AFL strength and conditioning programs improve:

Speed: This is a noticeable boost to a player’s athletic performance. Stronger and faster players can destroy their opponents with speed and power.

Agility: A strong core allows for greater stability, allowing the ability to perform more effectively in movements requiring high coordination levels, such as dodging or side-stepping past opponents.

Endurance: As the saying goes, “the stronger you are, the longer you can last.” Football demands endurance from both its aerobic energy system through repeated efforts from sprinting no less than 30m at full intensity and anaerobic energy system by repeatedly performing intense bursts of activity lasting up to 10 seconds. As a result, a stronger player can perform at peak capacity for longer periods.

Strength: Strength provides players with the ability to generate large forces to tackle opponents, mark overhead or move other players off the ball. Football training provides ample opportunity to develop strength through movements such as squatting or lifting weights.

Agility: As well as improving speed, agility is another factor contributing to successful football performance. High levels of coordination are required when performing tasks like dodging and side-stepping past opponents (agility), which require high levels of control over one’s body space during contact activities (balance) and awareness for both dynamic equilibrium (the ability to stay upright) and static equilibrium (the ability to maintain an upright position while stationary). In addition, strength and conditioning improve a player’s ability to maintain dynamic equilibrium during contact activities, reducing the risk of being tackled from behind.

Responsiveness: Efficiently responding to physical and mechanical stimuli within the body is key in sport. AFL strength and conditioning require greater proprioception (the sense of where your body parts are without seeing them, i.e., touching your nose with your finger), and this can be improved by training agility drills such as ladder drills. Proprioception also refers to the awareness that allows an athlete to perform coordinated movements through space. This enables footballers to change direction quickly when moving past or away from opponents, greatly increasing their chances of avoiding tackles and successfully dishing out handbells.

Coordination: The ability to control the body in space is a key component of success in most sports. This factor can be improved through agility and proprioception drills such as ladder circuits. When performing the drills, players must focus on their movements and those of other players, which increases coordination between limbs and muscles.

In conclusion, developing the ability to sprint faster, jump higher and avoid tackles with ease can greatly increase a player’s football performance. To improve these factors, AFL strength training is commonly used. Strength training sessions aim to increase power, which will enhance speed, agility, and coordination, among other things.