Positive signs for Coolangatta

LAST week I outlined the second phase of the “Pyramid of Success” – establishing a player-led set of agreed trademarks and behaviours.

During the week the playing group at the Coolangatta AFC voted on their leadership group.

The vote was not based on mateship or even talent.

The players were asked to vote for the players they thought had best represented their trademarks on a consistent basis over the last six weeks of pre-season training.

Overall 11 players received votes. As coach I find that a tremendous positive that the team has such a strong leadership base.

Congratulations to Sam Carins, “Dougie” Hawkins, Nick Lock, Brendan White, Mark Greeney and Chris Carins on being nominated as the club's leadership group.

It is their responsibility to not only set the standard but also to have the courage and strength to challenge teammates whose behaviour may not meet our trademark behaviours.

They are our keepers of the code.

THE 2011 AFL season kicks off tonight so it's time to walk the plank and nominate my tips for the year.

Premiers: Collingwood.

Wooden Spoon: Port Adelaide.

Top 4: Collingwood, St Kilda, Sydney and Geelong.

Brownlow Medallist: Kieran Jack (Sydney Swans) and Sam Gilbert (St Kilda) in a tie.

The do as I say not as I do award: Winner is already declared – Ricky Nixon.

Rising star: David Swallow (GC Suns).

THE third phase on my Pyramid of Success centres on smart preparation.

Five key elements underpin this phase: 1. recruitment; 2. goal setting; 3. game sense-based training; 4. game plan development, and; 5. honest communication.

The great Jack Gibson once stated that a good coach is a good recruiter.

Recruitment starts with your coaching team.

You need to know your own strengths and weaknesses and recruit assistants that can offset any weakness you may have.

The second part to recruiting assistants is to choose assistants that share similar philosophies while not being yes men.

When recruiting players, recruit good people first and good footballers second.

Good people are organised, trustworthy, consistent and wanting to improve themselves.

Good footballers who are not good people are time consuming, selfish and coach killers.

The other element I will touch on today is that of game-sense training.

One of the basic things that a coach in a semi-professional league must understand is that you are time poor.

At Coolangatta we have the players for a maximum of four hours per week at training.

At this level it is nearly impossible to run training like the pros where they have speed sessions, weights, skills, game sense, video reviews and recovery.

So how do you organise a pre-season program and training session on such a limited timeframe?

Simple; game-sense based training. Achieve your fitness goals through your drills.

You don't have time for them to run laps as a warm-up so use skill-based drills that not only provide players with a genuine fitness base but also develop the habits you desire for your game plan.

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