After an extended period of time away from the touch fields, athletes and coaches are excited to get back into it. Each day that passes is one step closer to the big return. However, there are many questions that need to be answered, with the most over-arching one being:
How should we be preparing for the return to Touch Football?
So, how should we be preparing for the return to touch football? Most sports and athletes follow a periodised cycle of training*. These cycles, also known as training phases, allow athletes to focus on specific training elements that allow them to peak at the right time of the season.
Over the past few months, you could say that we have been forced into an ‘off-season’ training period. Typically, during an off-season, no competitions or games are played and athletes use the time to rest, recover and maintain a solid fitness base.
So what happens after an off-season period? Well, we prepare for the upcoming season, of-course.
Welcome to PRE-SEASON.
You have probably heard of the term before. If you are familiar with the National Rugby League (NRL), you would know that teams go through a vigorous pre-season program in the lead up to the Telstra Premiership each year. Your own touch football team may have completed a pre-season training cycle in the lead up to a tournament or event. My own experience in touch football pre-season programs has been minimal (partly because the touch season is seemingly never-ending haha). However, when pre-seasons do (rarely) come around they seem to involve running kilometres on end. Fitness. Fitness. Fitness. Conditioning. Conditioning. Conditioning.
Whilst it is important to build a solid aerobic base during the pre-season, we want to help touch football athletes and coaches understand the importance and value of developing other key aspects to improve performance during the season.
Pre-season programs prepare athletes for their grueling upcoming season and are also used to assist with injury prevention . Strength training is considered an essential component of preseason conditioning for field-based athletes . Phase 1 of our 8 week pre-season program places a heavy emphasis on developing strength bases, whilst also focuses on building an aerobic base and reintroducing touch-specific ball skills. Phase 2 focuses on speed, agility, power and building anaerobic capacity. The sessions are designed to build weekly over the course of 8 weeks – light sessions to start, progressing in either volume or intensity. The aim of our pre-season program is to apply training techniques and movements to be as touch-specific as possible. The ultimate goal being to maximise the carryover of strength to the playing field, thereby optimising athletic performance while reducing injury risk .
In our upcoming blogs, we will be discussing why each fitness component is important in your touch football performance, in order to give you a better insight as to WHY you should be training this way. Stay tuned!
– Sammy and Ash
*To learn more about periodisation and training cycles watch following ‘Institute Education’ video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnELRTIlVWQ