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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Are You Ready for Finals Footy?



Finals is 2 weeks away for us and after a disappointing loss yesterday with the last chance to make a statement in the home and away season I've challenged our guys to go further then they ever have in regards to their recovery and preparation with adding training out of the question at this time of the year.

So a good idea for a weekend post I suppose.

To go further then you are situated right now, you've got to go to lengths you're not going to right now.

An Olympic term is "marginal gains" which refers improving 5 - 10 aspects of your performance by just 1 - 2% each to register a 5 - 10% improvement on overall performance.

As mentioned above, now isn't the time to ramp up training so we're looking at going hard on recovery and preparation from game to game.

Hydration
 - plenty of water from Thursday to game time
 - plenty of water immediately post game
 -  if you want you can weight in pre-game and post game to see what you're re-hydration requirements are
 - you don't want to hear it but maybe lay off the grog for a few weeks
 - get rid of all sugary drinks

Nutrition
 - ramp up your protein, veggie and fruit intake on a daily basis
 - ramp up protein intake immediately post game
 - ramp up your carb intake in the 2 days pre-game
 - get rid of the shit you don't need like pastries, biscuits, take away etc - you know what these are

Sleep
  - get to bed at a time that allows for 7 - 8hrs of sleep per night
  - make yourself up a pre-bed routine that gets your body ready to rest/sleep and stick to it (do some stretching, read a book etc)
  - go to bed and get up as close to the same time every day (the body loves consistency)
 - you regenerate from the previous day when you sleep
 - you also improve performance when you sleep as whatever you learnt today, you wire into the brain during sleep that night where the brain actually rehearses the skills you practiced. If you;re not sleeping you're not improving - simple as that.

Daily Readiness
  - get yourself the HRV4Training app and track your readiness immediately upon waking every.single.day
  - fill in the daily questionnaire that comes with it
 - keep a little diary of your day's events
 - look at your high and low days and try to find correlations with your daily events so you can see what you should avoid in the days leading into game day

Game Recovery
 - perform so very low intensity, blood flow work straight after the game or the following day as to play at your optimal peak you must train at your optimal peak. Don't expect to train at 60% and then play at 100% because it will NEVER happen.
 - do some extra mobility/flexibility work coupled with breathing exercises that actually reverses stress with pre-bedtime being the best time.

A Quick Word on Stress

Everything we do induces stress and it's fine to induce stress - it's how we improve. What isn't fine is when we add more stress then we can handle so that we get tired and all things performance can drop away fast.

It doesn't take much either especially if we look at the typical week of a local/amateur footballer:

Friday - after working 40+hrs you might have a few cheeky pots after work which isn't a huge deal (Wayne Carey went alright doing it). You're tired but still stay up to watch the footy anyway.

Saturday - feeling a bit flat but it's a game day which turned out a bit harder than normal from a few bumps and lots of high speed sprinting. The team had a good win so there's cans in the rooms after the game so you indulge, and don't eat until you get home. After a quick dinner you're back at the club for a function and you have a total blow out forgetting what time you even arrived at the last place you were at, let alone hat time you left.

Sunday - feeling pretty crap after footy and a night out so you head to KFC and watch 3 games of footy in a row on Foxtel in a sore and sorry state.

Monday - after 5 snoozes you're up for your typical 9hr work day plus travel time.

Tuesday - another work day capped off by a good 90min session on the track.

Wednesday - been a tough week so far because of last Saturday night so it's work and straight home except I better give the missus some attention this week so we head out for dinner and a few cheeky drinks and a late-ish one in the end.

Thurdsay - wish it was Friday but alas we battle on for another 9hrs of work plus another 60mins on the track but even though you;re pretty rooted now, you have just under 48hrs to get yourself to 100% for Saturday.

I didn't even mention the deadlines you have work, the blow up you had with your missus, the Telstra charging you something you never bought and the 50 calls and call waiting that goes with that.

There's a lot of stress but not a lot of recovery going on is there?

At 38 I don't really roll like this anymore but I gave it a crack in my 20's and my performance suffered because of it.

So have a look at your week and see where you can make at least 10 improvements and post them over at the Facebook page.

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