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How rest and preparation dictate AFL performance



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Let's hope our random fixturing with completely out of whack days between games meant pre arranged training loads meant we neglected skills and touch this block and hence we were butchering it so badly last night

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3 hours ago, Demonland said:

Terrific stuff.

It's worth noting that the standard 7 day break program as detailed in that article includes two all team sessions (not including the captain's run) - a recovery skills session and a main session

Goody said pre game that after the lions match they gave the players a 4 day break and then did three 'quality' sessions (which i think he said included a match sim). 

We had a 13 day break into the tigers game.

The players had a 4 day break, meaning back on deck Tuesday before last, and the captains run on Tuesday this week.

Meaning they had 3 sessions in a seven day period, with at least a couple of weight sessions too no doubt.

In other words, they did increased training loads in the lead up to the Tigers game (ie more work than they would do in a standard week as per the article).

They could have flipped that and done the increased load in week one of their break and then given the players their break.

That would have meant being fresher against the tigers. 

But i would suggest they did not do so because they are targeting the cats and blues games.

Maxy said post game that they will have just the (standard) two sessions this week.

I assume they then have a very light load in the 5 day break into the blues game.

On weight sessions, it is worth remembering load management involves two elements - aerobic (wrong word I think, but y'all get the drift) and power/strength.

Increased power/strength loads, done away from the prying eyes at training sessions, mean some players (particularly young players, like Windsor for example) will feel the effects (eg jelly legs, sore muscles etc) on game day.

Which will likely negativley impact their skills, for example their kicking. 

Edited by binman
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44 minutes ago, binman said:

 

Terrific stuff.

It's worth noting that the standard 7 day break program as detailed in that article includes two all team sessions (not including the captain's run) - a recovery skills session and a main session

Goody said pre game that after the lions match they gave the players a 4 day break and then did three big sessions (which i think he said included a match sim). 

We had a 13 day break into the tigers game.

The players had a 4 day break, meaning back on deck Tuesday before last, and the captains run on Tuesday this week.

Meaning they had 3 big sessions in a seven day period, with at least a couple of weight sessions too no doubt.

In other words, they did increased training loads in the lead up to the Tigers game (ie more work than they would do in a standard week as per the article).

They could have flipped that and done the increased load in week one of their break and then given the players their break.

That would have meant being fresher against the tigers. 

But i would suggest they did not do so because they are targeting the cats and blues games.

Maxy said post game that they will have just the (standard) two sessions this week.

I assume they then have a very light load in the 5 day break into the blues game.

It's interesting that the article notes that 'teams coming off a bye playing away against a home side without a bye have performed, on average, a goal below expectation.'. 

We were such a team last night.

On weight sessions, it is worth remembering load management involves two elements - aerobic (wrong word I think, but y'all get the drift) and power/strength.

Increased power/strength loads, done away from the prying eyes at training sessions, mean some players (particularly young players, like Windsor for example) will feel the effects (eg jelly legs, sore muscles etc) on game day.

Which will likely negativley impact their skills, for example their kicking. 

It’s an interesting article and no doubt right up your alley, but on the bolded bit I don’t think that is right, Richmond had the bye last week too. Plus at any rate the “away” factor for us wouldn’t apply as much in an MCG game against Richmond. 

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1 hour ago, titan_uranus said:

It’s an interesting article and no doubt right up your alley, but on the bolded bit I don’t think that is right, Richmond had the bye last week too. Plus at any rate the “away” factor for us wouldn’t apply as much in an MCG game against Richmond. 

Ah yes, good point.

Though I imagine the away factor wouldn't matter if it was at the g because the sample would have included a huge number of games between teams that share the g as a home ground.

