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



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Well, mea culpa, I was wrong, at least one team is going for it. Will be interesting to see what this throws up in terms of what other teams might acknowledge. Amongst all this, I've wondered whether or not teams were reluctant to even discuss it given the dim view the AFL takes of anything that could compromise results, whether it's from over/under training, team selection etc. The T word rears its head (see above).

Equally, would be really intrigued to see just what data/studies there are to support a "heavy mid-season training block" in June leading to a peak in September.

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There was never a debate or conjecture to begin with.

When I began the discussion around loading around a year ago, and provided information to demonstrate the science and how it occurs in season as well as my own personal experience. I was pretty surprised at the resistance… but then I shouldn’t have been surprised, we don’t all share the same experiences, not do we make sense of the world in the same way. Particularly when we are emotionally invested.

The beauty of these threads is that some people - have far more intimate knowledge than others and they’re great at expanding on and detailing it far more forensically than I ever could. @binman in particular has championed discussion around it, both here and in the pod… and there are others too who had added relevant and detailed insights.
@1964_2 @—coach— @Vipercrunch

Nice that it’s finally spoken about on live tv now…and the quotes from Chris, hopefully that legitimises it for those sceptics/cynics/rooted in  convention of the past. And more importantly creates meaningful discussion in a media landscape that chooses not to acknowledge for reasons most probably  around gambling.  

By this thread, I just wanted to create a space where people could make sense of teams fluctuations in form at periods of time in the year that a) didn’t fit form and demonstrated ability and b) actually shone a light into what occurs in elite sport.

Hope it’s helped illuminate. 

Edited by Engorged Onion
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6 hours ago, bing181 said:

Well, mea culpa, I was wrong, at least one team is going for it. Will be interesting to see what this throws up in terms of what other teams might acknowledge. Amongst all this, I've wondered whether or not teams were reluctant to even discuss it given the dim view the AFL takes of anything that could compromise results, whether it's from over/under training, team selection etc. The T word rears its head (see above).

Equally, would be really intrigued to see just what data/studies there are to support a "heavy mid-season training block" in June leading to a peak in September.

Plenty of overarching info out there bing, but it won’t be AFL  specific (as in the exphys/biomech  journals). Clubs won’t allow that data published… there will be plenty of internal data at each club collates over the last decades well as data for each individual player who has been metricfied into an inch of their playing life.

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39 minutes ago, Engorged Onion said:


And more importantly creates meaningful discussion in a media landscape that chooses not to acknowledge for reasons most probably  around gambling.  

 

That’s a key reason for the lack of discussion about it. Betting firms run the footy media and have a vested interest in punters being in the dark about this. They want bets placed with the heart of supporters, not their well informed brains. 

Edited by Vipercrunch
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https://www.afl.com.au/video/783218/full-post-match-r14-cats?videoId=783218&modal=true&type=video&publishFrom=1655549142001

Scott talks a lot about loading a lot in the first half of the press conference.  It actually seemed he wants it on the agenda.

If you can't stomach listening to too much, have a listen to 2.50-3:10, 4.20-5.30, 9.10-9.35 (even saying it comes with no guarantees!!!).

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3 hours ago, Vipercrunch said:

That’s a key reason for the lack of discussion about it. Betting firms run the footy media and have a vested interest in punters being in the dark about this. They want bets placed with the heart of supporters, not their well informed brains. 

I don't think gambling is a factor in why loading is not discussed in the media.

For one thing it has been happening for many years, and the practice predates the boom in sports betting.

Another is that discussion of it would have zero negative impact on footy betting. 

In fact, it may even have a net benefit on betting turnover as once people accept that the top say 6-7 teams (ie those with top 4 aspirations) are vulnerable in this period,  they may be more likely to back an outsider at the line or to win and/or more interested in betting in game that has an overwhelming favourite.  

And the business model for bookies, in both horse racing and footy betting, is giving the punters as much information as possible - you only need to look at their websites to get sense of this. They don't want punters to be keep in the dark - they want engaged punters and try to support this with a huge amount of relevant information to help them make their decisions.

And besides, the big pools are driven by the pros, who don't back with their heart - and the pros know about loading (which is probably what we are still the clear favorites to win the flag). 

My take on why it is not discussed in the media is two fold.

As i have posted before, i think it is related to the culture in footy of never being seen to make an excuse for poor performance, and to provide any reason for sub optimal performance is a sign of weakness.

That same culture explains why there is a collective minimization of the impact of injury on a teams' performance and chances of winning a flag (see demonland circa 2019 for plenty of evidence of this phenom)

I think another factor is that, unlike the bookies, the media and AFL have a vested interest in keeping footy fans in the dark. The AFL and media (particularly the radio and TV broadcasters) don't want to promote the fact that there is a couple of months where the top teams won't be playing at their best and/or half the games will be riddled with skill execution errors, fumbles, poor decision making, turnovers and clearly fatigued players.

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On 6/13/2022 at 8:50 PM, Nairobi_Demon said:

We must be loading given our complete inability to run out the last third of games. 
 

The question I have for the sports scientists among us, is it possible we’re loading too much?  Not only are we exhausted but we seem more injury prone. Could that also be a result of the additional stress on the body of loading?

If they were soft tissue injuries you would look at your performance team. These are inevitable but random injuries that fitness and prep cannot control

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2 hours ago, JimmyGadson said:

I'll put my hand up and say I got it wrong. 

Let's hope it'll work for us post bye because it's arguably cost us personell short-medium term. 

They weren’t lost to injuries related to preparation. Joints and knocks, hits etc can’t be prepared for. Tears, strains etc can

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4 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

Plenty of overarching info out there bing, but it won’t be AFL  specific (as in the exphys/biomech  journals). Clubs won’t allow that data published… there will be plenty of internal data at each club collates over the last decades well as data for each individual player who has been metricfied into an inch of their playing life.

I found this fascinating page on Football Australia's website.

I was going to post it a few a days ago, but didn't get 'round to it, with a caveat that i wasn't posting it to make the case for loading happening in the AFL (it doesn't speak to a mid season hard block of training specifically). I just thought it might be of interest to posters who were on board the loading train.

It is a pretty basic page, but has some fascinating info that helps explain how heavy periods of training can impact performance and puts our recent performances into some context. 

For example it talks about supercompensation, which is defined as:

'Supercompensation theory states that any given training stimulus elicits a fatigue response, which decreases our preparedness to train or compete again. This fatigue response is generally related to the intensity and work we are required to do. When we allow our bodies time to recover, we adapt beyond pre-existing levels, thereby increasing our levels of preparedness [2].

Placing the next training stimulus too soon, before we have fully recovered, leads to fatigue levels increasing and preparedness decreasing. Placing the next training stimulus too late means supercompensation adaptations are lost [2]. Selecting the correct training dose and allowing for adequate recovery is therefore vital for optimising training gains'.

Edited by binman
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3 minutes ago, binman said:

I found this fascinating page on Football Australia's website.

I was going to post it a few a days ago, but didn't get 'round to it, with a caveat that i wasn't posting it to make the case for loading happening in the AFL (it doesn't speak to a mid season hard block of training specifically). I just thought it might be of interest posters who were on board the loading train.

It is a pretty basic page, but has some fascinating info that helps explain how heavy periods of training can impact performance and puts our recent performance into some context. 

For example it talks about supercompensation, which is defined as:

'Supercompensation theory states that any given training stimulus elicits a fatigue response, which decreases our preparedness to train or compete again. This fatigue response is generally related to the intensity and work we are required to do. When we allow our bodies time to recover, we adapt beyond pre-existing levels, thereby increasing our levels of preparedness [2].
Placing the next training stimulus too soon, before we have fully recovered, leads to fatigue levels increasing and preparedness decreasing. Placing the next training stimulus too late means supercompensation adaptations are lost [2]. Selecting the correct training dose and allowing for adequate recovery is therefore vital for optimising training gains'.

The last sentence suggests that someone/s have to make this crucial decision.

Who makes this decision? On what considerations/measures is it made?

Its it art or science?

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Helps explain the cats terrible post bye record. Lucky they were playing the eagles yesterday or they might have lost again.

Does the training have to occur mid year. Given we had north and eagles week 9 and 10 would have been a perfect time to load. Although maybe we were because we were sluggish in both those games.

 

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3 minutes ago, Bitter but optimistic said:

The last sentence suggests that someone/s have to make this crucial decision.

Who makes this decision? On what considerations/measures is it made?

Its it art or science?

Ultimately the highly paid Head of Strength and Conditioning, Selwyn Griffith, makes this decision.

And it is very much a science.  

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13 hours ago, 1964_2 said:

Debate over.

And I wonder why the cats are pushing the loading harder than usual this year??!  Maybe because they witnessed the benefits of it from their opponent in the 2021 prelim. 
 

I don't think the debate has ever been about whether loading occurs- the debate is whether it is the primary reason for our form slump. 

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3 minutes ago, BDA said:

Helps explain the cats terrible post bye record. Lucky they were playing the eagles yesterday or they might have lost again.

Does the training have to occur mid year. Given we had north and eagles week 9 and 10 would have been a perfect time to load. Although maybe we were because we were sluggish in both those games.

 

Based on the chart EO has posted, and the evidence Vipercrunch posted about the performance of the 2021, 2019, 2018 and 2017 premiership winners in the five games either side of the bye, the periods of higher training loads (volume and intensity) is quite long and goes from aprox round 10 right though to round 17 or 18. So a full two months. 

