A note on shepherding…

The aim is to create a barrier for your ball-carrying teammate.  When players are moving at full speed, you don’t need to take out the opponent to create space for your teammate, just make their pursuit difficult.

If you’re near the ball but not in position to receive it from a teammate, you almost automatically become a shepherding player.

The video evidence:

Shepherding impresses coaches, teammates, and knowledgeable fans because it’s a team-oriented action.  You’re literally making yourself a shield for the ball-carrier.  It’s these “one-percenter” actions that often go unnoticed but win the match.

Simple Preseason Workout

Since we’re not having an official cardio training day, it’s important to work on fitness on your own time.  The easiest way to show your commitment to the team is to get yourself in shape before the first match, which is over a month away.

If you haven’t been doing much work over the holidays, here’s a simple workout to get your body prepped for harder training and cardio sessions.

5 min warm-up jog
20 min interval running
5 min cool-down jog

3 sets of ab exercises
3 sets of push-ups

You’ll need a watch for the interval runs (which is great cardio training for footy) so get on of Walgreen’s 8 dollar specials.  In an interval run, you’re alternating high intensity running with lower intensity running.  For example: 15 seconds full stride running (just below a sprint) followed by 45 seconds recovery running (NOT a slow jog).  Do this without resting for the full 20 minutes.  If you can’t do that, then break it into two 10-minute runs with a SHORT walk in between.

As you build fitness, increase the ratio of high intensity with lower intensity.  So 30 seconds high/1 minute low.  Then 1 minute high/1 minute low.  Then 2 minutes high/2 minutes low.

To be a successful footy player, it’s important to be able to “recover as you run”.  If you’re walking or jogging slowly, you’ll be caught out of position quickly.  Interval running trains your body to recover as you run.

Ab exercises can be a number of things: crunches, side crunches, bicycles, V-sits, accordions, etc.

Great Run on Sunday

We had a good turn-out at the season’s first training session.  Although the drills were simple, the intensity was high and everyone, including the new guys: Nick, Lindy, and Darren, acquitted themselves well.

It’s important to lay down some fundamentals early in the season, so working on handball and kicking mechanics until they because monotonous is a good way build up the muscle memory.

Here are two videos breaking down these basic, essential skills.