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  • Podcast: Mid-Season Review 2022  

  • Podcast: Mid-Season Review 2022  

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



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1 hour ago, DubDee said:

The loading must have gotten out of control between 2007 and 2014

The dees were ahead of our time.

We loaded for two decades in the 70s and 80s, tapered in the 90s, noughties and right up to round 16 last year 

And won the flag in 2021.

 

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42 minutes ago, —coach— said:

I have a degree in Exercise Science and 22 years experience in elite sport and agree roughly with Binman.

Peak performance readiness only lasts so long. Teams in premiership contention try one of two (with variations) approaches:

- Continue preseason for many weeks into regular season sacrificing peak performance in the interim, banking enough wins along the way (60%/40% is a good result depending on who they play) to keep them in and around top 8, then lightning the load and hitting their straps a few weeks later. This can be followed by a shorter block later in the season (around round 18), with final peaking occurring in finals. This all depends on list/age profile of course.

- 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).

Don't forget there's different forms of loading which have different outcomes. Aerobic Endurance, Aerobic power, Anaerobic endurance and anaerobic power are all types of prescription which have different outcomes. You can't do all at the same time, but tend to focus on them at different phases throughout the season. Not all have a negative effect on game day performance but all come together in the end (in theory) at the right time.

Remember also, not every athlete is the same. Petracca (power athlete) will respond to increases in volume (running and gym reps) different to Langdon (endurance athlete). Hence each will be prescribed different stimulus to suit body type and training background and are monitored via gps for all metrics of volume,  intensity and duration. During this time Petracca will likely get slow and heavy (and thus kick poorly), while Langdon is unlikely to suffer the same way and may in fact get better.

If you add to that the influence of injury and illness, it can become quite a balancing act to make sure all athletes are doing what they need for their best performance. Sometime an athlete may need to extend their period of increased loading because they were sick or injured for a period during that time and actually dropped load whilst sick/injured.

Having worked closely with a S+C coach involved in AFL for 8 years , I can assure you that teams do go through periods of increased training load throughout the season depending on where they sit on the table.

Watching our boys in person the past few weeks they sure do look like they have changed training stimulus.

In any event it's all speculation really as the club isn't about to come and hand out their IP to everyone by telling them what they are doing, so time and on field performance will reveal all!

Insert drop the mic gif here.

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48 minutes ago, —coach— said:

I have a degree in Exercise Science and 22 years experience in elite sport and agree roughly with Binman.

Peak performance readiness only lasts so long. Teams in premiership contention try one of two (with variations) approaches:

- Continue preseason for many weeks into regular season sacrificing peak performance in the interim, banking enough wins along the way (60%/40% is a good result depending on who they play) to keep them in and around top 8, then lightning the load and hitting their straps a few weeks later. This can be followed by a shorter block later in the season (around round 18), with final peaking occurring in finals. This all depends on list/age profile of course.

- 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).

Don't forget there's different forms of loading which have different outcomes. Aerobic Endurance, Aerobic power, Anaerobic endurance and anaerobic power are all types of prescription which have different outcomes. You can't do all at the same time, but tend to focus on them at different phases throughout the season. Not all have a negative effect on game day performance but all come together in the end (in theory) at the right time.

Remember also, not every athlete is the same. Petracca (power athlete) will respond to increases in volume (running and gym reps) different to Langdon (endurance athlete). Hence each will be prescribed different stimulus to suit body type and training background and are monitored via gps for all metrics of volume,  intensity and duration. During this time Petracca will likely get slow and heavy (and thus kick poorly), while Langdon is unlikely to suffer the same way and may in fact get better.

If you add to that the influence of injury and illness, it can become quite a balancing act to make sure all athletes are doing what they need for their best performance. Sometime an athlete may need to extend their period of increased loading because they were sick or injured for a period during that time and actually dropped load whilst sick/injured.

Having worked closely with a S+C coach involved in AFL for 8 years , I can assure you that teams do go through periods of increased training load throughout the season depending on where they sit on the table.

Watching our boys in person the past few weeks they sure do look like they have changed training stimulus.

In any event it's all speculation really as the club isn't about to come and hand out their IP to everyone by telling them what they are doing, so time and on field performance will reveal all!

Great summary and explanation.  I wonder how many will accept it...

It just surprises me firstly how few supporters aren't aware this goes on as it it talked about often in interviews with staff and players.  Not the nitty gritty of it all (the IP) but in more genral terms suchs as "heavy training blocks" etc.  

