The pre-season is the time of the year that can make an athlete very nervous, it’s the moment you bid good-bye to your break and knuckle down into a solid training block before the season starts. Our pre-season period had been pushed back a little this year, which meant some extra relaxation time and making the most of the summer months by the beach and spending some quality time with family and friends. It’s amazing what some time away can do for your body; a good break revitalizes and refreshes not only the body but also the mind. By the time January rolled around I was feeling as though I was ready to embark on what was going to be one of the toughest times of the season.
I am often asked what specific netball and other training do we do during the pre-season phase. At the Firebirds we are particularly lucky to work with the best in the business when it comes to the strength and conditioning component of our program, our trainer Brynley Abad believes the pre-season is all about building resilience in each athlete so pushing them to their limits without pushing the athlete over the edge resulting in injury, which can be a very fine line to tread. Basically a week in the life of a Firebird during pre-season looks a little like this:
- 3 x Weights Sessions (high intensity, high rep range lifting focusing on power and strength) approx. 60-90mins / session
- 3-4 x Courtwork Sessions (speed and agility focus with specific skills and drills component) 90-120mins / session
- 2 x Fitness Sessions (high intensity anaerobic and aerobic conditioning) approx. 30mins /session
- 2 x Physio & Rehab Sessions (maintaining flexibility and maintenance on areas to avoid injury) 30-60min / session
Pre-season is also a time for the team to bond with some of the new athletes that have been welcomed into the squad. Each year our pre-season camp is a new challenge where we head away for a weekend not really knowing what’s in store and told to ‘Expect the unexpected!’ It’s all about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and working through challenges with your teammates. This year we headed off to Binna Burra National Park avoiding some of the simple luxuries in life that we so often take for granted.
But pre-season isn’t always a tough time of the year, I get to do lots of fun bits and pieces away from the training court and one of those was a recent photo shoot with the amazing team at rebel shooting all of the latest netball equipment which will be available in store – make sure you pop into store to see what my favourite ASICS netball shoe is to wear on court. We also filmed a short hero campaign, which will be online soon so make sure you check it out for an insight into where it all began for me.