This jags with our performance trajectory last year. We didn't look like we were running at full rat power until the round 20 game against the Sun's on 1 August.

Dees fans should buckle up because it is very likely we will have to endure another 5-6 weeks of sub optimal performance.

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6 minutes ago, DemonWA said:

I don't think the debate has ever been about whether loading occurs- the debate is whether it is the primary reason for our form slump. 

Well, i don't think that is entirely true. Plenty of posters (this year and last year) dismissed the idea completely. 

In any case surely the debate whether loading is the primary reason (by which i assume you mean the main factor) is also over. 

There are many factors involved in our current form slump, but the evidence makes it clear to me that loading is the main one in terms of casualty and impact (by the by i'm happy for people to disagree with this opinion, but can't be bothered entering into a debate about it). 

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33 minutes ago, binman said:

Based on the chart EO has posted, and the evidence Vipercrunch posted about the performance of the 2021, 2019, 2018 and 2017 premiership winners in the five games either side of the bye, the periods of higher training loads (volume and intensity) is quite long and goes from aprox round 10 right though to round 17 or 18. So a full two months. 

This jags with our performance trajectory last year. We didn't look like we were running at full rat power until the round 20 game against the Sun's on 1 August.

Dees fans should buckle up because it is very likely we will have to endure another 5-6 weeks of sub optimal performance.

I love your work on this topic Binman.  It's very instructive.  I do wonder about at what point those making these decisions start to feel nervous about top 4 - or does it even matter.  I recall first hearing about this in the late 90's when Neil Craig was in charge of fitness at the Adelaide Crows.  They made finals in both 97 and 98 with 13-9 records and won both Grand Finals absolutely running away. Different finals systems back then but they were only just above average H&A teams who were absolutely primed for finals.  If we finish outside of the top 4 and end up having to travel a bit I wonder what the cost-benefit analysis of this will show?  I guess only time will tell.  What I am certain of is if we don't load then we won't be winning the flag.

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12 minutes ago, binman said:

Well, i don't think that is entirely true. Plenty of posters (this year and last year) dismissed the idea completely. 

In any case surely the debate whether loading is the primary reason (by which i assume you mean the main factor) is also over. 

There are many factors involved in our current form slump, but the evidence makes it clear to me that loading is the main one in terms of casualty and impact (by the by i'm happy for people to disagree with this opinion, but can't be bothered entering into a debate about it). 

Some Demonlanders want their cake and eat it, without taking the time and effort to bake it!

So we finally win our flag last year after 57 years - and it was fantastic, who will ever forget those 7 3rd qtr goals, particularly the last 3 in 32 secs, just unbelievable!

The expectation by many is only a flag will do in 2022. But two critical factors influence every season in luck and injuries. Finishing top 4 should be the expectation and then fingers crossed, as best team doesn’t always win - Tigers 2018 Mason Cox plays one of four good games in career & Dusty injured!

As you have tried to explain many times(thanks) loading impacts performance in season, but benefits come during finals (as stated yesterday by Scott)!

Add in in game injuries and illness over the last 3 weeks and the dramatic drop off in the last quarter due to loading, losses understandable!

Fingers crossed on the injury front, 3 wins out of 9 make the eight and maybe only 5 make top 4, let’s hope for better.

But if we can find our best from last years finals, there isn’t any one who will beat us from what I’ve seen this year!

Loading is just part of the baking!

Go Demons!!

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15 minutes ago, Swooper1987 said:

I love your work on this topic Binman.  It's very instructive.  I do wonder about at what point those making these decisions start to feel nervous about top 4 - or does it even matter.  I recall first hearing about this in the late 90's when Neil Craig was in charge of fitness at the Adelaide Crows.  They made finals in both 97 and 98 with 13-9 records and won both Grand Finals absolutely running away. Different finals systems back then but they were only just above average H&A teams who were absolutely primed for finals.  If we finish outside of the top 4 and end up having to travel a bit I wonder what the cost-benefit analysis of this will show?  I guess only time will tell.  What I am certain of is if we don't load then we won't be winning the flag.

I suspect our decision makers think the risk of missing the top 4 is worth the reward of being cherry ripe.  Scott suggested in his press conference last night that Geelong are hapy to miss the finals completely!!  I would be more than happy to miss top 4 if we get there as fit as we were last year.

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Great to get the confirmation from Scott. Most already knew but now there is a reliable source. 
I just wish they shared a little bit more so we knew what to expect come game day.

In the VFL game last week Casey vs Pies - we absolutely smashed them. It was wet too. But how does the loading in the 1’s affect the 2’s? Is Casey just that good? Not all players are loading? Any info on this will be appreciated. 
 