And secondly, it surprises me the so many supporters are resistent to it being a contributing factor to our form this year.  Last year we went 4W-1D-4L (plus our bye) in rounds 10 to 19.  Why is it hard to accept that we are doing something similar this year and have some level of confidence that come the last part of this seasons H&A and then finals we will really start to hit our straps from a fitness persepctive?  Yes, there are other things we need to get right, but of course we are preparing fitness wise the same way.

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39 minutes ago, binman said:

Insert drop the mic gif here.

Yep, this is fair. I don't have a sport science degree so happy to bow to greater knowledge and experience.

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1 minute ago, Mickey said:

Yep, this is fair. I don't have a sport science degree so happy to bow to greater knowledge and experience.

A very commendable philosophy.

Unfortunately, in this post truth age, it is a philosophy that an increasing number of people wholly reject.

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2 hours ago, JimmyGadson said:

Acknowledged by insiders you say?

Cool, maybe you can provide me some solid evidence and we can discuss further?

Never once have I heard from the club that they did any sort of loading at this time of the season to get an edge in finals. And if we had, surely it would have come out by the club/players post season? Why would that be confidential info? 

What I have read and heard (as we all have), from those at the club is that under Burgess, our intensity and loads through pre-season were enormous and that he put a premium on training even when you don't feel 100%. Which is more around giving players a psychological edge. 

Thanks for the congrats. Never once did it this early in the year in any sort of significant sense. After a longer break between games, obviously you have the ability to train for longer and with greater intensity during the week... If you are misunderstanding that to be 'loading' then the joke is fair and squarely on you and others. Lols.

 

 

Good on you Jimmy. You are clearly correct, and why would I bother getting in the way of your opinion. 

Do you still do signed memorabilia as a “high level player”?
 

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1 hour ago, —coach— said:

I have a degree in Exercise Science and 22 years experience in elite sport and agree roughly with Binman.

Peak performance readiness only lasts so long. Teams in premiership contention try one of two (with variations) approaches:

- Continue preseason for many weeks into regular season sacrificing peak performance in the interim, banking enough wins along the way (60%/40% is a good result depending on who they play) to keep them in and around top 8, then lightning the load and hitting their straps a few weeks later. This can be followed by a shorter block later in the season (around round 18), with final peaking occurring in finals. This all depends on list/age profile of course.

- 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).

Don't forget there's different forms of loading which have different outcomes. Aerobic Endurance, Aerobic power, Anaerobic endurance and anaerobic power are all types of prescription which have different outcomes. You can't do all at the same time, but tend to focus on them at different phases throughout the season. Not all have a negative effect on game day performance but all come together in the end (in theory) at the right time.

Remember also, not every athlete is the same. Petracca (power athlete) will respond to increases in volume (running and gym reps) different to Langdon (endurance athlete). Hence each will be prescribed different stimulus to suit body type and training background and are monitored via gps for all metrics of volume,  intensity and duration. During this time Petracca will likely get slow and heavy (and thus kick poorly), while Langdon is unlikely to suffer the same way and may in fact get better.

If you add to that the influence of injury and illness, it can become quite a balancing act to make sure all athletes are doing what they need for their best performance. Sometime an athlete may need to extend their period of increased loading because they were sick or injured for a period during that time and actually dropped load whilst sick/injured.

Having worked closely with a S+C coach involved in AFL for 8 years , I can assure you that teams do go through periods of increased training load throughout the season depending on where they sit on the table.

Watching our boys in person the past few weeks they sure do look like they have changed training stimulus.

In any event it's all speculation really as the club isn't about to come and hand out their IP to everyone by telling them what they are doing, so time and on field performance will reveal all!

This is the kind of knowledgeable, well written, industry specific insight that kills the fun for those of us who rely on speculation, gut feel, and third hand rumours overheard at a coffee shop in Casey.

How dare you. 🤣

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1 hour ago, —coach— said:

I have a degree in Exercise Science and 22 years experience in elite sport and agree roughly with Binman.

Peak performance readiness only lasts so long. Teams in premiership contention try one of two (with variations) approaches:

- Continue preseason for many weeks into regular season sacrificing peak performance in the interim, banking enough wins along the way (60%/40% is a good result depending on who they play) to keep them in and around top 8, then lightning the load and hitting their straps a few weeks later. This can be followed by a shorter block later in the season (around round 18), with final peaking occurring in finals. This all depends on list/age profile of course.

- 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).

Don't forget there's different forms of loading which have different outcomes. Aerobic Endurance, Aerobic power, Anaerobic endurance and anaerobic power are all types of prescription which have different outcomes. You can't do all at the same time, but tend to focus on them at different phases throughout the season. Not all have a negative effect on game day performance but all come together in the end (in theory) at the right time.

