This week we have a chat with Matthew Bode – Physical Performance Coordinator of the Adelaide Crows. He talks us through getting the most out of your body whether you are an elite athlete or someone just starting out.
Firstly a bit about yourself, how have you found transitioning from a former player into a strength and conditioning coach? What do you feel makes a good coach?
The transition has been a great learning experience. I have an appreciation now for the time it takes a coach to prepare and review football, strength and conditioning sessions. One of the greatest things a coach can give an athlete is time. The ability to build relationships through conversing with players is very important. If a player can see he has coaches who genuinely care it is much easier to get ‘buy in’ when discussing components of a strength and conditioning program.
What parts of your elite level program would you give the general public or the every day gym goer to succeed in improving overall fitness and reaching their potential?
Many of the components in our physical performance program are relatable to the general public. Nowadays people have a lot of resources for Strength and Conditioning training techniques through online or magazines articles. Many people however seem to ignore the importance of recovery between sessions to allow themselves to get adaptation from their training. These recovery techniques don’t need to be expensive in fact the two most important are nutrition and sleep. Many people forgo these simple techniques and focus on gimmicks which can be expensive and much less effective. If people do have a focus on improving their strength and conditioning they need to look at their training with a holistic mindset and the time between sessions as time to adapt.
Speaking of recovery, how important is regular massage? And how often would players receive massage?
Massage is a key element in our recovery program. Players receive 2-3 sessions both in-season and pre-season. Massage helps with increased blood flow to muscles which then helps repair the muscle, and in turn aids performance. Massage also assists with keeping tissue supple to maintain flexibility. Many players also find massage assist with pain relief. The other component massage has much benefit is the psychological aspect. Players do like find this type of recovery relaxing and allows them to de-stress.
How important is resistance training in preventing/ overcoming injuries?
Strength training is a critical part of an athlete development program. Strength training improves all round strength, including muscle, bone, ligament and tendon. This also improves speed of movement, change of direction and balance. Strength training helps keep the body in correct alignment and protect against contact and impact.
What is a single bit of advice you would give to someone who wants to improve his or her fitness but doesn’t know where to start?
If it is a person who is coming from a low base my advice would be to get into a realistic routine. At least 30 mins (ideally in the morning) should be ‘do-able’ for most people. The more people can surround themselves with others who make them accountable the better, hence social sport, joining a running club or fitness club with a friend are all good options to improve healthy habits.