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  • Podcast: 2021 Season Review  

Darren Burgess podcast


Matt Demon
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More than interesting! Apart from anything else, he makes it plain that avoiding injuries is not luck, it was part of his method. It is so dreadful that we have lost this genius! We can only hope that he has been able to teach those with whom he worked.

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23 minutes ago, Ollie fan said:

More than interesting! Apart from anything else, he makes it plain that avoiding injuries is not luck, it was part of his method. It is so dreadful that we have lost this genius! We can only hope that he has been able to teach those with whom he worked.

To suggest that no luck is involved in avoiding injuries sounds plain silly to me.  Sure fitness & the medicos & rehab people play a role but look at Richmond they won 2 flags with barely any injuries in their AFL & VFL  teams then this year they had a swag of injuries & their teams struggled.

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That was a great listen, and shows how important Goody was in getting him to the Dees. It did sting a bit towards the end where he mentioned that initially he was keen to stay with the club for 10-15 years before COVID hit, but oh well.... better to have Burgo'd and lost then to have never Burgo'd at all - I think that's how the saying goes...?

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That’s a great listen.  I wish he had kept his secret about the two strategies regarding preventing injuries and how he used to be in the first camp but came around to the second.  For those who don’t have a spare hour, the first is manage players by letting them have days off when tired or sore, while he now believes don’t do that and push through it and build resilience. It’s taken a long time for him to learn that and he has been at clubs that have fallen just short a lot.  But he totally nailed 2021. 

He didn’t give away any secrets re making sure we peaked in finals, but his entire building resilience strategy is genius in hindsight. Most on here had MFCSS mid season when we had our mini slump, but @binman and others spoke about training loads and I was a bit worried about TOG for Max, Tracc, Oliver etc as they were being flogged by playing high 90’s game time.  In finals it dropped back to the 80’s and in hindsight you would say he built fitness and resilience in the core superstars during the season to have them peak for finals.

He also put that 15 minutes in the GF into context from a fitness perspective and explained it was partly due to how we had 4 fresh players in the square to start that run. Well worth the listen.
 

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I really appreciate his point that post the 2018 season, 17 of 43 players had surgery. I recall the katzenjammer bitterness of certain posters who simply would not countenance that this impacted so drastically in their 2019 season. How could it not have??

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2 hours ago, Cranky Franky said:

To suggest that no luck is involved in avoiding injuries sounds plain silly to me.  Sure fitness & the medicos & rehab people play a role but look at Richmond they won 2 flags with barely any injuries in their AFL & VFL  teams then this year they had a swag of injuries & their teams struggled.

Did you listen to the podcast?

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That was great, made me go back and listen to his ‘time at Arsenal’ pod and wow, he doesn’t go into specifics but he was set up to fail.

So happy we had him for as long as we did and he loved his time at the club. Big part of why the team excelled and why our best players were at their peak.

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39 minutes ago, Matt Demon said:

Listen to #38 - Selwyn Griffith AFL Head Strength & Conditioning for the Melbourne FC by Prepare Like a Pro on #SoundCloud https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/tKzNd

 

For anyone interested this is the stoy of Selwyn Griffith the man taking over from Burgess. 

For those who are deaf could you précis it in written form?

I’m not deaf but don’t have time to listen.

Does he have an impressive background?

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Wow. There is a fine line between Glory and Bust

Training Flat out before Finals. Full load. 
The only way to do it. 
The Standard has been set. 
i have been assured from inside that Selwyn will continue this elite philosophy. 
 

he better!!!

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Thanks Matt Demon for posting, I wasn’t aware of the podcast. Very interesting episode - Gawn and Fritsch 100% training attendance, which I’m sure was reflected in their performances. Great when the Captain leads, setting the example taking on higher, more intense training/match simulation sessions. So, no “fluke” that we were the fittest team, with the best second halves over the whole season.

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27 minutes ago, joeboy said:

For those who are deaf could you précis it in written form?

I’m not deaf but don’t have time to listen.

Does he have an impressive background?

Very impressive,  was at Brisbane before he came to us and they had a great run with injury in the last 2 years he was there.  

Edited by Red and Blue realist
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Was interesting to hear him talk about the GF. You can tell that the 3rd Quarter even shocked Burgo.

Everything went right for 3 minutes and basically continued into the Final term. 
Yes our boys were fit and strong, but no one can plan that sort of play in a GF. 

It will go down in GF History

 

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A fantastic look under the bonnet of our 2021 season. It felt a little bit like when they revealed the winged keel of Australia II after winning the Americas Cup back in 1983. In contrast to the Bulldogs which was more reminiscent of pulling back the curtain at the end of The Wizard of Oz. 

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1 hour ago, Sir Why You Little said:

Wow. There is a fine line between Glory and Bust

Training Flat out before Finals. Full load. 
The only way to do it. 
The Standard has been set. 
i have been assured from inside that Selwyn will continue this elite philosophy. 
 

he better!!!