Edited by binman
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Great article*. It’s obvious to say that a succession of short breaks, the most egregious this season being St. Kilda’s 3 games in 11 days -a patent unfairness - is the key issue. The media aren’t interested, or are in some cases I suspect are directed not to comment on fixturing unevenness, which means the GP, who have no insight into the physical extremes these guys endure anyway, think short breaks are irrelevant. That’s assuming they think about it at all. Add to this the “no excuses” mantra at a coaching (and player interview) level, and the “we’ll take whatever’s thrown at us” dogma, and rank unevenness ensues. Then there’s the 18 teams spun into 22 games each  raffle. Needless to say, NOT AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD. There needs to be a complete overhaul, but it won’t happen til the 20th team arrives, and even then, commercial interests will dictate the changes. I feel like an old fart longing for the simple and FAIR predictability of Saturday only fixturing. Obviously we don’t need or want that, but there IS a better way. Problem is, that’s not where the AFL’s  interest lies. 

*interesting to note in this article that we’re the only team who doesn’t play an oppo off the same break length once. 

Edited by Webber
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42 minutes ago, binman said:

Ah yes, good point.

Though I imagine the away factor wouldn't matter if it was at the g because the sample would have included a huge number of games between teams that share the g as a home ground.

 

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Brilliant article. This is the only footy media I want to read, will be looking out for their work in future.

Almost like mini loading before two big games.

Edited by layzie
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5 hours ago, binman said:

 

 

Goody said pre game that after the lions match they gave the players a 4 day break and then did three 'quality' sessions (which i think he said included a match sim). 

We had a 13 day break into the tigers game.

The players had a 4 day break, meaning back on deck Tuesday before last, and the captains run on Tuesday this week.

Meaning they had 3 sessions in a seven day period, with at least a couple of weight sessions too no doubt.

In other words, they did increased training loads in the lead up to the Tigers game (ie more work than they would do in a standard week as per the article).

They could have flipped that and done the increased load in week one of their break and then given the players their break.

That would have meant being fresher against the tigers. 

But i would suggest they did not do so because they are targeting the cats and blues games.

Maxy said post game that they will have just the (standard) two sessions this week.

I assume they then have a very light load in the 5 day break into the blues game.

On weight sessions, it is worth remembering load management involves two elements - aerobic (wrong word I think, but y'all get the drift) and power/strength.

Increased power/strength loads, done away from the prying eyes at training sessions, mean some players (particularly young players, like Windsor for example) will feel the effects (eg jelly legs, sore muscles etc) on game day.

Which will likely negativley impact their skills, for example their kicking. 


Ok this makes sense in terms of what I could see with our running. 
 

Against Brisbane and then the first half of the Tigers game essentially (it looked better to 3/4 time), the whole team looked slower in terms of run. No bursting away from players or looking like many could hit full pace. 

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Very interesting and informative article.

In the pre-match thread I posted on the fact that we have had a very mixed start to the season with breaks between games and travel. This has not allowed the team to get into a rhythm so far this season and I think it has been unsettling for them. 

I also find it interesting that we have played badly in the opening round after the pre-season, the game against Brisbane where we had an extended break after the Adelaide games and then against Richmond after another extended break, in the first half in particular.

We have another extended break before the Geelong game and then a 5 day break before Carlton. It will be interesting to see if we can get our heads right to perform 'first up' against the cats and then follow up the next game.

Looking back, I think the team set themselves for the two Adelaide games and may have relaxed a bit too much for the follow up game thinking 'job's done'.

Against the cats we will have had three days more prep than them. 

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5 hours ago, BoBo said:


Ok this makes sense in terms of what I could see with our running. 
 

Against Brisbane and then the first half of the Tigers game essentially (it looked better to 3/4 time), the whole team looked slower in terms of run. No bursting away from players or looking like many could hit full pace. 

Honestly felt sorry for woey last night in the last. Had to turn and sprint but you could see he was basically running through treacle. Had no power. This explains it

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On 25/04/2024 at 09:55, binman said:

 

Terrific stuff.

