loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

Nic Bideau’s statements on Drug saga really more related to issues of Long Term development in the AFL

Recently Nic Bideau was quoted on the possible effects of drug use and long term development. I do not want to comment on the current saga at all because really who knows what has happened and what will happen.

Former Olympic coach Nic Bideau says drug effects would linger if Essendon took them

But he did bring up a very interesting point about long term development and also this reflected on the value of highly paid fitness gurus and the media based “instant” hit phenomena that exists. But this also extends to the values exhibited by many in the Sports Science Industry who seize any opportunity to pump up their tyres at the expense of the last fitness person. There needs to be more respect in our industry to our colleagues.

Bideau was 100% correct in this quote below on layers of training. And this aspect goes to Skill, Core Stability, Endurance ie engine capacity, whatever. It takes ages to create an elite athlete. Olympic athletes view these cycles in 4 year blocks often. Below is what Bideau said.

“If you have a really good training year, it helps you forever or until you start to decline,” Bideau said.

“It is building a base layer upon layer upon layer. It’s like pages in a phone book.

“It is foundation you are trying to build. It takes people two or three years to become a fit league footballer, and if you add another layer on, it has to help.”

Recently James Bartel spoke about how long it took to develop a player in the AFL. I presented on this aspect in 2002. Lecture is below. Pretty simplistic but takes till 23 plus in general to make it & 25 as an average.

OPTIMAL AGE AFL LECTURE 2002

We had the odd situation recently where a player from the Melbourne Football Club was saying how unfit the pre NEELD team had been and how they had addressed that. Well that has backfired from a spin doctor perspective, because with Dean Bailey they won more games. Must have some AFL specific fitness to win some games? That spin only works when you win games. Winners are grinners.

All of a sudden Port Adelaide is 50% fitter it seems. Their new guru is an awesome operator so no problems there, but geez there is a bit of moneyball there and more so these young players have been in the gym & on the track doing something for 3 to 5 years already. One 6 week pre season does not develop a player!

In my case I was at Geelong in 1998. All the old list was gone by 2001. Some of the kids arrived in 1999. A few were just there and the rest of the “super team” got there by 2002. So a process of running education, engine improvement, core stability base and simply dotting i’s and crossing t’s with development needs was put in place. Then when they looked ok, we started a heavy weights program and power program aligned to hill running, speed endurance work, plyos, sleds, etc. Still kids but by the time I left in2006 they had done 4 pre-seasons in the gym of squatting, jumping, sprinting etc and before that had the initial layer of core stability and specific needs addressed. If you ran slower than 3.00 for 20m then you were a snail.

So along come the new boys in 2007. Do an awesome job on the track and in the gym and whack, flags galore.

Same happening at Essendon now. Stuart Cormack and Dee Jennings addressed the base needs of the young EFC players in the their development. Whether they should have started ‘loading” a year earlier is academic. One needs to go through the phases of development with these babies coming from the TAC. No compromise can be done because they are just babies when drafted. Then a heavy weights program was “layered” on top of a base pre the Weapon, but maybe too quickly. And yes all these layers or bases are cumulative. So the argument, drugs or no drugs, that a good weights program provides a base for an enhanced endurance high intensity program is obviously valid. Muscle has a memory and strength is a more lasting quality than anaerobic endurance which also needs a reasonale aerobic base. And so on. One pre-season and voila. I wish!

So the media and other fitness staff should always respect what the other person & regime  has achieved ( unless it was totally stuffed from A to Z)  and set up for them instead of indulging in an ignorant and opportunistic political lunge at self promotion OR criticizing the old regime. Just too many media in the AFL now and all about winners are grinners and stating the obvious that an AFL mad public want to hear.

The problem for some clubs is that they chop and change too much or the layers are applied incorrectly or they panic and throw out the baby,bathwater and have to start again. That is another issue and we may be seeing that at Melbourne. If they had followed through with things maybe different now?

Who cares! Football management and understanding how to do all this is a very recent phenomenon. Lots still to learn. But show some respect!

 

 

 

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May 5, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment