PreSeason for Football and Netball teams
So, you’ve been appointed coach, assistant coach, fitness advisor or another position in your local team that involves making sure that YOUR TEAM is fully prepared come game season. What have you got in mind to make sure that your team is at their fittest for the coming season?
Traditionally, preseason training starts with a 3-5km time trial where great fun is made of those that vomit towards the end. A few of the younger members will race ahead and then watch as everyone else crosses the line in various stages of exhaustion. Throughout the preseason, the TT will perhaps be run again, hopefully with improvements in times. This is a great way to test improvements in aerobic fitness and to some extent ‘toughness’ too.
But how relevant is this fitness test to the game of AFL football and to netball??
Your body has three main energy systems – an aerobic system, an anaerobic system and a lactate system.
To keep it simple, your anaerobic system produces the most power but only lasts around 5-10 seconds before depleting, your lactate system produces less power but lasts for around 50-90 seconds and your aerobic system produces the least power but can last over a prolonged period of time.
The first 10 seconds or less of running in football and netball are typically fuelled by your anaerobic system, but switches to lactate immediately after it is depleted, so your body relies heavily on the lactate system during a game. These shorter bursts of running are more likely to occur in a football game and most definitely in a game of netball, than any long continuous efforts. You’ll then usually have a short period of recovery followed by another burst of effort.
Repeat effort running (rather than long efforts) not only trains your lactate system, it also trains your body to recover more quickly between bouts of running or sprinting. This type of run training is more in line with the requirements of either game and therefore should form the bulk of your ‘running’ program rather than longer distance efforts.
Another aspect of preseason fitness training is ‘work off the ground’. This is more relevant to football than netball, but for either game, being more mobile and agile is always going to help in a game situation. Drills combining getting up and down from the ground, whether that be sprinting, core work or a combination will develop mobility and agility in all players.
Core strength is often neglected by amateur coaches, yet it is an area that can really help your players become stronger in all areas; running, tackling, marking, contesting and for balance on the court or field. Direct and indirect core training will benefit players in any sport and combined with resistance training, will round out the general fitness abilities of your team.
Preseason is also a great time to develop team camaraderie and get everyone working together as a team. A fitness program can include challenges that bring a group of players together as they tackle the task as a unit. Challenging each other to work harder not only brings them together, but also improves general fitness quickly.
PreSeason coaching starts soon. To find out more about how training at FitterFaster FitForce can benefit your team, contact me today. From the juniors to the seniors and everyone in between, when it comes to making fitness a priority, we have you covered.
Your team can join our FitForce training sessions even before they start more formal skills and ball work training or they can be in addition to the training sessions you run yourself. Very affordable packages available for team members