List Mgmt. Kevin White - Head of Performance - Welcome to the NMFC

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giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
78,675
191,773
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Chicago Bulls

North Melbourne has appointed Kevin White as Head of Performance for season 2022 and beyond.

White joins the club from Collingwood, where he was responsible for leading its high performance program for the past three years.

Hailing from Ireland, he initially joined the Pies’ sports science department in 2011, following an eight month international sports science scholarship with the club.

North GM football, Brady Rawlings, said White will be a valuable addition at Arden St.

“Kevin has been involved at Collingwood over a ten year period, which led to managing the performance team over the last three seasons. Over this period he has become a leader within the AFL industry,” Rawlings said.

“In that time he lead an overhaul of the Magpies’ fitness regime and we’re excited to add his expertise, experience and knowledge to our football program.

“We are excited with the group of young talent we have and we are at a crucial point to set us up for future success. We believe Kevin can help lead our on-field success.”
 

giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
78,675
191,773
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Chicago Bulls

Clubs and counties can learn from the AFL's injury spike
Maurice Brosnan

6-7 minutes


Not long after the AFL season roared into life, several players came to a grinding halt. A spike in soft-tissue injuries was widely predicted and duly arrived with over 15 hamstring issues as well as a host of calf and quad problems across the last three rounds alone.

Collingwood is one of the few clubs that has managed to avoid this fate and the Melbourne outfit put the credit for that firmly at an Irishman’s door.

UL-graduate Kevin White is in his third season as the Pies' High-Performance manager having initially joined the club’s Sport Science department in 2011.

They currently sit on five wins from seven and there are only two soft-tissue injuries to show for it, a fact that White takes pride in.

“I was confident coming back we could jump right into it. I knew we would handle it. I know my view is opposite to a lot of people,” he explains. He is speaking from Perth, where the club will be based for the foreseeable after Victoria re-entered lockdown earlier this month.

“Some teams are more relaxed about it or thinking ‘it is bound to happen. It hasn’t been a perfect season.’ If there is a spike in injuries, it is easy for high-performance staff to say, ‘we’d always get that because it was compromised.’ I think that is an easy out. We want to use this period to show what good programming looks like. There are real challenges and the best plans will stand out.

“Let your programme shine - show the difference between a good programme and a bad one.”

White first arrived at the club in 2009 on placement. In recent years he has overseen a total rehaul of their approach to training. The Irishman strongly believes there are fundamental issues with the preparation of teams, whether it be GAA or AFL. In particular, he points to the pre-season.

Protracted, punishing and often, counterproductive.

“It is a problem at home and here. Pre-seasons are way too long. This time, players are not going into a season in a fatigued state. That happens too often. During the isolation period, we made sure everyone trained specifically for the demands of the game.

“We had two injuries out of 47 players. One player did a calf, another did a hamstring. Those two boys had red flags when they came back. One was in Perth alone with no one to train with. We questioned if he could follow the programme. The second one had multiple issues during the pre-season, he was more susceptible to reinjury.”

Over the next few weeks, intercounty GAA teams will undoubtedly look to garner some pointers on returning to play from the AFL. Yet for the past few years, the AFL has been looking right back.

White is one of several Irish coaches running strength and conditioning departments and is extremely complimentary towards the average Irish teenage GAA athlete when compared to an Australian.

That physical prowess is only one step on the road to success. Preparation is about much more than generic strength/power programmes. Every drill needs to have a specific purpose, every session should be tailored towards the game. That can be the crucial difference come championship.
“If you are only thinking about this now, it is too late. The biggest thing is how you train. Are teams training for the demands of the game? Are you training with a ball? Are you training under fatigue?

"You come back and go from nought to 100. In pre-season quad injuries are number one because of all the extra kicking. Calf injuries are number two because players aren’t used to high-intensity changes in direction.

“Too often teams just do running, running, running for volume. Even here, they used to separate their running programmes from their skill-based ones. It was almost backwards. There would be skills early in the session, a low volume. 70% of the session is running. That is madness. Boys save themselves during skills because they know running is coming up. Coaches don’t get the most out of it from a football point of view.

“My thing is if you want players to enhance performance, the demands of the game are vital. Every type of running programme or conditioning at this club has an emphasis on ball in hand, chasing a player, dynamic movement. We never, ever run laps. We do not do straight line running. It is positional specific work or match play.”

The principle is applicable to any sport or code.

Everyone trains to play, so every training is designed to make them a better player.

“Our running drill has seven or eight coaches spread around the ground with a whistle. It is one v one. One player is alert to where the whistle is coming from.

“He is under fatigue, staying switched on, testing reactive response to changes in the game. He has to get the ball off coaches as many times as possible with a defensive player trying to interrupt or spoil it.

“Full body contact is involved as they are running. They can grapple or bump, it is not straight lines.”

For some teams, things will inevitably go wrong. White stresses that when the injuries do come, that is the time to learn from them. What did their lead up look like? What was missed?