This ‘flat out before finals’ or ‘large training loads before finals’ has been so often repeated on here without a source.

From what I can tell from what the players say and Goodwin and what Burgess says in that pod, we just train hard all the time. And we did the same thing during our earned ‘bye’ weeks in the finals.

Goodwin just has a premium on training intensity and valuing every session and the players look to have bought into it. The Petracca mention about his 2020 pre-season being a stand out and then everyone came up to his level in 2021 pre-season was indicative of that buy in.

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17 minutes ago, rpfc said:

This ‘flat out before finals’ or ‘large training loads before finals’ has been so often repeated on here without a source.

From what I can tell from what the players say and Goodwin and what Burgess says in that pod, we just train hard all the time. And we did the same thing during our earned ‘bye’ weeks in the finals.

Goodwin just has a premium on training intensity and valuing every session and the players look to have bought into it. The Petracca mention about his 2020 pre-season being a stand out and then everyone came up to his level in 2021 pre-season was indicative of that buy in.

Not disputing any of that. But Full % training also means serious injuries are always close by. 
We were prepared to risk it all before the Preliminary and Grand Final. 
That is what it takes. Even Bugess admits there is an element of luck. 
he can only control the Process…

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1 hour ago, rpfc said:

This ‘flat out before finals’ or ‘large training loads before finals’ has been so often repeated on here without a source.

From what I can tell from what the players say and Goodwin and what Burgess says in that pod, we just train hard all the time. And we did the same thing during our earned ‘bye’ weeks in the finals.

Goodwin just has a premium on training intensity and valuing every session and the players look to have bought into it. The Petracca mention about his 2020 pre-season being a stand out and then everyone came up to his level in 2021 pre-season was indicative of that buy in.

1. Overload in summer. The players did sessions longer than game loads.

2. Relax in season, how much isn't specified, clearly they trained hard in season but naturally not as hard as summer

3. Full contact training that resembles game day stuff, including the main session in grand final week

4. Full main sessions in bye weeks that equaled match day loads to the best practical possibilities. 

Wasn't any mention that I caught of how much they did or didn't taper training loads through the season. I'm inclined to think they probably adjusted training based on how long the break was, how heavy the games were and things like that more than some special taper. When you play week in week out and train hard I think the notion of a huge taper doesn't make as much sense in modern AFL footy as it might for an Olympic swimmer or back in the Blight Crows days of the 90's.

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Fantastic stuff. Some main takeaways for those who don't get to listen:

1. Raved about the club staff at all levels of the footy department really. Took the job for 3 reasons: Greg Stafford is a close mate, he had an instant bond with Goody, he got someone to rate the lists of potential clubs and Melbourne rated highly. He was effusive in his praise of Goody and clearly less so with his thoughts on Arsenal!

2. His training philosophy is to overload by training hard through summer, don't go soft based on niggles or player wellness scores, push hard through that period and then back off once games start. Players will be far more resilient through training hard than easing through summer.

3. He wasn't at all critical of the state the players were in and went out of his way to say Misson had set up a professional system. Surgeries in 2019 clearly impacted how much training the group had done in to that year. Training philosophy and the Saturday hill sessions sound like the biggest change ups more than having to completely set up a program. Job openings for 2020 let him interview then hire some great people including his 2IC Phil Merriman who got poached by Freo. Covid forced a couple of redundancies and big pay cuts. It also allowed them to fill vacancies in 2021 with people who were on board with the heavy training model. 

Sidenote: Brukner down plays his involvement here but his role as a consulting doctor has no doubt being very helpful. I don't think they were always utilising the best doctors and surgeons. To be training at AAMI park and not using someone from Olympic Park Sports med - the founding fathers of sports med in this country - didn't make any sense. A fully qualified sports physician with the access to the institutional knowledge working there and the contacts Brukner has makes a lot more sense. Brukner coming back on board and whether the was with Burgo or for Burgo, is a huge win.

4. Injuries: no doubt very lucky, but they had some over summer and they had a number of contact injuries during the season from training hard - hand, wrist, broken eye sockets etc. Plus a few hamstrings over summer gave them concern but they stuck by their method.

5. 2020 they expected to have a fitness advantage that they lost due to the break (and no doubt shorter quarters). Was mostly thinking they were going in the right direction. Tracc met with him in London before he started and had a great 2020, then other players lifted this year. Gawny did 100%, as did Fritsch. 

6. The 3rd quarter blitz he explains by a fresh ruckman rotating on with midfielders who were also reasonably fresh, then a bit of momentum building confidence then fantastic execution. Notes the Dogs were a dominant first half side often overwhelming opposition early. And that the Dogs had traveled. They had the better structure of games playing 3 tight games before a week off, but as mentioned above the Dees trained hard through the breaks and made sure the match simulation main game replacement training sessions were as close as possible to game loads.

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1 minute ago, DeeSpencer said:

Fantastic stuff. Some main takeaways for those who don't get to listen:

1. Raved about the club staff at all levels of the footy department really. Took the job for 3 reasons: Greg Stafford is a close mate, he had an instant bond with Goody, he got someone to rate the lists of potential clubs and Melbourne rated highly. He was effusive in his praise of Goody and clearly less so with his thoughts on Arsenal!

2. His training philosophy is to overload by training hard through summer, don't go soft based on niggles or player wellness scores, push hard through that period and then back off once games start. Players will be far more resilient through training hard than easing through summer.

3. He wasn't at all critical of the state the players were in and went out of his way to say Misson had set up a professional system. Surgeries in 2019 clearly impacted how much training the group had done in to that year. Training philosophy and the Saturday hill sessions sound like the biggest change ups more than having to completely set up a program. Job openings for 2020 let him interview then hire some great people including his 2IC Phil Merriman who got poached by Freo. Covid forced a couple of redundancies and big pay cuts. It also allowed them to fill vacancies in 2021 with people who were on board with the heavy training model. 

Sidenote: Brukner down plays his involvement here but his role as a consulting doctor has no doubt being very helpful. I don't think they were always utilising the best doctors and surgeons. To be training at AAMI park and not using someone from Olympic Park Sports med - the founding fathers of sports med in this country - didn't make any sense. A fully qualified sports physician with the access to the institutional knowledge working there and the contacts Brukner has makes a lot more sense. Brukner coming back on board and whether the was with Burgo or for Burgo, is a huge win.

4. Injuries: no doubt very lucky, but they had some over summer and they had a number of contact injuries during the season from training hard - hand, wrist, broken eye sockets etc. Plus a few hamstrings over summer gave them concern but they stuck by their method.

5. 2020 they expected to have a fitness advantage that they lost due to the break (and no doubt shorter quarters). Was mostly thinking they were going in the right direction. Tracc met with him in London before he started and had a great 2020, then other players lifted this year. Gawny did 100%, as did Fritsch. 

6. The 3rd quarter blitz he explains by a fresh ruckman rotating on with midfielders who were also reasonably fresh, then a bit of momentum building confidence then fantastic execution. Notes the Dogs were a dominant first half side often overwhelming opposition early. And that the Dogs had traveled. They had the better structure of games playing 3 tight games before a week off, but as mentioned above the Dees trained hard through the breaks and made sure the match simulation main game replacement training sessions were as close as possible to game loads.

Am listening to Doctor Anton Bruckner as I read this....Symphony #4, conducted by Celibidache.

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3 hours ago, Red and Blue realist said:

Very impressive,  was at Brisbane before he came to us and they had a great run with injury in the last 2 years he was there.  

Demons did a great job to get Selwyn Griffiths in from Brisbane after he’d been successful in keeping their list healthy, spends a year with Burgess and is perfectly placed to step into the main role! Great planning!

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Reading between the lines my thoughts were:

1. Langdon - repeat sprints, ANB gets a mention too, Petracca - explosive power and Jackson were probably his favourite athletes, not a surprise there

2. Goodwin might be a bit of a mad genius with just how much his trains and stresses contact. Personally I think we should keep the baseline of finals footy but see if we can work in a little more skills so we don't have to crash and bash forever.

3. I do wonder if training at this level is sustainable for older players. Jones had a few issues. Hibbo some niggles. May had his hammy late in the season. I think a huge part of our success is not having many old guys. Geelong just couldn't train at this level, I'm sure of that. The trade off is you get years of conditioning at a high level for older guys, plus they get smarter with game running and all sorts of things. Burgo does stress there's a lot of individual programs, so I doubt he flogs the old guys to the same extent as the 23 year old, but might be something to monitor as our best players get older. The other factor is lets not let our list end up like Geelong's so we keep a core of 22-28 year olds who can sustain extreme training. 

4. Replacing Burgo will be as much about finding someone who can manage training loads and programs and all those technical aspects as finding someone who can provide belief to the playing group and unity to the high performance staff. The good news is everyone at the club just got a huge injection of belief by showing they can win a flag, but keeping that team work going is really vital too.

5. Burgo noted he had 4 performance analysts under him as well as all the sports scientists, medical, strength coaches etc. Just a hunch but I reckon he played a role in the Jackson selection and also in getting guys like Pickett and Bowey. Not to say Jason Taylor needs a lot of help but recruiting is always a team effort. I might be overly influenced by watching the Recruit back in the day but having Burgo as someone who the recruiters can lean on can't hurt. Jackson's clearly a freak. Pickett's forward pressure and blistering runs where he's involved at half back then bobbing up inside 50 or pressuring 3 guys at once and incredible too and having someone to quantify that athleticism has to be valuable.

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