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In Season - Loading/Periodisation: Put your conjecture here.



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I'm firmly in the camp that we did some loading in/around the bye, but can see this narrative going a bit off the rails now.

Admittedly I wasn't at the game in person on Thursday, but at least on TV I didn't think we looked flat like we did around the bye. We just looked beaten by a more physical side who have been planning for us for a long time.

Feels like some may have got sucked into the early media narrative of us being unbeatable red hot flag favourites so now every time we lose we must be in a loading down turn.

Edited by Lord Nev
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18 minutes ago, Lord Nev said:

I'm firmly in the camp that we did some loading in/around the bye, but can see this narrative going a bit off the rails now.

Admittedly I wasn't at the game in person on Thursday, but at least on TV I didn't think we looked flat like we did around the bye. We just looked beaten by a more physical side who have been planning for us for a long time.

Feels like some may have got sucked into the early media narrative of us being unbeatable red hot flag favourites so now every time we lose we must be in a loading down turn.

Exactly the way I saw it.

Hearing Dangerfield say yesterday that they have pretty much set themselves up for this game all year just reinforces that they simply played a much physical and disciplined game then we did.

Sometimes it doesn't hurt to actually acknowledge the better team won on the night.

Kudos to the cats.

 

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11 hours ago, DemonWA said:

This thread is hilarious. Never seen so many people trying to wish away poor form in one place. 

Or maybe they realise that a football season is more complex than one game, and despite what the media do to us, some like to try and understand the game on a deeper level than the reactionary,  you’re only as good as your last match style. Poor form can be a result of many things. For a young team those reasons are different to an established team. If you can’t see trends in sport that occur over a season for teams in specific situations then you aren’t looking very hard. I wrote us off after we lost to gws last year. I was way off the mark and have learnt many things since then. Following a good football team and their practices throughout a season is very foreign to me. It’s barely happened in my life time. There’s new things to look for other than who we are drafting to save us and it’s heaps more fun this way. Not saying we will win the flag or another game even but there are reasons form fluctuates and it’s interesting to explore. 

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58 minutes ago, dazzledavey36 said:

Honestly think we lost because the opposition simply were better then us on the night....

Is this whole 'loading' narrative an easy excuse everytime we lose?

It applies equally when we win. It’s really not relevant to the result but more relevant in explaining what we are seeing on the day. Why are our clearance numbers up/down, why are our league leading defensive running flankers who are fitter than everyone else’s not covering the ground as well this week etc. It correlates to result but doesn’t have to be the cause. 

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31 minutes ago, dazzledavey36 said:

Exactly the way I saw it.

Hearing Dangerfield say yesterday that they have pretty much set themselves up for this game all year just reinforces that they simply played a much physical and disciplined game then we did.

Sometimes it doesn't hurt to actually acknowledge the better team won on the night.

Kudos to the cats.

 

Is anyone denying reality here. The cats were all those things. But we are here for the why and we have some decent reasons as far as I can tell. Yours included. 

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One thing some are missing is that many of us that are strong on loading being very significant right now are not doing it in hindsight, rather they have predicted well before the event that we would be in the middle of a poor stretch of form and results right now.  @binman especially was very open and clear before the season started that we would have another mid-season slump.  I predicted that we'd play poorly and only win 2 out of the 5 games post bye in a prediction thread.  It's not a case of making excuses after the fact "to help us sleep better" as several have repeatedly accused.

Also, seriously, are people really losing sleep right now about dropping some games in June/July???

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20 minutes ago, Vipercrunch said:

Also, seriously, are people really losing sleep right now about dropping some games in June/July???

For some, it is the end of the world if we lose any game. Others it gives strength to - you never see them when we win.

Edited by Clintosaurus
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Dangerfield saying that they have "pretty much set themselves up for this game all year" is exactly what I wanted to hear (and have said to Melbourne supporting mates).

 

They had something to prove after we flogged them in the Preliminary Final last year... and they brought it on Thursday. That was their peak... they've shown us what they can bring to the table and it still wasn't enough to really blow us away.  Let's see how they go when WE bring our peak game in a fixture that actually matters. They (or anyone else) aren't matching what we served up to Brisbane when we had something to prove after 3 losses in a row.

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18 minutes ago, mfcrox said:

Dangerfield saying that they have "pretty much set themselves up for this game all year" is exactly what I wanted to hear (and have said to Melbourne supporting mates).

 

They had something to prove after we flogged them in the Preliminary Final last year... and they brought it on Thursday. That was their peak... they've shown us what they can bring to the table and it still wasn't enough to really blow us away.  Let's see how they go when WE bring our peak game in a fixture that actually matters. They (or anyone else) aren't matching what we served up to Brisbane when we had something to prove after 3 losses in a row.

