For Aussie Rules footballers in the making, a regular training schedule is imperative. All the wishful thinking in the world won’t make you a great, or even good, player. You need to work systematically to develop the fitness, skills and strategic thinking required to be an ace on the field.
But it’s not always easy to get the right training. If you’re located far from footy clubs, or you can’t get someone to drive you to a club, regularly training is impossible. You might live in a remote location, and rely on visiting clubs to run rare training sessions, or you might be part of a footy club whose training has been sporadic (if not absent) due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Whatever the case, it can be challenging for some football hopefuls to access quality training, but this shouldn’t mean they miss out.
Step in, digital AFL training.
In the past year, fitness studios the world over have been forced to adapt their business models to fit in with Covid lockdowns. Many have developed some form of online offering, whether it be videos on their websites, live zoom sessions, or their own fitness apps that include exercises, reminders, and ways to track progress.
AFL has followed suit, with an app on the way that ensures training is available to everyone with access to a device, meaning no one misses out, regardless of location or lockdown.
The Ball Magnets app, conceived by Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell, provides an AFL training program that can be done at home or in the park, anywhere in Australia. With many drills able to be performed with just two people, kids can use parents, siblings and friends to keep up with training. Although ideally used as an addition to team training, with Ball Magnets, footy youngsters can still progress even if they don’t have a team.
The Ball Magnets AFL training program helps players prepare for and play the modern game. Developed by current AFL players at the top of their game, different skills, fitness sessions, game insights and special challenges are provided by players privy to the latest training techniques. Star mentors, including Dylan Shiel, Jack Viney, Adam Treloar, Toby Green, Taylor Adams, Josh Dunkley, provide fresh insights from recent on-field experiences, via the app.
The benefits of using an AFL training program in the form of an app are numerous. Here are the main pros.
- Players can access app training programs at any time of their week, so it can fit in around school and other activities.
- In the case of the Ball Magnets program, two unique 15-minute training sessions are released each week— a footy skills session and a fitness session. Hopefuls can watch videos of AFL players in training, doing drills, and can replicate what they do.
- If you want to watch something on repeat, you can, so players can work on a particular skill until they feel comfortable with it. Also, the sessions remain available on the app, so even if they learned something months earlier via the app, they can return to it for a refresher.
Being able to return to sessions is great for referencing particular training techniques. Young players can discuss tactics they learned on the Ball Magnets app with their other app users, such as friends, parents or coaches.
- Because the training sessions are unique, the training doesn’t get boring. Maintaining interest means it’s less likely users will skip exercises. Also, when your training partners see the same drills, everyone is held to account.
Because of the convenience and accessibility of online sport training apps, we expect to see more of these apps developed in the future.
Ball Magnets launches this month.