AFL Training Drills: Post-Game Recovery Methods to Prevent Injuries
Posted on 04/09/2020

After any Australian football game, if you’re observant, you’ll see that there’s more to post-game recovery methods than just the usual stretching routines in AFL training drills. Today’s modern online AFL training on post-game recovery goes beyond the traditional. At Henley Beach in Adelaide after a home game, you can see pods of Port Adelaide Power or Adelaide Crows players standing waist-deep in water, chatting and shivering, in the middle of winter! After a Collingwood Magpie game, you’ll see players’ various body parts wrapped or dipped in ice and water, some immersing themselves halfway in tubs of ice.

Modern post-game recovery

What does “modern” post-game recovery look like just after a game? You’ll see players:

  • Eating fruit or drinking soda drinks.

  • Wrapping or dipping aching body parts (especially parts that have been hit or knocked hard accidentally) in ice for about 15 minutes.

  • Taking an ice bath.

  • Wrapping aching body parts in compression bandages to reduce swelling or inflammation.

  • Eating fish ‘n chips, chicken wrap, or drinking a sports drink.

The above is a far cry from the traditional cold shower and drinking lots of water that was normal post-game recovery only ten years ago. Traditional quadriceps, hamstring, groin, and calf stretches that were recovery staples in the past are now gone from all footy teams down to the state league levels. 

The name of the post-game now is to do minor stretching to bring the body down to normal temperature. Immersions in ice is then done to reduce swelling or inflammation in body parts, or the whole body. And this continues the next day if teams are near the beach, even in the middle of winter. Some teams now have pools with unheated water in their home stadiums so players can come back the next day to immerse in cold water.

As for the post-game recovery food consumption, it’s merely to bring back sugar levels and to satisfy food cravings like junk food, pizza, or burgers, and soda drinks. This is a welcome relief from a daily diet that is heavy on vegetables, fruits, water, and carbohydrates. After all, who feels like eating a salad after a physical contact game like footy?

Why not showers?

Showers are no longer utilised for cold water immersion because of the lack of hydrostatic pressure that is needed on desired musculature. You need to be immersed in water to have the effect of bringing down any swelling. Coldwater spraying on arms, legs, and the body does not have the same effect.

One on One Football Online Programs

One on One Football is an online platform wherein potential footballers can connect with accredited AFL coaches either for private coaching sessions or with online AFL training skills programs. One on One’s online training programs includes strength, running skills, and a bonus warm-up course that is included free if you enrol in any program. You can also enrol in joint training packages that combine different programs. The training videos also include post-game recovery exercises and methods. Visit One on One Football today at and level up your training with our online training programs.

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