Remember also, not every athlete is the same. Petracca (power athlete) will respond to increases in volume (running and gym reps) different to Langdon (endurance athlete). Hence each will be prescribed different stimulus to suit body type and training background and are monitored via gps for all metrics of volume,  intensity and duration. During this time Petracca will likely get slow and heavy (and thus kick poorly), while Langdon is unlikely to suffer the same way and may in fact get better.

If you add to that the influence of injury and illness, it can become quite a balancing act to make sure all athletes are doing what they need for their best performance. Sometime an athlete may need to extend their period of increased loading because they were sick or injured for a period during that time and actually dropped load whilst sick/injured.

Having worked closely with a S+C coach involved in AFL for 8 years , I can assure you that teams do go through periods of increased training load throughout the season depending on where they sit on the table.

Watching our boys in person the past few weeks they sure do look like they have changed training stimulus.

In any event it's all speculation really as the club isn't about to come and hand out their IP to everyone by telling them what they are doing, so time and on field performance will reveal all!

This is a terrific post, and i know for a fact we adopted a similar plan and had a drop off in performance at exactly the same stage last season, and it allowed us to absolutely peak when we needed to. 

This is something we've only as recently as the last 2 seasons started doing, we balance our pre season out with a lot more skills and game plan focus and work more carefully with in season training loads to try and absolutely maximize our conditioning advantage. 

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18 minutes ago, Dwight Schrute said:

This is a terrific post, and i know for a fact we adopted a similar plan and had a drop off in performance at exactly the same stage last season, and it allowed us to absolutely peak when we needed to. 

This is something we've only as recently as the last 2 seasons started doing, we balance our pre season out with a lot more skills and game plan focus and work more carefully with in season training loads to try and absolutely maximize our conditioning advantage. 

Spot on, and something that you can only push to the extreme, when you have a very strong start to the year:- as we have had the past 2 seasons. 
 

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7 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

Here is something I just googled, which confirms my view (and what I have been told from someone who would know0 that the wider AFL system (particularly those in finals contention, ramp up their training). I happily accept that I search for info that confirms my beliefs, and refute anything that disproves it on this particular topic.

It's a post on a fan forum from 2 years ago from an armchair pundit who's thrown in some nice graphics to give it more credibility. OK, confirmation bias, go for it, but ...

It astonishes (but doesn't surprise) me that all the "evidence" that this is occurring is hearsay.

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2 minutes ago, bing181 said:

It's a post on a fan forum from 2 years ago from an armchair pundit who's thrown in some nice graphics to give it more credibility. OK, confirmation bias, go for it, but ...

It astonishes (but doesn't surprise) me that all the "evidence" that this is occurring is hearsay.

Be worth considering that a number of demonland posters would have links to the club (some more direct than others), and don’t necessarily want to burn sources of any particular insights learned.
 

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8 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

(and what I have been told from someone who would know0 that the wider AFL system (particularly those in finals contention, ramp up their training).

Perhaps. But going through a specific load/de-load protocol and all that that entails, is a bit different to "ramping up training", which could be ... well, anything.

Burgess spoke of doing heavier than usual training sessions in the weeks off during the finals (to duplicate game-day loads), but that's very different to what's being discussed here.

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4 minutes ago, bing181 said:

It's a post on a fan forum from 2 years ago from an armchair pundit who's thrown in some nice graphics to give it more credibility. OK, confirmation bias, go for it, but ...

It astonishes (but doesn't surprise) me that all the "evidence" that this is occurring is hearsay.

The post from -Coach- doesn’t sway you Bing?

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Just now, 1964_2 said:

Be worth considering that a number of demonland posters would have links to the club (some more direct than others), and don’t necessarily want to burn sources of any particular insights learned.

But it goes way beyond this club, or even AFL football.

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2 minutes ago, 1964_2 said:

Spot on, and something that you can only push to the extreme, when you have a very strong start to the year:- as we have had the past 2 seasons. 
 

Exactly. Not all teams will load (heavily or at all) because their position on the ladder doesn’t allow it. If you’re 7-5 after round 12 you can’t afford to risk dropping another 3-4 games post bye. Being 9-0 last year and 10-0 this year has given the FD the luxury of planning for the last third of the season now.

I wonder if the team will have a lighter load this week to help get a win and not enter the bye on three straight losses. 

I doubt it, but it will be interesting to keep an eye as the game unfolds. 

