Pre-season Training Essentials
Pre-season may be a relatively quiet time in the footy world, but it presents a vital opportunity for players to come back to the great game in peak physical form after they have rested and recovered in the off-season. So, before the first siren rings, let’s discuss the essentials that should be embedded into every pre-season training schedule, from AFL and VFL to local footy.
Mix up your exercises
Cross training not only keeps your mind sharp, wards off boredom, and aids in combating burnout, but the variety helps reduce the risk of overtraining injuries. In between footy training, try swimming, cycling, or boxing to help maintain your overall fitness and support your whole body.
Running and weight training are also crucial components in pre-season training. Football is a running game and requires you to be at level of fitness where your body is used to short, high intensity sprints. On average, it takes about six weeks to build up to an appropriate level of running fitness, so start revising the skill in the early stages of pre-season training. Weight training is equally as important during this time to get your body back to where it was and build up any strength that was impacted during the off-season.
Experiment with your skills
There is probably no better time to practice with your opposite foot than in pre-season training. Without the pressure of the crowd, the scoreboard, and the other team, you can become more confident with your skills in an environment suited to you. Practicing with your opposite foot when you are fresh from a break will help with concertation and give you the confidence to successfully work your skills into the game.
Take care of injuries
Whether you are dealing with a niggle that developed during the off-season or returning to the game after an injury that left you sidelined in the 2019 season, it’s essential that all your issues are properly addressed. Hamstring, ankle, and knee injuries are the most common injuries in footy, so take care of these areas with body awareness exercises such as balance boards, and should the injuries arise during the pre-season, see a physiotherapist and don’t fret about needing a week or two off – you won’t be missing any games yet.
End your pre-season feeling confident about the 2020 footy season with these essential training tips. Practice your skills, listen to your body, and most importantly enjoy the game.