AFL Victoria’s Pre-season Training Guidelines

Pre-season training is an important part of preparing teams and individuals for the season ahead. AFL Victoria’s Pre-season training guidelines are an essential read for any player, coach or parent looking to assist in the minimisation of injury.

Whilst AFL Clubs commence pre-season training in November/December, they are elite professional footballers who have dedicated facilities and professional coaching and conditioning staff to manage player-training loads.

At a community level, players have full time jobs, are often playing other sports in the off-season and generally play for the love of the game. In addition, facilities are generally shared with other sports and are difficult to access during the summer months.

At a junior level, children’s bodies are still developing and over-use injuries can be more prevalent in these formative years. The amount of training, particularly when they are often involved in other activities, is a key consideration in player welfare.

The AFL Victoria document provides recommended pre-season and in season training guidelines, the recommended number of sessions and their duration. For example, for Under 12 to Under 14 Teams pre-season training should consist of:

  • 6 – 8 sessions
  • Duration should be 60 – 75 minutes per session.
  • The training focus should be Skill / Game sense, Small sided games, Team play games and minimum fitness based activities.


Conditioning the body for the rigours of our game is essential for injury prevention and team performance. For more information download the PDF below.

Download (PDF, 391KB)

2018 Train the Trainers Night


Bookings are now open

23rd April 2018 | 7.15pm | Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre


“This Train the Trainer’s Night was one of the best Trainers nights I have ever been to”
Head Trainer, Dromana Football Club, 2017.

What every runner should know about long distance running in the heat

Whether you run for general fitness or are training to compete in long distance, running in summer can be a dangerous game.

Little niggles and aches felt in your foot or calf can result in something much more when you are dehydrated or excessively fatigued by the heat.


So how can you keep getting the most out of your training in the hot weather? Therese Stegley, Physiotherapist from our Langwarrin clinic gives us her tips for long distance running over the summer months.

What evidence is there?

Exercising in hot weather induces thermoregulatory and other physical strains on the body that can lead to an actual impairment in your exercise endurance capacity (Racinais et al, 2015).

One of the most important tips to reduce physiological strain and optimise your performance is to ‘acclimatise’ or ‘get used to’ to the heat. You wouldn’t run regularly in Melbourne winter and then hop on a plane to the Bahamas and run in 42⁰C and expect to be okay?!

It takes time for our body to get used to change. Heat acclimatisation involves repetitive exercise completed in heated environments over a minimum of 1-2 weeks (Nybo, Rasmussen & Sawka, 2014). Also, it is imperative to account for longer recovery periods between exercise compared to other times of the year in order for the body to adequately hydrate and cool (Nybo, Rasmussen & Sawka, 2014).

Tips to combating fatigue


Plan your run in areas known for adequate shade, aim to run early the morning or after dusk if there is a cool change. Keep in mind, most fun runs and marathons begin early in the morning for this very reason!


Stay hydrated not just during and after your long run but also the night before.


Being dehydrated and over-training can lead to tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the spine which can ultimately alter the way we walk and therefore run. Remember: each stretch should be held for a minimum of 20-30 seconds. Do not continue stretching if there is significant pain. Never bounce or force your body to stretch.

Click here  for a great stretching program from


For more information or to make an appointment, you can BOOK ONLINE or call your local clinic.


Nybo L, Rasmussen P, Sawka MN. Performance in the heat—physiological factors of importance for hyperthermia-induced fatigue. Compr Physiol. 2014;4:657–689
Racinais, S., Alonso, J.-M., Coutts, A. J., Flouris, A. D., Girard, O., González-Alonso, J., … Périard, J. D. (2015). Consensus Recommendations on Training and Competing in the Heat. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.z.), 45(7), 925–938.
Rowell LB. Human cardiovascular adjustments to exercise and thermal stress. Physiol Rev. 1974;54:75–159