Yeah I agree.  Geelong have definitely gone up a level this year... but they've shown a lot of their cards in that game.  At the end of the day Thursday's result doesn't matter.  All that matters is that you qualify and are able to play your best in September.  Given where we were this time last year, it's fair to say we're still on track.  But if we get similarly beaten by Collingwood, Carlton or Brisbane in the last three rounds then that would be cause for concern.

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On 6/7/2022 at 2:40 PM, —coach— said:

 

- Train for a double peak which means they prepare to hit the season running and bank early wins (exactly as we seem to have done), before building load prior to and out the other side of the bye rounds (again sacrificing best performance and looking for a 60/40% win loss record) before hitting a second peak in the later half of the year. (Pre finals bye and pre Prelim bye for those top 4 who win first week allow reduction in game fatigue and increased uptake of train stimulus without negative effect (normally in the form of high intensity work like match simulation activities).

 

Going back a bit here @coach, but I’m curious how long athletes can maintain peak performance?  In other words, in an ideal world, how far out from preliminary final weekend would a team want to finish loading?  I say ideal world because every team will act according to their ladder position and what significance they place on finishing top 2, top 4 or just happy to make the finals. 
 

Last year we won the last 4 rounds but it’s hard to draw too much from those results with much confidence of what was happening. We smashed the Suns but it was the last minute change of fixture and they had dialled it in for the year.  Then we beat WCE but they finished much stronger after the lightning strikes. Then a solid win over Adelaide but they were also cooked. Then the wonderful after the siren win against Geelong. Very hard to definitively draw any conclusions about that. 

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2 hours ago, Vipercrunch said:

Also, seriously, are people really losing sleep right now about dropping some games in June/July???

A great thing about Demonland is the thread and posting history is saved. 

It is well worth reflecting on the matches at the same stage last year when trying to work out what might be going on this year and to help contextualize and understand our performance (yes, yes, i know its different year and that just because we went on to the win the flag last year doesn't mean we will do so again etc, etc).

Our round 18 game last year was our draw against the hawks. 

A quick flick through the post game thread is interesting in terms of the issues and problems (the symptoms) with our game that the majority of posters (but thankfully not all - these are the ones being lambasted for being 'delusional') are super focused on are almost exactly the same as those being highlighted right now (eg we are too predictable, we don't get value from Max, Goody has been worked out, we are too one dimensional, we are not premiership winning team, our forward line is hopeless, not enough pressure, our small forwards have disappeared, the young players have drooped off, Goody doesn't respond tactically, Goody out coached, sick of all the excuses, etc etc).

Our round 19 game against the Dogs was a loss. Again, largely all the same sort of comments.

Reading the post match thread, you'd think that not only were we a million miles from being a premiership winner, we were all but certain to drop out of the top 4. 

This comment  from @KLVin that thread caught my attention as i skipped though it:

'We’re tired. We’re not chasing, tackling, and gut running like we were'

Sound familiar?

Spoiler alert. 

The dees came out looking an entirely different team the following week - fresher, didn't look the least bit tired or fatigued, energized and well and truly up an about. And flogged the suns in round 20.

And the dees maintained that energy right to the very last second of the Grand Final, destroying every team in it path between that round 20 game and Tmac's post siren kick. 

We were clearly fitter than every team we played from round 20 (just as were from round 1-10). Opposition team simply could not go with us. We ran them into the ground. And that can only happen with superior physical preparation.

Will that happen again this year? Who knows.

We have injury issues this year we didn't have to contend with last year, when everything that could go right for us did go right. Maybe Selwyn has got the timing wrong or players are not working as hard (though, by all accounts they are working even harder). 

But logic suggests that the club is likely to replicate the processes that got us to a flag this year.

Regardless of where you stand on loading, what can't be argued is that in terms of win, losses and performances, the pattern of this season is almost identical to last year. Our ladder position, win loss ratio,  percentages and the period we have had our losses in is almost exactly the same this year as it was last year. 

And the media commentary is almost the same too (variation on the majority of the content in the two threads referenced above). It was dead wrong last year, and will likely be wrong again this year.

But just as we do on Demonland, all the doomsayers will get a free pass for their inaccurate analysis and incorrect predictions.

And next year, when the dees struggle in June and July, rather than looking back and taking history and previous patterns into consideration, they will instead repeat all their inaccurate analysis and incorrect predictions.

Edited by binman
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24 minutes ago, binman said:

Regardless of where you stand on loading, what can't be argued is that in terms of win, losses and performances, the pattern of this season is almost identical to last year. Our ladder position, win loss ratio,  percentages and the period we have had our losses is almost exactly the same this years as it was last year. 

And the media commentary is almost the same too (variation on the majority of the content in the two threads referenced above). It was dead wrong last year, and will likely be wrong again this year.

I respect your detailed analysis and passion, but the whole concept of looking for patterns in seasons stats (W/L etc) is almost exactly my issue with discussion about loading. 

As a mug footy watcher and just reviewing the way the games look and feel,  I don't feel like our season feels much at all like last year, regardless of the coincidental parallels in the mid season stats. Last year I felt like we won the tight matches against the good sides when challenged, and importantly our 'bottom 4- 6' played out of their skins almost all year - almost coming of age from fringe players to best 22. This year the bottom 6 are a clear bottom 4-6 again IMO, and we've lost to all of the real contenders (Sydney, Freo and Cats).

We have a player or 2 on every line who you'd argue about whether they are best 22.  No doubt injury and suspension hasn't helped this. I'm also convinced there is an element of complacency at play too, coupled with other teams approaching our matches as mini finals / acid tests.  

Regardless of the debate about the magnitude of impact that training loads has on performance,  I think finishing Top 4 is vital to making the GF. The elephant in the room is that our run home is much tougher this year and the season is far more even generally. Does finishing top 4 get priority over being absolutely cherry ripe on GF day (but having to play off from outside the 4)? 

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44 minutes ago, binman said:

And next year, when the dees struggle in June and July, rather than looking back and taking history and previous patterns into consideration, they will instead repeat all their inaccurate analysis and incorrect predictions.

Whilst I appreciate you've put a lot of thought and research into your views on this, and your broader post, I have an issue with this bit.

Surely before you start knocking people for disagreeing with you this year, you need to see that you are indeed correct this year, and therefore that we improve our fitness and start running all over our opponents in the last few weeks of the H&A season?

If what you're arguing doesn't eventuate, then this sentence will sound a bit silly, won't it?

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4 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

Whilst I appreciate you've put a lot of thought and research into your views on this, and your broader post, I have an issue with this bit.

Surely before you start knocking people for disagreeing with you this year, you need to see that you are indeed correct this year, and therefore that we improve our fitness and start running all over our opponents in the last few weeks of the H&A season?

If what you're arguing doesn't eventuate, then this sentence will sound a bit silly, won't it?

Fair call

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27 minutes ago, DemonWA said:

1. Regardless of the debate about the magnitude of impact that training loads has on performance,  I think finishing Top 4 is vital to making the GF.

2. Does finishing top 4 get priority over being absolutely cherry ripe on GF day (but having to play off from outside the 4)? 

1. I agree.

2. Good question. The answer depends on who you ask.

My feeling is Goody's answer to the question would be the same as Scotts answer after their eagles game - ie (paraphrasing heavily), if we miss the finals (read top 4, coz there is no universe where they are not going to make finals this year) because of the extra work we are doing now, then so be it. 

That is a pretty big shift for Scott, who has been rightly applauded for his ability to keep the Cats up there as top 4 contenders. The conventional wisdom is that if a team continues to knock on the door it will inevitable open.

But as the Cats, and more recently the lions, have discovered being a top 4 team doesn't help when you come against an opponent who grinds your team into the ground because they are much fitter and stronger when the whips are cracking.

So, for Goody, i suspect being cherry ripe on prelim day is the the absolute priority, even if that risks missing top 4.

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8 minutes ago, binman said:

1. I agree.

2. Good question. The answer depends on who you ask.

My feeling is Goody's answer to the question would be the same as Scotts answer after their eagles game - ie (paraphrasing heavily), if we miss the finals (read top 4, coz there is no universe where they are not going to make finals this year) because of the extra work we are doing now, then so be it. 

That is a pretty big shift for Scott, who has been rightly applauded for his ability to keep the Cats up there as top 4 contenders. The conventional wisdom is that if a team continues to knock on the door it will inevitable open.

But as the Cats, and more recently the lions, have discovered being a top 4 team doesn't help when you come against an opponent who grinds your team into the ground because they are much fitter and stronger when the whips are cracking.

So, for Goody, i suspect being cherry ripe on prelim day is the the absolute priority, even if that risks missing top 4.

If a club is utterly convinced loading is vital to them winning everything, then they will be prepared to miss the Top 4 and back themselves to be able to win 4 in a row.  And I agree, I think Melbourne under Goodwin and still influenced by Darren Burgess fit into that category.  
 

Personally, I agree with that stance, and think we’ll begin to see it happen more frequently in the coming years. My confidence about Melbourne this year won’t waver if we don’t make top 4 unless we have injuries to multiple key players which no amount of loading can help.

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Yeah I find this to be a really interesting consideration/decision. In my mind, and having played sport at a reasonably high level, there's no doubt that fitness can be a deciding factor in matches where teams are equally skilled. However when all AFL sides are fit to such a high degree I find it difficult to grasp how significant the idea of loading/Tapering is especially when we're looking at teams who are in and around the top 4 - crazy to think sides would prefer to be at their fittest/freshest on GF day but finish outside the 4, rather than finish in the 4 and without the ideal loading/tapering preparation.  Surely minimising the number of games in a finals series is a better idea - all it takes is an injury to a key player or a mason cox cameo (ala Tigers) and the fitness aspect will mean very little.  

