Sunday, December 10, 2017


Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, or in this case failing to set the standard is failing to reach the standard.

We've all heard of or been in teams who might not have had the cash and resources as other local/amateur teams but still manages to bat far above it's weight from a string culture and team ethos.

The team that I've played the last 6 years for has been a nomad team of sorts, having been moved from ground to ground over it's 50 year existence, including a recess year in the 2000's.

These constant "rebuilds" have meant that we've pulled players from all over and although we're all pretty good mates with the current crop, without years in the trenches together, the culture of the club on and off the field isn't as strong as it could be in my opinion.

Setting the standard early and being hard on it can be THE ingredient that takes you a level above what you're team has ever done before.

Bringing us back to the player motivation continuum where at one end you have the players who play for fun or just to play with mates vs players who play for ultimate success at the other end, team culture and setting hard standards squeezes that continuum closer together, probably the biggest battle a L/A coach has it's it's hands.

As a team you want to unpredictable to the opposition yet predictable to your teammates so your style of play is proactive rather then reactive.

Building these types of things also requires more responsibility to handed to, as well as excepted by, the playing group.

Here's some 1%er type of things you can use to help with building team culture, setting team standards and becoming predictable to your teammates: 

THE 1 METER RULE - if you are within 1m of the ball then you MUST GO AND GET IT and your teammates will rely on you to do this and react accordingly. If you don't do this, and your teammates already react as though you will, then everyone is out of position on the rebound.

BASE YOUR TEAM ON WORK ETHIC - regardless of the talent you have, it can be unpredictable, and just like the Tigers did in the AFL this year, effort can be brought each and every week and give you a chance to win even when the talent is not firing

FOOTY JUMPER STAYS OFF THE GROUND - my brother worked for Richmond for for 5 years or so and I think this was one of their team rules to build respect for the jumper. Everyone raves about playing for the jumper but make it REAL to the players.

WIN THE BALL OR MAKE THE TACKLE - this is one of the biggies from the coaching ethos of Paul Roos. Similar to the 1m rule, you either win the ball or make the tackle. That's it. 2 options. The responsibility of the player involved here is paramount, they have to make 1 of these 2 things happen because that's what will be expected.

You could make a million of these but they need to be specific to your playing group and where they are as a team right now, then they van be built upon in the coming seasons.

As I've mentioned with fitness data, setting the standard and going back over it time and time again is what will drive this. If you do a time trial and don't give out any times, retest to beat them or make them "public", the players will not find any motivation to set these standards, reach them, drive them and go above them.

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