So far this season, the Wallabies have made 1474 passes, 24 tries and have an 86% tackle success rate. We’re hoping those stats come in handy when they play Italy this weekend! They are one of the hardest training sporting teams around and one of the most respected. So we asked Head Strength and Conditioning coach Hayden Masters for his tips for how to train like the Wallabies.
1) Don’t just focus on your fitness levels
Sure, the Wallabies are elite athletes and there is no denying that a high level of physical fitness is essential to be part of the team, but that’s not all it takes. Hayden recommends that apart from an all-round fitness regime, you need to focus on nutrition and energy levels. “Good food, adequate levels of hydration and getting enough sleep are the cornerstone of pulling all of that physical work together,” he says.
2) Train for mental strength
Playing in front of a packed stadium where every move is critical and every mistake is analysed isn’t easy, nor is working up the stamina to get out of bed and train nearly every day. Apart from years of training, according to Hayden, it also takes incredible personal drive and commitment to even make it to that point. Training your mental strength is just as important as training your physical strength.
3) Keep moving every day
There’s no rest for the Wallabies and apart from the game on Saturday night, their week is booked out from start to finish. As Hayden says “training starts straight away after the game”. Every day’s training schedule has an element of fitness, strength or recovery to it, with the key being some sort of movement every day.
4) Change your diet to suit your needs
According to Hayden, healthy balanced eating is the key to successful training, especially if you cater your eating pattern to your changing needs. “We eat very well on tour,” explains Hayden, “but during the week our nutritional needs change. We eat high energy diets on training days, which fall earlier in the week, and then we switch to lower energy diets on days off as we taper into the game.”
4) Remember recovery is your friend
One of the major focuses of the Wallabies training schedule is recovery. Whether it’s a massage or an ice bath, post work recovery is built in to the weekly plan. “Recovery is the focus,” says Hayden. “and in the first 48 hours after a game, it’s the most critical element of our performance.”