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The Crucial Role of In-Season Strength Training for Football

As an experienced strength and conditioning coach, I understand the pivotal role that in-season strength training plays in the success of our athletes. While the demands of the football season are intense, it's essential to prioritise strength training even during this competitive period. In this article, I'll delve into the significance of in-season strength training and highlight its numerous benefits for all athletes.


Importance of In-Season Strength Training:


  1. Maintaining Strength Levels: In-season strength training ensures that athletes maintain the strength gains achieved during the off-season. The physical demands of AFL matches can lead to detraining if strength training is neglected during the season. By incorporating regular strength sessions, we can sustain muscle mass and power, enabling players to perform at their peak throughout the season.

  2. Injury Prevention: One of the primary goals of in-season strength training is injury prevention. Football is a physically demanding sport characterised by high-speed movements, collisions, and rapid changes in direction, placing significant stress on the body. Strengthening muscles, tendons, and ligaments through targeted exercises reduces the risk of common injuries such as hamstring strains, knee injuries, and muscle tears.

  3. Enhanced Performance: Strength training improves athletic performance by enhancing power, speed, and agility. Stronger muscles generate more force, enabling players to kick, tackle, and sprint more explosively. Moreover, improved muscular endurance delays the onset of fatigue during matches, allowing players to maintain high levels of performance until the final whistle.

  4. Recovery and Regeneration: In-season strength training programs can incorporate exercises focused on recovery and regeneration. Techniques such as foam rolling, mobility drills, and low-intensity cardio exercises aid in reducing muscle soreness, promoting blood flow, and enhancing recovery. By incorporating these elements into training sessions, players can accelerate recovery between matches and training sessions, ensuring they are consistently available for selection.

  5. Mental Resilience: In addition to the physical benefits, in-season strength training contributes to mental resilience. The discipline and dedication required to adhere to a structured strength program translate into improved focus, confidence, and resilience on the field. Knowing that they have put in the necessary work off the field instils a sense of preparedness and confidence in players, allowing them to approach matches with a positive mindset.


Key Components of In-Season Strength Training:


  1. Periodization: A well-designed in-season strength program incorporates periodization to ensure optimal performance and prevent overtraining. By strategically varying the intensity, volume, and frequency of workouts, our coaches can manage fatigue and prevent staleness while continuing to progress players' strength levels.

  2. Specificity: Strength training should be tailored to the unique demands of your sport.

  3. Recovery Focus: Recovery-focused sessions are integrated into the strength training program to mitigate the cumulative effects of training and competition. This may include mobility work, stretching, myofascial release, and low-intensity exercises aimed at promoting recovery and preventing injuries.

  4. Individualisation: Each player has unique strengths, weaknesses, and injury histories. In-season strength training programs should be individualised to address specific needs and goals while accommodating any existing injuries or limitations.

In-season strength training is a non-negotiable aspect of a comprehensive athlete training program. By prioritising strength training during the season, coaches can maintain and enhance players' physical capabilities while minimising the risk of injury. Furthermore, a well-structured strength program contributes to improved performance, faster recovery, and mental resilience, ultimately enhancing the team's chances of success on the field. As AFL continues to evolve and become increasingly competitive, in-season strength training remains a critical tool for maximising athletic potential and achieving peak performance.


Contact Us today to schedule a consultation and discover how personalised in-season strength training programs can help you achieve your goals on the field. Don't let the demands of the season hold you back – empower yourself with the right training strategies and unlock your full potential as an athlete.

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