WITH the AFLW pre season just around the corner, the Game Changers have been fine tuning their skills so they can hit the ground running.
Skill Acquisition and Development Coach Wayne Schultz has been working closely with the group on 'open-and-closed' skills to get them in the right mindset for pre-season training.
Joining Schultz on the track was AFL Development Coach Luke Power, who was able to use his years of experience at an AFL level to give the Schultz and the team a unique perspective into technique development and mindset heading into the season.
“We’re in a pre-pre season phase, where one night a week it’s coach guided, so on Tuesday’s nights, I’ll lead the session and support the players with their closed and open skill development,” Schultz said.
“That’s allowed the program to have some support from others internally at this stage with restrictions, but it’s been amazing to have a different voice of expertise come in and support the players and Luke Power has been fantastic in that and we really appreciate his support in that space.”
The other two sessions are player guided which, Schultz believes, will allow the group to harness their training skills and be able to apply them outside of structured training sessions.
“The players are driving their training session, which is really awesome to see, they’re doing an outstanding job,” he said.
“Right now, it’s a real balanced approach with player led, guiding the sessions with a whistle around their neck, and once we get into pre-season, that balance shifts a little bit.”
Once the season gets closer, the training will transition from player led to coach led, with Schultz aiming to get the best out of the team every session leading up to games.
“A bit of a focus for us certainly going into the 'pre pre-season' phase, and certainly that we’re not far off the pre-season, is just ensuring we have purpose in everything we do,” he said.
“Quality and how we’re applying our time is really important and continuing to drive the focus and being present during our practice is a really big one, quality in our practice, everything that we’re doing is a real key pillar for us this season.”
Driving the standards of quality training is the senior group, with Schultz mentioning a few players that were standing out every training session.
“I’ve absolutely loved 'Kez' (Harrington) and Elise O’Dea, they’re absolutely driving standards, Darcy V, it’s wonderful to see how we use our time, they’re driving the standards there and the way they communicate with their teammates has been first class,” he said.
“Jess Dal Pos, it’s amazing to have her on board, she’s been really super in her application and how she’s adjusted into the program.”
As well as having the senior players driving a high standard throughout the group, Schultz has been equally impressed with the younger group who have adjusted quickly to the demands of the highest level.
“Brooke Vickers has been one that has just adjusted really well into the program and is doing a wonderful job,” he said.
“I’m really impressed with Mimi Hill, she's starting to get into that light contact phase which is really exciting and she has been really superb, watching her evolve and getting back to where she wants to be.”