loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

AFL Injury Rate increases in 2011. Why?

Interesting is the article on May 5th in the Age where Hugh Seward spoke about the plan to reduce injury with the new substitute rule.

Injury Rate “fortified” sub rule decision:  (Samantha Lane , Age,  May 5, 2011)

“Anderson said the number of tackles per game had declined so far in 2011, which was a significant trend change given the figure had been rising steadily.

Dr Hugh Seward, a co-author of the injury report, forecast better times ahead in light of the substitution rule changes.

”I’m hopeful that it will reduce the rate of injuries but it may take us several years to see the impact of that,” he said.”

Read more:


Then Michael Malthouse came out and said that there was evidence accumulating with injuries linking the new sub rule. Hugh Seward admitted in another article that it would take 3 years to really make sense of it all. I agree with Hugh.

But injuries are up. Usually injuries are multifactorial. So what other factors may be adding to this crisis?

1. The “press”?  Who knows. This requires greater high intensity work to get back and then cover space explosively to lock people in. Could this be the reason teams open up at the end? I think Collingwood knows this and waits and presses and then “whack” open the game up. But the need for greater high intensity running has increased with this copycat trend that has occurred.Something has to give. Dumb tactic really. Will be heavily exploited soon. Not even the Kenyan Distance Running gurus can sustain that stuff.

2. Clubs now also are not afraid to do more leg weights and power work along with high intensity running. Leg Weights do not cause injury BUT increased power and ability to accelerate and collide has increased. Lots of players have pulled together the ability to lift and also maintain their football speciifc endurance. This is a massive trend. I did power weights and legs en masse at Geelong from 2000 to 2006 ( and Essendon 93/Collingwood 94/Essendon 95 to 98), whilst many clubs were switching from endurance to core to RSA to etc. Now a player has to be like a Decathlete. More WATTS mean higher momentum and more BANGS and more stress on tissues.

SO when looking at this trend ( too soon!) one must look at all the changes occuring.

It is amusing that the initial AFL biased research from “researchers” in 2004/2006 approx tried to change the game to a slower version. So funny. These researchers are like going to Marriage Counsellors that have never been married and are virgins. Strength and Conditioning Staff simply pushed hard and developed strategies to produce more powerful players capable of running more often at higher intensity. Coaches adapted these changes to create strategies to complement this OR vice versa. The Crows got left behind in an “aerobic” past.

So look at all factors and wait a few years for trends to become facts.

Multifactorial is the key word.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saverio Rocca at our Centre

Great to have Saverio Rocca trialling the faicilities at our new centre and around the northern suburbs.  The centre will be called   A D V A N C E D  A T H L E T E  P E R F O R M A N C E when we open and myself and Piero Sachetta are setting the place up. Below is a link where Savs career is outlined. My dad coached him in athletics when he was a young champion thrower. Then we met again when I was the fitness coordinator at Collingwood Football Club in 1994. We then met again when he was delisted from Collingwood and Mark Thompson sent me to have a chat about him coming to Geelong. The deal fell through and that was a pity. Amazing chatting to Sav about how tough it is in the NFL. He is very dedicated and strives to keep an edge. And wow he is flexible. Below are a few pics of centre also.



May 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment