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Thread: Coaching and Plan B

  1. #25
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    And we'd have lost. Adelaide were our absolute bogey team back then. We had only beaten them once in the previous yonks of seasons. West Coast did us a huge favour in getting rid of Adelaide in the finals in both 2005 and 2006 to give us at least some chance of winning.

    Strangely, I look back at the 2006 grand final with a little fondness. Although we came up one point short, it was a wonderfully gutsy effort to come back from that dreadful first half and nearly pinch it - Kirk's dogged brilliance, some miraculous goals to nearly close the gap, and it was the game that was the making of Ted as a Swan. I'll never forget the moment late in the final quarter when he kicked the ball at almost right angles to where he'd intended and fell over in the process, all because he'd run himself to the absolute point of exhaustion.

    It may have felt a whole lot different had we not finally broken the drought the previous year. That certainly softened the blow of losing in 2006.

  2. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    And we'd have lost. Adelaide were our absolute bogey team back then. We had only beaten them once in the previous yonks of seasons. West Coast did us a huge favour in getting rid of Adelaide in the finals in both 2005 and 2006 to give us at least some chance of winning.

    Strangely, I look back at the 2006 grand final with a little fondness. Although we came up one point short, it was a wonderfully gutsy effort to come back from that dreadful first half and nearly pinch it - Kirk's dogged brilliance, some miraculous goals to nearly close the gap, and it was the game that was the making of Ted as a Swan. I'll never forget the moment late in the final quarter when he kicked the ball at almost right angles to where he'd intended and fell over in the process, all because he'd run himself to the absolute point of exhaustion.

    It may have felt a whole lot different had we not finally broken the drought the previous year. That certainly softened the blow of losing in 2006.
    We were a better side in 2006 than 2005. We had a shocking first half in GF and missed some sitters. Big Bad Barry had a shocker. Kirk was sensational inspiring comeback. You are right about Adelaide and for years we struggled to beat Collingwood- that was a very bitter pill to swallow!

  3. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    It may have felt a whole lot different had we not finally broken the drought the previous year. That certainly softened the blow of losing in 2006.
    I feel the same about 2006. I'm sure I would have felt different if we lost 2005. I was able to watch the footy shows the next day and read the papers. The only thing that depressed me was when the Eagles were presented to the supporters with the cup. Compare that to 14 & 16 where I had a complete media ban!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Fever View Post
    We were a better side in 2006 than 2005. We had a shocking first half in GF and missed some sitters. Big Bad Barry had a shocker. Kirk was sensational inspiring comeback. You are right about Adelaide and for years we struggled to beat Collingwood- that was a very bitter pill to swallow!
    The impressive part about 2012 is that we beat Adelaide and Collingwood and won at the MCG, the 3 things we had struggled to do.

  4. #28
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    There have been a couple of really illuminating articles about the new frontier of coaching being mind training and how it is done at AFL clubs:

    The game in the brain
    Mindfulness and meditation helped Richmond break their AFL premiership drought

    It seems that the only clubs that are pursuing this in AFL up until last season were Richmond (3 seasons) and Adelaide (1st season). Other clubs have not done anything approaching the level of depth or integration with their footy program. To me, this makes sense. Neuroscience increasingly shows the power of our minds to affect and improve our performance. (If you haven't seen Redesign my brain which was on ABC presented by Todd Sampson it is really eye opening and inspiring in this regard.)

    I would like to see us trying to catch up with this. When I had the opportunity to raise this with the players recently they said they don't really do anything like this already, although the player had read about Richmond's pioneering of this and seemed interested.

    Within the domain of mind-performance, it seems there are various sub-domains, including training group performance and momentum, a cutting edge new and as-yet-unproven area. One of the key areas for developing minds and having success is social connectedness. This reminds me of Kirk years ago declaring his love for his bloods brothers. It is also the area where Sydney gets a special mention in the first quoted article above:

    "the second thing is social connectedness, and the clubs that can create the healthy connected cultures are 100 per cent going to be the ones that thrive.
    “From the outside I see that Sydney always seems to have been a club that put culture first and has done it really, really well.
    “You see them consistently up there, winning or in the top eight, top four, and that is testament to the fact that they realised early on that this stuff does matter.”


    This last bit also rang true with what the players told me. Tippett made a point of praising the strong sociability of the club and how the players are all actually friends and socialise together. So some encouragement there. But I'm disappointed to hear we don't seem to be pursuing this more vigorously given the success record it is quickly assembling both in Australia and the US.

    I say channel the Force we should, and use it the best we can!

  5. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    There have been a couple of really illuminating articles about the new frontier of coaching being mind training and how it is done at AFL clubs:

    The game in the brain
    Mindfulness and meditation helped Richmond break their AFL premiership drought

    It seems that the only clubs that are pursuing this in AFL up until last season were Richmond (3 seasons) and Adelaide (1st season). Other clubs have not done anything approaching the level of depth or integration with their footy program. To me, this makes sense. Neuroscience increasingly shows the power of our minds to affect and improve our performance. (If you haven't seen Redesign my brain which was on ABC presented by Todd Sampson it is really eye opening and inspiring in this regard.)

    I would like to see us trying to catch up with this. When I had the opportunity to raise this with the players recently they said they don't really do anything like this already, although the player had read about Richmond's pioneering of this and seemed interested.

    Within the domain of mind-performance, it seems there are various sub-domains, including training group performance and momentum, a cutting edge new and as-yet-unproven area. One of the key areas for developing minds and having success is social connectedness. This reminds me of Kirk years ago declaring his love for his bloods brothers. It is also the area where Sydney gets a special mention in the first quoted article above:

    "the second thing is social connectedness, and the clubs that can create the healthy connected cultures are 100 per cent going to be the ones that thrive.
    “From the outside I see that Sydney always seems to have been a club that put culture first and has done it really, really well.
    “You see them consistently up there, winning or in the top eight, top four, and that is testament to the fact that they realised early on that this stuff does matter.”


    This last bit also rang true with what the players told me. Tippett made a point of praising the strong sociability of the club and how the players are all actually friends and socialise together. So some encouragement there. But I'm disappointed to hear we don't seem to be pursuing this more vigorously given the success record it is quickly assembling both in Australia and the US.

    I say channel the Force we should, and use it the best we can!
    The Swans used Transcendental Meditation to good effect with a number of players under Ian Stewart in the late 70s, but it was never employed across the board systematically like the Tigers did with their mindfulness techniques last year. At least one current Swans player, a very senior one, practises TM and it would be great if more could learn. There is now a huge body of scientific research demonstrating the benefits of this particular technique and a lot of it relates specifically to athletic performance.

  6. #30
    I think one of the big keys with mindfulness being applied to peak performance is that there is no hiding from behaviours that counter the common goal of finals footy and a GF win

    For the tigers having an amazing talent like dusty become more aware of his behaviours that go against the grain is solid hold

    Any behaviours / tendencies that could de rail a premeiership is brought to the Surface for all to see !

  7. #31
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    Firstly, since this is probably going to be quite a long addition to Bloodspirit's post, I won't make it longer by quoting the post. Though I will make things a bit longer, by starting with a graph of the inverted u hypothesis of arousal and sports performance: a theory that many of you would have heard of and many wouldn't.

    inverted u.jpg

    But of course, there's not much point including a graph, without explaining what it means. So, the essence of the inverted u hypothesis, is that performance suffers if the player is under-aroused or over-aroused, but at the right level of arousal, there is a state of optimum performance. That is, if a player is bored, not committed to the team, or distracted by other issues, then they don't have enough arousal for a high level of performance. However, it's not the case, that more the arousal, the better the performance. There comes a time, when too much arousal has a negative effect on performance. This can be from such things as, excessive stress affecting muscle coordination, or a panicky mental state causing the player to question their competence and to start thinking about learned subroutines that are best just left to the subconscious.

    Anyway, why I mention this, is that I think the two mentioned strategies of Richmond are a way of minimising the negative arousal levels. Though to my mind, one of them is much more likely to be effective, than the other.

    Firstly, to the one that I think is the more effective: the encouragement of an increased level of communication between all those involved in the team. To me, this goes to the fundamentals of being human. That is, pretty well all of human evolution took place in small groups; with a virtuous circle driving that evolution. The virtuous circle being, a level of communication and cooperation within human groups, increases the intelligence and survival skills of those within the group; that increased increased intelligence then increases the ability to communicate and cooperate, which in turn increases intelligence,and so on. So, without going to far into a pet subject, there a number of things that are essential for this process. Probably the most essential, is the recognition that other members of the group are on your side, and that by helping them, you are also helping yourself. Also important, are the ability to recognise what the challenges and problems are, to honestly discuss these challenges amongst the group and to arrive at workable solutions.

    I tend to think that this was very important to Roosy, when he took over as Swans coach. In his book, he often talked about what he thought was counterproductive in the methods of coaches that he had played under, and how he thought that he could make an improvement. What he seemed to dislike most, was how it was pretty well a tradition for the coach to be dictator, with very little input from the players on game plans, training methods, or what was working for the player and what wasn't. So when he took over, he went about encouraging discussion, by increasing team meetings and instituting a democratically elected leadership group; as opposed to the standard coach and captain. This was important, because it recognised that players have different personalities. For instance, in an situation where there was only one captain, if a player had a personality clash with the captain, then they were less likely to communicate effectively and more likely to develop hostility. Whereas, with a variety of personalities in the leadership group, a player should find at least one person, who they are easily able to discuss issues with.

    Anyway, since I started with the inverted u, I better discuss how it fits in. The root causes for poor performance, due to under-arousal, can be things like, not feeling a strong team bond, thinking that the game plan is crap, or not feeling that your contribution will make a difference. Good communication can counteract all of those. Open discussion usually creates stronger personal bonds. Discussing tactics amongst a team, where a range of options are considered, where most players voice an opinion on the pros and cons of the issues, and where there is agreement on the eventual plan, means that more more players feel attached to the game plan and therefore, are more motivated to implement that plan. While talking about the roles that each player can perform, in order to carry out the game plan, helps to reassure individuals that their contribution will make a difference to group performance. In regards to over-arousal, some causes for the excessive stress, are: attempting to do too much by yourself; anger at your team mates, if you feel that they are shirking; and panic, if you become convinced that things are just not going to work like they should. Once again, discussion and team bonding helps to counteract these things. You are less likely to angrily attempt to perform other player's roles, if you trust them to fulfil their duties. While panic is less likely to be a problem, if you have built a culture of problem solving and of supporting each other.

    Hmmm, I was going to discuss why I suspect that Richmond introducing mindfulness practices may be less effective, but I have run out of time, so maybe later. Though I'll just finishing by saying that Richmond seems to have gone further than Roosy did, in their encouragement of team bonding. So if anyone has read the book on their season, I would be interested in hearing what they actually did. Otherwise, I may have to read a book about the Richmond football club.

  8. #32
    Carpe Noctem CureTheSane's Avatar
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    Too many comments to make about that last post.
    Most of which are not appropriate.
    Ima stop myself...
    The difference between insanity and genius is measured only in success.

  9. #33
    Senior Player dejavoodoo44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CureTheSane View Post
    Too many comments to make about that last post.
    Most of which are not appropriate.
    Ima stop myself...
    So, by not discussing something, are you trying to make the obtuse point, that discussion is not worthwhile? Odd attitude for a discussion site.

  10. #34
    Carpe Noctem CureTheSane's Avatar
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    lol, seems my comment aroused you?

    It was a joke.
    Don't call me obtuse or having an old attitude.
    Call me immature, smutty, childish, crude, or worse... off topic.
    The difference between insanity and genius is measured only in success.

  11. #35
    Senior Player dejavoodoo44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CureTheSane View Post
    lol, seems my comment aroused you?

    It was a joke.
    Don't call me obtuse or having an old attitude.
    Call me immature, smutty, childish, crude, or worse... off topic.
    I don't think I actually called you anything? But I was insinuating, that it might be more helpful, that if you have an objection to my post about the benefits of open discussion, to let me know what that objection was. Then we could discuss the issue openly.

  12. #36
    Carpe Noctem CureTheSane's Avatar
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    OK, so it seems I need to further clarify.
    I was going to ask exactly what amount of porn the players should be watching before the game to get the sufficiently aroused but not too aroused.
    I thought about how much abstinence from girlfriends and wives would be considered ideal.
    You used the terms 'root causes' 'team bond' 'personal bonds' 'attempting to do too much by yourself' all in the one paragraph. Dissecting that could have been fun.

    My initial comment was a fun pseudo-sexualisation of your post - something I now kinda regret.
    Sorry.
    The difference between insanity and genius is measured only in success.

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