Australian Rules Football, Love, 9 Yrs of Performance, & 1 Packing List : Getting Ready for a USAFL National Tournament

australian rules football workouts


Most of us only have a handful of things that we truly love, things we really can’t LIVE WITHOUT

Once you take away family, children and maybe friends many people are left standing around wondering what else do I LOVE

Many people, have no hobbies, hate their job, possibly hate their spouse/significant other and maybe hate their life; and I think this really IMPACTS their ability to find the one or two other things in their life that they can really love and that will really make a difference in their QUALITY of LIFE

I have been super fortunate or maybe HARD-HEADED enough to stick at one of my hobbies long enough to be able to realize what my ‘3rd Love’ is.

That hobbie is Australian Rules Football, which we’ll get into more later

I used to believe I loved teams sports, then I used to believe it was footy, then I used to believe that what I really enjoyed was WINNING.

However, it turns out what I really love is a CONTEST:   Win, Lose, or Draw

AFL is just my vehicle for this LOVE

What I really love is being able to match my mind, body, and heart against that of another man, as a part of greater ‘team’ and see who on that day via an objective means of measure comes out ahead.

Most are afraid of this contest because they are  TOO afraid of the losing

I love the contest because win, lose, or draw you will always GAIN a LESSON

Don’t get me wrong I have had plenty of losses and I would much rather WIN, but the CONTEST is ALWAYS more VALUABLE

The contest is what allows us to savor the victories when they come.

As we get older we are supposed to get smarter, gain wisdom. I feel it is my duty to pass along a few of the little lessons that I have gained, so that others might use them, benefit from them, and build on them.

Luckily I get a forum like this to share to share my 9 years worth of USAFL Nationals lessons.

So let’s get off the self help train, and get to the bottom line, tips, tricks and techniques that will have help you have a kick ass experience at nationals or any contest you may enter and hopefully you’ll be able to bring home a ‘flag’ or two.

USAFL 2012 National Tournament Footy Training

We didn’t send a team to nationals this year so if I could’ve reacted like most and stayed home; but I wouldn’t have been inspired to write this post now.

Now that I know that I love the CONTEST and KNOW I only have a few trips in this old body; I decided what the hell and set the packing list you are about the see and went to play with play with the Austin Crows Australian Rules Football Club

Packing List:

  • CRAM – this supplement caffeine, B-vitamins, etc.. I always like to have a little ‘upper’ around just in case you have a horrible night of sleep
  • BCAA & Sea Salt – I discovered this last year I don’t like to eat when we play back to back games so this great for keep the body running without cramping or bonking
  • TENS – this is a bit of hassle but I have a dicey back so I bring plus I can loan to other players if necessary, mostly for help taking the edge off of back spasms, great when combined with ice
  • Epsom – discovered this last year too, great recovery for achy body between Saturday and Sunday matches simple, easy, and cheap, about at 20-30 min soak will help you sleep good too
  • Ice bags – I don’t like having depend finding/getting them when I get there so I packed a few ziplocks or old grocery bags
  • Under Armour Pro-CoreShort – this was first year for these bad boys and they were awesome as good if not better than the neoprene style compression
  • Compression sleeves – compression can help you get thru a lot of little nicks and sprains, I alway carry a wide variety of compression pieces, knees, thighs, ankles, etc…
  • Body Wrench & Trigger Point Ball – super small and compact SMR tools that travel great, perfect for tight backs, tweaked hamstrings, and stiff nekc/shoulders, much  better than a foam roller.
  • FloraStor & Betaine HCL – I always have this stuff regardless of where I traveled the worst thing to have when playing or presenting is a ‘jacked’ up stomach and you never know what your food environment will be like, and if you consume something that starts bothering you, generally speaking this stuff will squelch it.
  • Stick aka BoneSaw & Yoga Block – I picked this tip up and modified it from Kelly Starrett, this didn’t make the trip but great if you have a little achilles issue flaring up.  Will help dramatically help your ankle mobility & your performance
  • Holy Basil – this a clever little ayurvedic supplement that I picked up from my buddies in the UK it works great to help you get a little deeper & restful sleep while traveling, I usually take a double dose
  • Gua Sha tools – I didn’t use them on this trip but small, easy to pack, and super cheap.  Great tool if you have an achilles plantar faciitis issues.  They work with self use but having a teammate help out is always useful, plus I am sure they will be amused with your squirming when they get into some of the ‘tender’ areas

As a 38 yr old I have been playing team sports for nearly 30yrs of my life, unfortunately most never play hard enough, long enough, or get in enough CONTESTS to gather these lessons.

I am happy to share few of these tips and tricks with you in hopes that it will help you have a great experience with your sport/love.

I told my wife earlier this year that besides family, I LOVE to play football, what I really meant was that I LOVE that football provides me opportunity to be in a CONTEST.

If you are an athlete I hope that you have found a few tips to make your contests more rewarding; and if not I wish look in ‘finding’ your ‘3rd LOVE’.



Troy M Anderson

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