It's worth noting that the standard 7 day break program as detailed in that article includes two all team sessions (not including the captain's run) - a recovery skills session and a main session

Goody said pre game that after the lions match they gave the players a 4 day break and then did three 'quality' sessions (which i think he said included a match sim). 

We had a 13 day break into the tigers game.

The players had a 4 day break, meaning back on deck Tuesday before last, and the captains run on Tuesday this week.

Meaning they had 3 sessions in a seven day period, with at least a couple of weight sessions too no doubt.

In other words, they did increased training loads in the lead up to the Tigers game (ie more work than they would do in a standard week as per the article).

They could have flipped that and done the increased load in week one of their break and then given the players their break.

That would have meant being fresher against the tigers. 

But i would suggest they did not do so because they are targeting the cats and blues games.

Maxy said post game that they will have just the (standard) two sessions this week.

I assume they then have a very light load in the 5 day break into the blues game.

On weight sessions, it is worth remembering load management involves two elements - aerobic (wrong word I think, but y'all get the drift) and power/strength.

Increased power/strength loads, done away from the prying eyes at training sessions, mean some players (particularly young players, like Windsor for example) will feel the effects (eg jelly legs, sore muscles etc) on game day.

Which will likely negativley impact their skills, for example their kicking. 

I agree on your assessment of the extra session Bin as being almost a certainty in the 10 day break between Lions & Tigers matches.

Assuming that's the case then this would also be the case this week leading in to the Cats and no doubt the bye as well.

While it was only one player, and he may not represent what's happening with the entire playing group as they often have tailored programs and at varying stages of fitness / recovery / age etc, Melk confirmed this last season.

According to him they're asked to do extra sessions on these longer than normal (i assume his understanding of normal meaning the usual 7 day break as he mentioned 6 days as being a shorter break ...see below) breaks.

He followed that up saying "anything shorter like a 6 day break" and the training sessions / loads are carefully managed and usually reduced.

He also said it may vary somewhat for individuals as each player has their own program depending on years in the system, injury status and they're usual role in the team.  He said from his experience that's pretty much it and that apart from the longer/shorter week adjustments, most weeks are very similar and don't change that much.

When asked about loading, he responded with "what's loading?".

I attempted to explain it as best i could ie;  meaning extra sessions, either on the track and/or in the gym outside of what a normal week might entail in order to prep and aim to be at peak fitness/strength for a big match a few weeks away rather than specifically the one coming up, he said aside from the longer or short break adjustments (as per the above), he was not aware of anything like that.

The article from the ABC (courtesy of Andy) would appear to confirm Melk's view of reduced training loads in between matches on a shorter 6 day (or less) break.

Not that this article is necessarily representative of every single club either.  However, given we're discussing this article as one potential sample it's worth noting that ex Essendon staffer, Andrew Little, when speaking about shorter time frames between games and adjusting the training schedule, said...

"A compressed schedule is going to mean lighter training loads overall as the games themselves will provide the majority of the physical load," Little articulates.

"On a six-day break, one of the post sessions will likely be merged with another and the main session will have reduced load. On a five-day break, individual craft or recovery skills are likely dropped and the main session is drastically reduced. Sometimes that's only a couple of drills in those situations."

Edited by Demon Dynasty
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As a follow up to the above.

Assuming we're putting in an extra session on longer breaks, specifically 10 day ones like the bye and this week's.

Why is the Coach, FD &/or high performance crew, giving the players four days off?

Why not just give them three days off and that then gives them the extra day to recover from the extra session?

This turns the week into an eight day program instead of trying to squash an extra (third) session into a standard seven day schedule that would normally only have two main sessions (plus everything else of course).

One day could make all the difference to any jelly type leg effect (heavy legs or whatever you want to call it) from cramming that extra session in to the usual 7 day schedule.

Maybe the four days isn't a club based decision and insyead is built in to the player's CBA and non-negotiable?

Edited by Demon Dynasty
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