Infotainment Factory: Reporter's rude shock at AFL training

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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Reporter's rude shock at AFL training


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As a sports reporter, you're not expected to be good at sport, or fit for that matter.

Yes, I play social netball and go to an overpriced, inner-city gym, but there's no way I could match it with the brilliant women who play in the AFLW, let alone the blokes.

So when I was asked if I'd like to join the guys at North Melbourne for a pre-season endurance run, you'd think I would have declined, right?

Wrong.

I stupidly put up my hand, and if truth be told, hardly slept a wink before the morning of the yo-yo test.

I won't bore you with the details of how I fared, but let's just say I made a bit of a fool of myself (watch the video above for confirmation).

Now for most sport loving Australians, summer is all about the cricket.

But the hot days are also synonymous with the gruelling pre-season every AFL club puts its players through each year.

In the 1960s it was the great John Kennedy - my grandfather's best friend in fact - who came to Hawthorn and overhauled their fitness regime.

His men, dubbed 'Kennedy's Commandos' ran up sand dunes with bricks in searing heat, pushing their bodies to the limits.

At Princes Park in the 1980s it was Robert Walls who introduced the notorious 100x100 sprints as part of Carlton's pre-season training.

And it seems that brutal regime has rung true with some current players.

While most families are getting stuck into a big breakfast on Christmas day, the Brayshaw brothers (Angus: Melbourne, Andrew; Fremantle, and Hamish; West Coast) compete against each other, running one hundred 100 metre sprints in a local park.

https://twitter.com/AliciaMuling9/status/1068396675562057728

These days, there's a whole lot of science involved in pre-season training; just ask North Melbourne's new director of high performance; Alex Moore.

Moore, who's worked with some of the world's greatest athletes including NAB superstar LeBron James, describes the yo-yo as a test of your top end aerobic conditioning

"It starts out easy, it's a bit deceptive and then it gets really hard towards the end," says Moore.

He's right. After a few laps of the yo-yo test I quickly realised I wasn't cut out for this.

Instead, (after I’d given up) I watched from the sidelines as these impressive athletes pushed themselves, both physically and mentally.

So while I may have disgraced myself that morning at Arden Street, I have a new appreciation of what players go through in the lead-up to a season.

And I certainly won't be putting my hand up to join them next year.  

As a sports reporter, you're not expected to be good at sport, or fit for that matter.

Yes, I play social netball and go to an overpriced, inner-city gym, but there's no way I could match it with the brilliant women who play in the AFLW, let alone the blokes.

So when I was asked if I'd like to join the guys at North Melbourne for a pre-season endurance run, you'd think I would have declined, right?

Wrong.

I stupidly put up my hand, and if truth be told, hardly slept a wink before the morning of the yo-yo test.

I won't bore you with the details of how I fared, but let's just say I made a bit of a fool of myself (watch the video above for confirmation).

Now for most sport loving Australians, summer is all about the cricket.

But the hot days are also synonymous with the gruelling pre-season every AFL club puts its players through each year.

In the 1960s it was the great John Kennedy - my grandfather's best friend in fact - who came to Hawthorn and overhauled their fitness regime.

His men, dubbed 'Kennedy's Commandos' ran up sand dunes with bricks in searing heat, pushing their bodies to the limits.

At Princes Park in the 1980s it was Robert Walls who introduced the notorious 100x100 sprints as part of Carlton's pre-season training.

And it seems that brutal regime has rung true with some current players.

While most families are getting stuck into a big breakfast on Christmas day, the Brayshaw brothers (Angus: Melbourne, Andrew; Fremantle, and Hamish; West Coast) compete against each other, running one hundred 100 metre sprints in a local park.

https://twitter.com/AliciaMuling9/status/1068396675562057728

These days, there's a whole lot of science involved in pre-season training; just ask North Melbourne's new director of high performance; Alex Moore.

Moore, who's worked with some of the world's greatest athletes including NAB superstar LeBron James, describes the yo-yo as a test of your top end aerobic conditioning

"It starts out easy, it's a bit deceptive and then it gets really hard towards the end," says Moore.

He's right. After a few laps of the yo-yo test I quickly realised I wasn't cut out for this.

Instead, (after I’d given up) I watched from the sidelines as these impressive athletes pushed themselves, both physically and mentally.

So while I may have disgraced myself that morning at Arden Street, I have a new appreciation of what players go through in the lead-up to a season.

And I certainly won't be putting my hand up to join them next year.  

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