Academy Athlete

“Academy Athlete – re-inventing the way to measure students’ progress”

At The Academy we are redefining the way we profile young athletes. Academy Athlete has been specifically designed to better reflect and measure students’ progress in the fundamentals of AFL.

Twice a year students participate in athletic profiling measures equivalent to what is seen at the AFL Draft Combine, with data on their performance generating individual athletic profile reports. Whilst students love reading these reports and discussing them with their peers, they also help the High Performance Program personalise each student’s strength, conditioning, running tech and skills development sessions.

But it’s not just a matter of copying the Draft Combine – in fact, far from it! High Performance Manager, Jake Giannakis, and his team have revolutionised how we assess students’ capacities in three key areas that better reflect the demands of a football player: gym, track, and football skills.

Gym: Students participate in a range of tests to assess lower and upper body force and power. These tests measure students’ ability to express power and explosiveness that helps them:

  • Hold and maintain strong body positions
  • Restrain and tackle an opponents
  • Fend off and be able to move opponents to gain a competitive advantage
  • Transfer speed, change direction and be agile in the field of play

Track: Students do a range of linear and nonlinear sprints and running efforts that help inform their ability to:

  • Accelerate and reach max speed capacities
  • Chase down, shut down and break away from opponents
  • Account for off-line running that typically occurs in a game
  • Change direction at speed for more efficient skill execution
  • Repeat high intensity efforts to cover ground and impact multiple contests

Football Skills: And of course we test students’ football skills to help understand where we can support them in their training, including:

  • Kicking proficiency and accuracy
  • Fast and accurate handball movements
  • Cleanly taking marks and receiving the ball

This year in A Week, students and staff from all campuses came together at Windy Hill to participate in Academy Athlete. Using state-of-the-art technology, students were able to see their performance data published in real-time on scoreboards located around the facility. This helped students motivate each other and foster a healthy competition, with most only having just met for the first time that day.

We look forward to providing students with their individualised athletic profiles and and helping them develop throughout the year to reach their full potential