Chad Scott's comments were much easier to say after they still banked 4 points imo. 

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37 minutes ago, DemonWA said:

Chad Scott's

hope that was deliberate 🤣 because he operates like a bit of a chad.

Edited by Engorged Onion
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1 hour ago, Engorged Onion said:

hope that was deliberate 🤣 because he operates like a bit of a chad.

100% chad haircut. Tan. [censored] personality. Total Chad haha

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7 hours ago, Vipercrunch said:

Going back a bit here @coach, but I’m curious how long athletes can maintain peak performance?  In other words, in an ideal world, how far out from preliminary final weekend would a team want to finish loading?  I say ideal world because every team will act according to their ladder position and what significance they place on finishing top 2, top 4 or just happy to make the finals. 

Hey thanks for the Bump Viper!

How long depends on the sport. In pure olympic sports (like athletics and swimming) with 4 year preparations, athletes aim to peak for the duration of their events (maximum 9 days in a sport like swimming) (or even more specifically for 1-3 days depending on event and when your heats/finals are.), either side of that they can be a fair way of the pace. But this is HIGHLY refined and reflects how hard it is to win Olympic gold in those events (world wide participation). A very small percentage off the pace and you wont make the finals.

The standard of refinement in yearly team sports (competing weekly) and AFL (a one country sport) is miles lower and not designed for a one one event peak. Rather its designed to have the majority of your group in season best readiness for a block of around 4-5 weeks depending on what your final goal is. For example, for us, it would be to be hitting our straps before and throughout finals, whereas Collingwood will be in peak fitness now in a bid to make finals and then hold on as best they can (Kinda like us in 2018, when we just ran out of legs before the GF).

Its worth noting that even if we are not at our peak, we can still be bloody good (as can other sides), lets say your absolute peak readiness achieved for one game achieves a score of 100, then the game either side might get a score of 98, the game either side of that a 96 etc, so its not all or nothing. It kinda tapers off either side of the peak but it's still a very high level of readiness. Right now I reckon we are around 80-85%, but thats just a guess. Only time will reveal if we nail the preparation or not. The club will have a list of metrics they are looking at internally and will have a very good idea if we are on track to peak at the correct time or not.

Does that answer your question?

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1 hour ago, —coach— said:

Hey thanks for the Bump Viper!

How long depends on the sport. In pure olympic sports (like athletics and swimming) with 4 year preparations, athletes aim to peak for the duration of their events (maximum 9 days in a sport like swimming) (or even more specifically for 1-3 days depending on event and when your heats/finals are.), either side of that they can be a fair way of the pace. But this is HIGHLY refined and reflects how hard it is to win Olympic gold in those events (world wide participation). A very small percentage off the pace and you wont make the finals.

The standard of refinement in yearly team sports (competing weekly) and AFL (a one country sport) is miles lower and not designed for a one one event peak. Rather its designed to have the majority of your group in season best readiness for a block of around 4-5 weeks depending on what your final goal is. For example, for us, it would be to be hitting our straps before and throughout finals, whereas Collingwood will be in peak fitness now in a bid to make finals and then hold on as best they can (Kinda like us in 2018, when we just ran out of legs before the GF).

Its worth noting that even if we are not at our peak, we can still be bloody good (as can other sides), lets say your absolute peak readiness achieved for one game achieves a score of 100, then the game either side might get a score of 98, the game either side of that a 96 etc, so its not all or nothing. It kinda tapers off either side of the peak but it's still a very high level of readiness. Right now I reckon we are around 80-85%, but thats just a guess. Only time will reveal if we nail the preparation or not. The club will have a list of metrics they are looking at internally and will have a very good idea if we are on track to peak at the correct time or not.

Does that answer your question?

Excellent. I am glad this has finally been said 

Thanks @coach

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17 minutes ago, COVID Dan said:

Not sure if it's been asked, but what impact does the new head off fitness play in this?

We seem to be a little off the pace this year defensively and offensively.

We have had to piece together a backline a lot of the season. The flow on effects from that are that we aren’t statistically where we were last year in some areas although our points against has still been very good.  We had an outstanding run with injury last year. Our offence comes from our team defence and where we turn the ball over. We’ve been turning the ball over too deep and haven’t had the turn over scores from last year.

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48 minutes ago, COVID Dan said:

Not sure if it's been asked, but what impact does the new head off fitness play in this?

We seem to be a little off the pace this year defensively and offensively.

We also had a much later start to preseason......

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