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Why you CAN'T afford NOT to do strength training during the footy season

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

As an Australian Football player, you know that the footy season can be physically demanding. With constant running, jumping, and tackling, it's important to ensure that your body is in peak condition to prevent injury and perform at your best. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through strength training.

Reduce your risk of injury

Strength training during the footy season is essential for several reasons. Firstly, as your season progresses, the risk of injury increases. This is because as you play more games, your muscles become fatigued, and you can start to break down - usually at the most important time of the season, finals. By engaging in strength training, you can strengthen your muscles, reduce your risk of injury, and maintain confidence in your body on the field.

Reduce muscle soreness

Another reason why strength training is so important is that it helps to reduce muscle soreness. Many players avoid strength training during the season because they think it will make them more sore. However, the opposite is true. The longer you avoid strength training the weaker you will become and the less “trained” your soft tissues will be. In the long run this will mean that you start to pull up sorer from games and trainings because you no longer have that underlying strength and “readiness” in your body that strength training provides. Furthermore, strength training can actually reduce soreness by increasing blood flow and oxygen to your muscles, helping them to recover more quickly.

AFL footballer performs a balancing single-arm dumbbell row

AFL players do strength training during the season. Don't think that you're too good not to either.

Increase your performance

The benefits of strength training are not just limited to injury prevention and reducing muscle soreness. Proper strength training can also translate to better performance on the field. By improving your strength and power through exercises such as single leg hops, rack pulls, and dynamic step ups, you can increase your speed, agility, and jumping ability. This means you can jump higher, run faster, and tackle harder, giving you a competitive advantage on the field.

Incorporating strength training into your footy season can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Just 2-3 efficient total body sessions can be enough to separate you from your opponent and have you dominating all season long. It's important to work with a qualified strength and conditioning coach to develop a program that is tailored to your individual needs and goals. Your coach can help you to identify areas of weakness and design exercises that target those areas.


In conclusion, strength training during the footy season is essential for injury prevention, reducing muscle soreness, and improving performance on the field. By engaging in proper strength training, you can increase your strength, power, endurance, and agility, giving you a competitive advantage over your opponents. So don't hesitate, start incorporating strength training into your footy season today and watch your game reach new heights!

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he Kicking Consultant aka Josh Growden is a High Performance Manager & expert kicking coach, making elite-level coaching accessible and affordable to all - not just the professionals. He holds a Masters degree in High Performance Sport from the University of Technology Sydney, a Bachelors degree in Sports Science from Louisiana State University, and is a ASCA accredited Strength & Conditioning coach.

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