Get The Most Out of Your Footy Pre-Season!

Pre-season often signifies the beginning of some gruelling sessions ahead, taxing on both the body and mind. Although this preseason has some significant differences to those before it. 


An interrupted 2 seasons previously due to covid has reduced the overall load the body would have otherwise tolerated. That along with gyms closed has led to decreased capacity and may result in earlier burn out, injury risk and decreased performance.


Here are some tips to get you through:

AFL Training



1. Manage your overall load

Pre-season is a time to increase the running volume and slowly build in some intensity with exposure to speed work before the season. This is the perfect time to build your running load in a controlled manner. 

2-3 running sessions a week is plenty, running should be managed using your perceived effort (RPE or % of 100).

Having interval run programs where you are able to work off measures and percentages allows you to push hard enough but not so much you burn out. 

This is the same for your strengthening sessions working through RPE (rate of perceived exertion), is valuable for the sudden spike in load with training. 

Working at around a 7/10 RPE is perfect for pre season to strengthen and aid injury prevention for the season. 




2. Recovery

Recovery is just as important during pre-season. This is often viewed as a component that is pushed aside and only performed once sore but it often makes the difference between good performance and poor performance.

 Following training & games 

  • Replace Protein , Carbs and replace water lost during competition or training (can use a weigh in / weight out method) e.g if you lost 2kg aim to drink 2-3L of water to replace this.
  • Mobility work, if areas are sore and tight, cool down appropriately with some slow mobility work or feet up deep breathing to decrease nervous system from sympathetic output.


The night of training or games

  • Sleep hygiene 8-9 hours as minimum, room must be cool and dark with no tv or phone light ideally 30 mins – 1 hour before bed. Sleep is one of the best methods of recovery. You can not perform on lack of sleep, it also substantially increases your injury risk.


The Day Following – Accumulate points of recovery (50 points).  

  • Ice bath / Beach walk 5-10 mins (10 points)
  • Contrast Shower (hot & cold water) 10-15 mins. (15 points)
  • Flush Massage (15 points)
  • Meditation (10 points)
  • Walking/ Cycle low grade movements 20-30 mins (10 points).
  • Mobility 20-30 mins (10 points).


3. The Best Ability is Avaliability

When increasing training load particularly after 2 interrupted seasons there is bound to be some soreness or old injury niggles that tend to resurface. 

If this does occur it is best to see a qualified health professional to assess you appropriately, provide treatment and education with a rehabilitation management plan to progress you through.

If you have an appropriately managed treatment and rehabilitation plan that hammy strain from 2017 shouldn’t be affecting your performance.

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