T Nation

Coach Advice


Hey Guys, This site is fantastic and I have really used it as a reference to a lot of my own training. As well as the Authors, I have found that the T-Nation forums are full of knowledgeable Coaches, trainers and the like.

This will be a bit long winded but I am hoping that some people might see this as an opportunity to offer some of your advice and experience.

I've just moved into a head coach position for a High School Australian Rules team. Our 2006 season starts in 2 weeks and the team is about consisting of mostly year 11 students. So next year is going to be our big year with them all moving into year 12.

The Sport: Australian Rules Football is dependant on all energy systems, has a high skill dependency and is full contact.

Season Breakdown:

Off-season: Mid October - Jan 1.
3 sessions per week @ 2hrs duration. 1-2 outside team practice sessions is often prescribed.

Pre-Season: Jan 1 - Mid March:
3 sessions per week @ 2hrs duration. 1 -2 outside team practice.

Pre-Season Matches: Mid March ? Early April
3 sessions per week @ 2hrs. 1 game per week.

In Season: Mid April ? Mid September (Depending on teams success)
2-3 sessions per week @2hrs. 1 game per week.

Break: Mid September to Mid October

The previous coach was staunch Tudor Bompa. He followed the Anatomical Adaptation, Max Strength Phase, Conversion to Power and Maintenance to the letter.

The first question I want to ask is.

What methods of periodisation do you guys use for your teams? Other than just giving the name, can you give a bit of a brief description, link or name of a book that is worth pursuing? Also, first hand experiences would be most appreciated.

Once I get enough posts I will move on with the questions. IE structuring the off-season and etc. Thanks for any efforts you might put in.

A brief intro on your experience and quals would be great too!


Hey Stan,

Good luck with your Chargers! I am a basketball coach and I have been coaching for about 10 years now. I have coached 4 championship school teams.

I used to go Bompa all the way but recently have moved onto Peter Twist. No real reason why I changed but the results have been great. I bought his Strength & Conditioning for Hockey Manual and changed to to be applicable to basketball and it has worked very well.

For a link to the way Twist structures the season see


It's not bad and should help you on your way.

Aussie rules is a tough sport to prepare for as you have to be fast, strong, aerobically fit and skilled. Quite the juggling act.

Good post. It will really be interesting to see what the other T-Nation faithful can come up with.


I reckon you should stick with Bompa. He was ahead of his time and his stuff is easy to follow. It is also very applicable to team sports.

His book: Periodization for Sports is excellent.

Easy to slot into Aussie rules too.

Anatomical Adaptation: First 1/2 Off-Season where you can train for Aerobic and a little Hypertrophy.
Max Strength: 2nd Off Season where you go for strength and anaerobic conditioning.
Conversion to Power: Pre season before the games where you focus on SAQ and Muscular Power.
Maintenance: Throughout the season.


I saw Peter Twist up in Sydney, and some of his stuff was good, there was way too many 'functional' terms thrown around.

Go Bompa. Many athletes over many, many years owe their gold medals, championships and world records to his work.


The last thing I want is one of those functional training debates but I think Twist is definetly onto something.

His NHL team had the lowest amount of injuries in every season that he was the S&C coach. To me that says alot. Not only, do I wan't my ballers to be conditioned, I want them to actually play 100% of the year.

Personally I have used both Twist and Bompa. I'll go Twist for the moment.

Bompa may have been ahead of his time, but things haven't changed with him in years.

Stan, you'll find the link I had in my original post very applicable to an Australian Rules Season.


I put Twist in the same boat as Chek. Clever marketers that throw around a lot of big words and ultimately are looking to sell their products.