The winner of  the Sportsmart AFL sponsorship program, Micheal Shmerling, provides regular blog articles on his favourite topic – football …

It’s that time of the year where finals are on the minds of coaches and players part of teams in that log jam we call the mid table. With only 6 rounds to go of the local football season remaining and 8 of the AFL season, training is just as important, if not most important at this time of the year as it would be during pre-season. You’re not training to begin a season, your training to maintain and improve your fitness and skills for the most important part of the year.

So many things need to be trained at this point, but none more important than execution and trust. The execution of your skills and the trust you have within your team and only then will finals glory become a reality.

In terms of your fitness and skills, things shouldn’t change from week to week; a more complex training method isn’t needed. Only a continued form of skills and game plans should be trained, and with football sometimes being a basic game, your basic skills of kicking, handballing, marking and all the above under pressure being worked on, training should stay basic and the same. Changing or implementing new game plans for different training functions will only confuse players and supporters alike. If your team is already guaranteed a place in September, then no improvement in terms of game plans needs to be changed, but only worked on to achieve the best out of the game plans in place at that time.

Good luck to all local and AFL teams for the rest of the season, the road to the finals begins now!

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