point into permanent un-comfortableness.

What this does is activate your sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for such things increasing heart rate and responsiveness (think 'fight") which again is great at certain times. But what often happens is that you get stuck in this sympathetic state and this means you'll find it hard to rest, sleep, sit still and digest - all things that will move your body back into homeostasis.

Your parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for recovery and rest and is what you need to activate as soon as you can after times of stress.

Laying stress on top of stress is the best and fastest way to get an injury bar none!

With the Aussie Rules Training Player Monitoring System, we can hopefully predict periods of fatigue before and as they happen so you can later your training and/or lifestyle accordingly.

This will help you avoid non-contact injuries as well ensure that you are "peaking" every Saturday and not Friday or Sunday.

There are 3 levels of player monitoring you choose from:

Level 1 - 2 questions answered and emailed to me 3 times a week.

Level 2 - level 1 requirements + a daily wellness survey emailed to me everyday

Level 3 - level 1 and 2 requirements + the purchase of a $10 app (not mine and I'm not affiliated with it at all) which also entails emailing me daily the results.

All I do is gather your information and look for patterns in your performance and wellness scores.

The first 3 - 4 weeks we'll establish your baseline and then after that we can look at altering specific things to ensure Saturday is the day you're at your best.

This is perfect for local/amateur footballers who have far more outside stress then football stress, unlike our elite counterparts.

The system can be used for individual players and teams alike.

For teams I'd suggest going with either of these options:

#1 - Having your senior "squad" of 25 odd players and have them use the system so even those that are playing reserves can be monitored in case they need to cover injured players. There also might be cases of a player who's really on the edge of fatigue overload and may require a rest against a lower placed team. By monitoring their potential replacements you can ensure bringing the best option available into the side for minimal loss of coverage.

#2 - Monitoring your best 18 players.

#3 - Monitoring your top 6 - 12 players as most local/amateur teams will win games or be ultra competitive with their best 6 or so players playing every week.

I'll be doing this manually for starters but I have a mate working on an app that will hopefully make it a bit more easy for everyone but with practice games already starting the time is now to get this out. Yes there will be a fee for this but it will not break your budget that's for sure.

So if you're a player or a coach who is interested in this then please email at with any questions you might have and the option you think would suit you best.

If you read my interviews with the various strength coaches from the AFL, VFL and TAC then you'll know how critical this sort of stuff has become in Aussie Rules and most of the time with new innovations in footy, the cost is far too great and the knowledge required to do it is not in grasp for any local/amateur club to implement.

This is.

So if you're year was wrecked by injuries last year, this might be the best investment you can make.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Player Monitoring...Why?

Player Monitoring is everywhere these days in elite sport and is slowly creeping it's way into lower levels of sport too.

A few days ago I posted an article on Facebook that detailed the company who does Port Adelaide Football Club's player wellness stuff which discusses what they aim to do and how they aim to do it.

Wellness survey's have been used in Soccer and Rugby for years now. It's not new but it is new to the "mainstream" for a lack of better term.

I have been using the HRV4Training app for about a year now which works great for me.

In the NBA the Golden State Warriors hired an Australian dude to run their strength and conditioning and he introduced them to wellness surveys, heart rate variability and GPS trackers. They are the first NBA team to do this and if someone tests badly on game day then take the game off.

Elite teams train and play with a lot more volume and intensity then we do and that's why they need fatigue monitoring.

So why do we need it then?

Us weekend warriors have as many outside stressors then they do "inside" stressors. We have jobs that require our attention, we have financial commitments we have, and sometimes struggle, to meet. We have kids that don't sleep. We have people pulling us every which way. Our fatigue is different but still very real.

Mental and physical fatigue, acute and chronic, can have a hazardous effects on the body and it's ability display high performance output.

We can't just skip work or leave our kids alone with knives in the kitchen. We have to do those things so what we may need to alter is our training.

So you can be fatigued from your kids teething and when struggling to pay the mortgage and train as hard you can, placing even more stress on an already stressed body.

You can then try and rock up on  a Saturday and play the best game you ever have...except you won't...because you can't.

Unless you ARE 100% then can't give 100%.

Relatively you might feel like you're giving 100% but that can be deceiving.

You can run that 100m sprint at the end of your 3km time trial to finish strong but try comparing this pace to a 100m sprint performed when you are 100% fresh and non-fatigued.

