Girls playing footy? Beach Day Next Sunday

Hi and welcome to another week,

Once again, a big thanks to everyone who made it into the gym last week.  I was particularly happy with attendance on Friday night – the weather was MISERABLE and, well, it was Friday night when people seem to have a lot of priorities to attend too that don’t include getting to the gym.  Except for last week when the place was packed for all three classes (4pm Boxing, 5pm Beginners and 6pm Boxing) and it was just great to see….if you are someone who ‘NEVER’ attends on Friday’s, just remember, that is 52 potential training days you are missing out on every year…even if you were to make it along once each month (say the first Friday of every month), how much extra would you achieve over 12-months??  Anyway, I was really happy to see so many people in!

The sessions this week look pretty fun at first glance – I am actually pretty keen on doing my first TANKS session for a few weeks as there is a squat ‘triple threat’ which looks incredibly challenging and might be just the thing I need!  Aside from that, we are continuing to build on the half-hindu movement re-introduced last week, there is a continuing emphasis on the abdominal work that commenced in the back end of last week and I have introduced a ‘developing’ or ‘incremental’ punching combo we will be using on Monday and Wednesday…having worked it through a couple of times it really does let you focus on hitting with power and purpose.

By far the most common question I was asked throughout last week (aside from ‘Can I eat Rice?’ and ‘Can I drink milk?’ by challenge participants) was ‘Did you watch the women’s footy?’.  The short answer is that I watched some of it (as I have this weekend) and I also saw some of the commentary from other coaches around the place such as those from Perth Lynx coach Andy Stewart.  Now – obviously I am not Andy Stewart and not coaching a national level womens side…but I have coached a national level u18 football team and am currently involved coaching a state level mens football team so will throw in my comments as well.

For some background – and to try and paraphrase/simplify – Stewart said the AFLW product was sub-standard and wouldn’t as ‘that is hype’.  And there is certainly truth in what he said.  The standard of footy at tier 2 level  – WAFL, SANFL, VFL (and to be fair, lower tiers of footy than that) is a lot higher than what we have seen from the AFLW thus far.  And given Australia has a proud basketball history at Olympic and World Championship level, I have no doubt he is correct when he talks about the level of athletes on display in his competition (WNBL) vs the AFLW…but to harp on all of that is kind of missing the point.  The AFLW is amazing.

The thing that stood out to me from a coaching perspective was that effort and intent was – and is – high.  And you cannot coach effort.  Things you can coach like skills, structure, game-style etc…well, all of that needs to improve.  But you CAN coach those things.  So they WILL improve.  What the athletes involved need is time to develop their games against the best possible competition so that they can improve – and the AFLW is giving them that chance.  Is the number of teams ideal?  Well – it is a lot of teams given the available talent and I was disappointed the AFL went with an 8-team competition rather than 6-teams purely from a ‘standard of play’ perspective – but when you look at it from a game and player development perspective, the extra 2x teams (from my ideal) give more opportunities for young and developing players to actually get on the field and be challenged to improve their game under pressure…isn’t that awesome.

Has the AFL thrown a tonne of money at the concept that other more traditional winter sports for women in this country (Netball, basketball, hockey, soccer) don’t have at their disposal?  Of course they have.  There is no doubt that they have and there is no doubt that this money and promotion and advertising has really given a boost to attendance and tv ratings over the first week of the season.   But it is a bit of a sad day when a national sporting organisation throwing $ at women’s sport can be seen by anyone involved in women’s sport – or in fact, anyone who has, had or may one day have a daughter – as a bad thing?  It gives chances for girls to play national level sport – and isn’t that great?  Every sport needs to create an environment that attracts athletes – initially with a focus on participation and later on with a focus on competition…now there is another national level sport for girls to compete in, well, hopefully more girls remain athletically active for longer…and for those who ARE athletically elite, well, let each sport make its case for them to continue to participate as they enter their later teenage years.  The AFLW just created a sporting future for a large number of girls who dream of being professional athletes – well, at least semi professional athletes!! – and, that can only be good.

Am I desperate to tune in to the AFLW games?  Well – they aren’t appointment TV for me the way watching the Bulldogs participate in the Grand Final was.  But you know what – watching Brisbane play the Gold Coast late in last year’s AFL season wasn’t exactly something I was going out of my way to spend time on.  If the girls are on and playing and I have a spare hour, I am going to turn on and have a look at what they are doing…whilst the skills are still in the improving category, the effort is great and whilst that remains the case the game will be on the right track.

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

p.s.  Please remember that the gym will be CLOSED next SUNDAY (Feb 19th) and we will be running a beach workout at C.Y. O’Connor Beach from 08:30am followed by a bbq/sausage sizzle.  Hoping everyone can join us down at C.Y.’s and understands re- the gym closure for the day.

Gym Update #1 – 28-Days Later – Half-way!

We have reached the half-way point of the 28-Days Later challenge which I guess brings it’s share of good news and its share of bad news.  The good news of course is that there are no tests in your immediate future that you haven’t already passed with flying colours…the bad news – equally obviously – is that you still have to stick at it for another 14days!

Personally I am loving the gym extras – though I have to admit, I love the 2km row a lot more AFTER I have ticked it off for the week – and am a bit ambivalent towards the food stuff…an occasional treat would be nice (and an occasional drink would be nicer!) but I sort of figure that having gotten this far I will be able to get to the end.  It is funny though, it is the ‘little things’ that are annoying more than anything – having burgers on Saturday night (no bun of course) I discovered that my pickles had sugar in them.  It is things like that take me right to the edge…but rules are rules.  I guess a few people would have seen my post on Facebook with the ‘Chicken – Not Challenge Friendly’ sticky note on some leftovers in the fridge…it is that stuff that gets me.  I KNOW I shouldn’t be eating chocolate and drinking beer and understand those things aren’t necessarily awesome for me…but when sweeteners are in my pickles and chicken, well, that is just unfair.

One more thing.  Last year we all celebrated the end of the challenge by heading down to the Quarrie bar in Hammond Park on the Sunday after weigh-ins…I am hoping everyone can spare some time from 3pm on Sunday Feb 26th this year for a repeat visit!

Gym Update #2 – Beach Workout

So – the beach workout I have been talking about will be on THIS COMING SUNDAY – Feb 19th.

Where:  C. Y. O’Connor Beach, South Fremantle.

When:  8am for 8:30am start.

Get excited, get in early and let’s have a blast down the beach…it is going to be a lot of fun on the sand and we will cook up some sausages afterwards for everyone to (hopefully) spend some time having a swim and enjoying one anothers company!

Gym Update #3– New Gear

So – as most everyone would be aware by now, all of the new gear I have been going on (and on, and on) about for weeks has arrived and we are doing what we can to make the gym a better place for one and all.  We have the new SPARC trainers in place, the new elliptical (called an ARC trainer) and two brand spanking new treadmills.  It was almost 12-months to the day from when the Ski-Ergs were implemented that the SPARC’s went in to add another new element to our classes and I am really hopeful this new equipment make a similar impact to the Ski-ergs…after just a few days I am confident that they will!

Whilst you might have heard me say ‘no more new gear’ to be honest that isn’t necessarily true…but what I am looking at now is replacement of some aging equipment and I have been working on a refurb plan for a couple of weeks now.  I do hope I can pull it off!

Link of the Week

Some of our most watched Facebook/Instagram videos always seem to feature box jumps – for some reason people are impressed when they see other people jumping high!  If you want to be one of those people (someone who jumps high, not someone who watches other people jump high) then have a look at this video about stretching and extending through your hips!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBP3H2E-dio