AFL Finals: How To Ensure Peak Performance

Finals time is what we’re all here for. It’s why we went hard at pre-season training and slugged it out on cold and rainy winter days. It’s why we put ourselves through rigorous exercise and brutal on-field battles that left us battered and bruised.

We want the flag and we must maintain our momentum to get it. But maintaining this momentum can be difficult, especially as there is a risk of season fatigue and finals nerves combining to impede on our ability to perform on the biggest stage.

It’s for this reason that we must work hard to maintain peak physical and mental performance during the most exciting time of the footy season!

Grab your training gear or AFL official merchandise, because here are some vital tips on how to do just that:

Stick to your regular training schedule

    You may be thinking that it’s finals, and so it’s the best time to amplify your training schedule. You want to make yourself as fast, fit and ripped as possible to really bring it to the opposition – bad idea! Trying to optimise your fitness during finals time could easily lead to burnout, and this could lower your performance on game day.

    The last thing you want is to perform at an optimal level throughout the entire season only to falter in finals due to overexerting yourself. It’s definitely best to leave that fitness-lifting training to the off-season – your body and your performance will thank you for it when you’re lifting the trophy!

    Stick to the fuel you know that works

    Noticing a pattern here? The pattern being that there is absolutely no need to change up what has taken you and your team to the biggest stage. Therefore, there is no need to try any new pregame fueling system that you think will optimise your game even more.

    Stick to what you know: ensure that you stay well-hydrated and eat the snacks that have worked for you all season. After all, it’s worked all year, why should it be any different in finals time?

    Practise mindfulness

    Mindfulness is playing a more important role in sport and this is especially so in finals time. It is basically taking the time to look after your mental health – something which is imperative at this exciting-yet-stressful time of the year.

    Athletes, like yourself, experience differing levels of stress during finals time. Because, there is no denying it: there is a lot of pressure to win that flag. Therefore, it’s imperative to practise various stress-reducing techniques like mindful breathing to manage any feelings of pressure that may inhibit your game.

    Stick to what you know before the game

    Because it’s worked all year, so why shake up that pregame training routine that helped you all along? Whether it’s listening to particular music, doing a particular stretching routine or practising the aforementioned mindful breathing, you know what works for you and it will work the same in finals time.

    Check-in with your physio

    Just because it’s finals time doesn’t mean that you should avoid your physio. Just because you have a niggling issue it doesn’t mean they are going to tell you to miss the afl sports finals. Players often put off seeing their physio at this time because of this worry but end up doing more damage to an issue that the physio could have helped before the match itself.

    So don’t avoid seeing your physio – they can help optimise your performance!

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