It won't even be close.

And you know what? We might never be 100% for all the reasons listed above but we can try and get as close as we can, for as many Saturdays as we can.

The Aussie Rules Training Player Monitoring System is designed to get you as close to 100% every Saturday as we can.

I'll be back in a couple of days with more on this and the possible release of this system!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Personal Story of Overtraining and Why Player Monitoring is More Important Than Training

At the elite level, player monitoring is HUGE. It dictates training volume and individualises training load for each and every player to ensure that they are at their peak each every game.
As local/amateur footballers like us, that should also be our aim but instead of training Thursday, having a decent dinner Friday and expecting to be at 100% come Saturday, we can take the guess work out of it.

Over the next week or 2 I’ll be focusing on this, as well as in-season training programming, because as practice games commence, you should be entering your in-season/competition phase of training to peak for round 1.

Fatigue is a prick and it can come in various forms:
-          -  Physical (heavy legs, decreased power output, sub-optimal sleep quality etc)
-           - Mental (hard to concentrate, scattered brain, lack of motivation etc)
-           - Acute (short term)
-           - Chronic (long term)

Life can also be prick, especially for us non-professionals. As well as training Tuesday/Thursday and playing Saturdays, we also work 5 – 6 days a week and often have the sole responsibility of supporting our families, and all the physical and mental stress that comes with all of those things.

To cap off, the greatest invention in history – the Internet – means we live in an age where technology has infiltrated our society with the instant needs for information, communication and the completion of tasks.

I tell you what, the days of postage only were totally underrated because how long would it take you to write a letter, get the response in a week and respond back in a week? That’s all done in a couple 2min emails now which means now we’re doing 10’s to 100’s of those “letters” a day!

This all builds some form of the stress outlined above, and sometimes a combination of all of them.

Now as men (not discounting the girls here either though!) we don’t get tired, we’re tough so we take these things in our stride, don’t show any weaknesses and just get the job done, but at what expense?

Well if you’re serious about your football, then it’s probably at the expense of your on-field performance.

Player monitoring is probably more important then your training because as stated above, it should dictate your training. Fatigue is very real, even at lower grades of footy.

When I was a youngster in my late teens/early 20’s I was a training machine. I’d start my off-season training on my own in the 1st week of October and do long runs 3/week. I’d hit the gym 3 – 4/week and I’d also be playing local basketball 1 – 2/week too. I was also pretty active in my own hours having a kick of the footy and a shot of basketball.

I was big on the local nightlife in Warrnambool (if you can call it that!) hitting the pub (and the dirty chips and gravy) 2 – 4/week as well with a few bevs most nights of the week in summer.

Sleep wise I was going to bed in the am’s and getting up in the pm’s most days.

Good fun but not healthy.

Anyway I’d train the house down and never miss a session, or a game, but when I started playing senior football something weird started happening. In the back end of the season I’d really have a case of the can’t be f%$ks and pretty much just show up to these games.

My motivation was shot and looking back it’s all about fatigue.

My body had been stressed to the max for 9 – 10 months by that stage, and it just couldn’t give anymore. This happened for 3 – 4 seasons.

It wasn’t until I started decreasing my training load (starting training later, not training as hard all the time etc) that I could get through a full season with my motivation intact.

This is the worse part about fatigue. You can have it but not know and/or not notice the signs.

Player monitoring ensures you know exactly where you are fatigue-wise at all times. It lets you know when you’re fresh and when you can put in a big session. It can let you know when you need a recovery session (something is always better then nothing…ALWAYS!). It also let’s you know if you just need to back off for a session or 2.

The end game is every Saturday because that’s what you’re judged on. At the end of the day you might train the house down but if you’re not 100% come Saturday then it’s pretty much a waste.

I have developed my own player monitoring system that I will be using with my club’s senior squad this year. It can be used for an entire team or for individual players.

Elite sporting teams, and Port Adelaide have invested heavily in this sport sciencey type of stuff, invest huge casholla in this type of stuff and is the big thing in sports performance around the world right now.

All you need to do is provide me some information which takes 2mins of your day and get it to me and I’ll do the rest.

From there I can give you a periodic report and also recommendations on how to structure your week.

I can also work in conjunction with your coach if you wish.

I'll be posting more about this in the next week or so so but hit me up at  if you or you’re club is interested.