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6 minutes ago, Stu said:

Exactly. Not all teams will load (heavily or at all) because their position on the ladder doesn’t allow it. If you’re 7-5 after round 12 you can’t afford to risk dropping another 3-4 games post bye. Being 9-0 last year and 10-0 this year has given the FD the luxury of planning for the last third of the season now.

I wonder if the team will have a lighter load this week to help get a win and not enter the bye on three straight losses. 

I doubt it, but it will be interesting to keep an eye as the game unfolds. 

Very true

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55 minutes ago, 1964_2 said:

Good on you Jimmy. You are clearly correct, and why would I bother getting in the way of your opinion. 

Do you still do signed memorabilia as a “high level player”?
 

Nice response cobba, that was well articulated!

Happy to sign and post anything for you although it's weird you're asking. 

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6 minutes ago, JimmyGadson said:

Nice response cobba, that was well articulated!

Happy to sign and post anything for you although it's weird you're asking. 

Cheers Jimmy. Always wanted something signed by a “high level player” 

 

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2 hours ago, —coach— said:

I have a degree in Exercise Science and 22 years experience in elite sport and agree roughly with Binman.

Peak performance readiness only lasts so long. Teams in premiership contention try one of two (with variations) approaches:

- Continue preseason for many weeks into regular season sacrificing peak performance in the interim, banking enough wins along the way (60%/40% is a good result depending on who they play) to keep them in and around top 8, then lightning the load and hitting their straps a few weeks later. This can be followed by a shorter block later in the season (around round 18), with final peaking occurring in finals. This all depends on list/age profile of course.

- 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).

Don't forget there's different forms of loading which have different outcomes. Aerobic Endurance, Aerobic power, Anaerobic endurance and anaerobic power are all types of prescription which have different outcomes. You can't do all at the same time, but tend to focus on them at different phases throughout the season. Not all have a negative effect on game day performance but all come together in the end (in theory) at the right time.

Remember also, not every athlete is the same. Petracca (power athlete) will respond to increases in volume (running and gym reps) different to Langdon (endurance athlete). Hence each will be prescribed different stimulus to suit body type and training background and are monitored via gps for all metrics of volume,  intensity and duration. During this time Petracca will likely get slow and heavy (and thus kick poorly), while Langdon is unlikely to suffer the same way and may in fact get better.

If you add to that the influence of injury and illness, it can become quite a balancing act to make sure all athletes are doing what they need for their best performance. Sometime an athlete may need to extend their period of increased loading because they were sick or injured for a period during that time and actually dropped load whilst sick/injured.

Having worked closely with a S+C coach involved in AFL for 8 years , I can assure you that teams do go through periods of increased training load throughout the season depending on where they sit on the table.

Watching our boys in person the past few weeks they sure do look like they have changed training stimulus.

In any event it's all speculation really as the club isn't about to come and hand out their IP to everyone by telling them what they are doing, so time and on field performance will reveal all!

Nice post, thanks for the info. 

I find it intriguing and confusing that a team would be going through a high load block at this point in the year given the wear and tear on the individual and importance of maximising recovery.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, binman said:

The post from -Coach- doesn’t sway you Bing?

I do quite a bit of work in the research field, and you learn not to give undue weight to single studies or one-offs.

Interesting, and would be more interesting if there were half a dozen -Coach-'s. Not to mention anyone who's actually been involved in these programs.

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14 minutes ago, JimmyGadson said:

And also, if we don't see a peak in performance post bye, what say those who subscribe to this theory?

That it just didn't work this time? 

 

It may not be post bye that we see the benefit as we may actually be building load through the bye and out the other side. Could take several weeks after the bye to see the effect. Only looking at the season in entirety will the result be fully known.

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20 minutes ago, JimmyGadson said:

Nice post, thanks for the info. 

I find it intriguing and confusing that a team would be going through a high load block at this point in the year given the wear and tear on the individual and importance of maximising recovery.

 

 

It’s about prioritizing what’s important, if winning in September is important, you can’t be winning for the 27 or so weeks leading up to that (unless you are 20% better than the next best team and can win running at 80%). As the effects of preseason wear off over time and you need to top up the tank to finish the season strong.

it’s kinda like a pit strategy in racing where you can’t run the full race on one tank of fuel, you need to have a plan for when you are going to pit which needs to be flexible enough that should the unexpected arise (like rain which affects tyre choice, or a minor malfunction, or pace car) you can adapt. In a footy sense, you choose when to pit (increase load) to fill of the tank, but need to adapt your plan for those who have had injury or illness. 

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