Also, how does our timing compare to last year? We played an extra 3 games last year taking our season to the end of September (and wasn’t it great!!!). But does the reduced preseason (and extra celebratory beers) change when the loading occurs in this season?  Will we come out all guns blazing against Brisbane or are there a few more weeks of loading on the track (as some have alluded to)? Will we look to load again nearer the end of the season?

Thanks to those that have helped explain the phenomenon (and losses in my betting account) but looking to see who knows what comes next…..

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10 minutes ago, Gunna’s said:

In the VFL game last week Casey vs Pies - we absolutely smashed them. It was wet too. But how does the loading in the 1’s affect the 2’s? Is Casey just that good? Not all players are loading? Any info on this will be appreciated. 

My response to a similar question in another thread was:

It's a good question.

The AFL listed players all train with the seniors and do all the same fitness work. 

I assume  VFL teams - and non AFL players - also load, but presumably their training is not at the same level of professionalism as the AFL, so the demands are perhaps not as great in teams of how taxing it is (though, its probably not far behind - i wonder if they have GPS trackers for all sessions and games as is the case in the AFL?).

Have we seen a drop off after half time in the last 3 weeks?

Hard to say because the weather has been variable, and we have had so many more AFL listed players than our oppostion, but on scores alone you could make an argument that yes we have - in two of the games at least.

Against Frankston on 29 May we scored 8.4 in the first half and only 2.0 in the second half (from memory the second half was wet - that said Frankston had 6 scoring shots in the first half and 12 in the second half).

The following week against the swans we scored 4 first half goals and 8 second half goals - so no drop off there.

And last week we scored 11 first half goals and only three second half goals (the pies kicked 2 in the first half and 4 in the second half). It should be noted that it hammered down in the third quarter for a while. But it was sunny for the last i think and we could only manage the one goal.

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1 minute ago, binman said:

My response to a similar question in another thread was:

It's a good question.

The AFL listed players all train with the seniors and do all the same fitness work. 

I assume  VFL teams - and non AFL players - also load, but presumably their training is not at the same level of professionalism as the AFL, so the demands are perhaps not as great in teams of how taxing it is (though, its probably not far behind - i wonder if they have GPS trackers for all sessions and games as is the case in the AFL?).

Have we seen a drop off after half time in the last 3 weeks?

Hard to say because the weather has been variable, and we have had so many more AFL listed players than our oppostion, but on scores alone you could make an argument that yes we have - in two of the games at least.

Against Frankston on 29 May we scored 8.4 in the first half and only 2.0 in the second half (from memory the second half was wet - that said Frankston had 6 scoring shots in the first half and 12 in the second half).

The following week against the swans we scored 4 first half goals and 8 second half goals - so no drop off there.

And last week we scored 11 first half goals and only three second half goals (the pies kicked 2 in the first half and 4 in the second half). It should be noted that it hammered down in the third quarter for a while. But it was sunny for the last i think and we could only manage the one goal.

Thanks @binman

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    Our man on the spot Bendigo Demon traveled to Adelaide for our back to back games in the City of Churches and brings you his observations from the Demon's training session at Hisense Stadium ... READ MORE

    Demonland | April 01

  • Latest Podcast  

    PODCAST: Koltyn Tholstrup Interview

    I interview the Melbourne Football Club’s newest recruit Koltyn Tholstrup to have a chat about his journey from the farm to the Demons, his first few weeks of preseason training, which Dees have impressed him on the track and his aspirations of playing Round 1 ... LISTEN

    Demonland | December 14

  • Latest Podcast  

    PODCAST: Jason Taylor Interview

    I interview the Melbourne Football Club's National Recruitment Manager Jason Taylor to have a chat about our Trade and Draft period, our newest recruits, our recent recruits who have yet to debut as well as those father son prospects on the horizon ... LISTEN

    Demonland | November 27

  • Next Match 

    .

    Round 07

       vs   

    Wednesday 24th April 2024
    @ 07:25pm (MCG)

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  • Topics

  • Injury List  


      PLAYER INJURY LENGTH
    Shane McAdam Hamstring 1-2 Weeks
    Marty Hore Thumb 1-2 Weeks
    Charlie Spargo Achilles 3 Weeks
    Christian Salem Hamstring 3-4 Weeks
    Jake Bowey Shoulder 4-5 Weeks
    Jake Melksham ACL 9-11 Weeks
    Joel Smith Suspension TBA

  • Player of the Year  


        PLAYER VOTES
    1 Max Gawn 67
    2 Christian Petracca 55
    3 Steven May 35
    4 Jack Viney 28
    5 Alex Neal-Bullen 27
    6 Clayton Oliver 22
    7 Bayley Fritsch 19
    8 Trent Rivers 16
    9 Judd McVee 15
    10 Kade Chandler 14

        FULL TABLE
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