The chaos is a challenge. Collingwood, with White at the helm, is determined to overcome it.

“It can be exciting. People talk about whoever wins this flag will have an asterisk beside their name because of everything going on. For us as a club, we see it as the most difficult premiership to ever win. That’s what drives us on.”
 

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giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
78,675
191,773
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Chicago Bulls

North Melbourne poach Collingwood Magpies high performance chief Kevin White as AFL off-field changes continue


The winds of change continue to sweep through Collingwood with high-performance chief Kevin White poised to join North Melbourne.
Irishman White has been at the Magpies for more than a decade, including four seasons in the club’s senior high-performance role, having replaced Bill Davoren at the end of 2017.


But according to industry sources, Sunday’s game against Essendon will be his final one at the Pies, with White to take up the corresponding role at Arden Street.

White will replace Matt Turnbull, who resigned from his post at the Kangaroos mid-season. His move to the Roos was given the Magpies’ blessing.

During White’s time in his role the Pies made a grand final in 2018, a preliminary final in 2019 and a semi-final last year before plummeting down the ladder this year.

Veteran football department chief Geoff Walsh departed, replaced by Graham Wright, before list manager Ned Guy finished up mid-season following a tumultuous 2020 trade period. Guy’s position was in-part filled by Troy Selwood, but the former Brisbane Lions player stood down for health reasons just six weeks into his tenure.

Most prominently the Pies parted ways with club great Nathan Buckley who had been senior coach for the best part of a decade. Key Buckley lieutenants Robert Harvey - the Pies’ current interim coach - and Brenton Sanderson face uncertain futures at the club.

North are also going through an off-field restructure. The Roos are on the hunt for a general manager of football performance having split football department chief Brady Rawlings’ role in two earlier this year. Rawlings remains at the club, taking on the more specific role of general manager of football talent.

“As some clubs have already identified, the role of a football GM in today’s environment has become an immense job and is too large a portfolio for just one person,” North chief executive Ben Amarfio said last month when the announcement was made.

“This new dual structure allows us to not only bring another senior person into our football program but importantly, place the necessary focus on the most important aspect of our current rebuild which is talent acquisition.

“It gives us the chance to completely re-imagine and develop this vital part of our football program.”

North have been consigned to their first wooden spoon in 49 years while the Pies could finish second-bottom depending on results this weekend.
 

r_boy

Premiership Player
Aug 12, 2007
3,922
1,133
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
asdf

Clubs and counties can learn from the AFL's injury spike
Maurice Brosnan

6-7 minutes


Not long after the AFL season roared into life, several players came to a grinding halt. A spike in soft-tissue injuries was widely predicted and duly arrived with over 15 hamstring issues as well as a host of calf and quad problems across the last three rounds alone.

Collingwood is one of the few clubs that has managed to avoid this fate and the Melbourne outfit put the credit for that firmly at an Irishman’s door.

UL-graduate Kevin White is in his third season as the Pies' High-Performance manager having initially joined the club’s Sport Science department in 2011.

They currently sit on five wins from seven and there are only two soft-tissue injuries to show for it, a fact that White takes pride in.

“I was confident coming back we could jump right into it. I knew we would handle it. I know my view is opposite to a lot of people,” he explains. He is speaking from Perth, where the club will be based for the foreseeable after Victoria re-entered lockdown earlier this month.

“Some teams are more relaxed about it or thinking ‘it is bound to happen. It hasn’t been a perfect season.’ If there is a spike in injuries, it is easy for high-performance staff to say, ‘we’d always get that because it was compromised.’ I think that is an easy out. We want to use this period to show what good programming looks like. There are real challenges and the best plans will stand out.

“Let your programme shine - show the difference between a good programme and a bad one.”

White first arrived at the club in 2009 on placement. In recent years he has overseen a total rehaul of their approach to training. The Irishman strongly believes there are fundamental issues with the preparation of teams, whether it be GAA or AFL. In particular, he points to the pre-season.

Protracted, punishing and often, counterproductive.

“It is a problem at home and here. Pre-seasons are way too long. This time, players are not going into a season in a fatigued state. That happens too often. During the isolation period, we made sure everyone trained specifically for the demands of the game.

“We had two injuries out of 47 players. One player did a calf, another did a hamstring. Those two boys had red flags when they came back. One was in Perth alone with no one to train with. We questioned if he could follow the programme. The second one had multiple issues during the pre-season, he was more susceptible to reinjury.”

Over the next few weeks, intercounty GAA teams will undoubtedly look to garner some pointers on returning to play from the AFL. Yet for the past few years, the AFL has been looking right back.

White is one of several Irish coaches running strength and conditioning departments and is extremely complimentary towards the average Irish teenage GAA athlete when compared to an Australian.

That physical prowess is only one step on the road to success. Preparation is about much more than generic strength/power programmes. Every drill needs to have a specific purpose, every session should be tailored towards the game. That can be the crucial difference come championship.
“If you are only thinking about this now, it is too late. The biggest thing is how you train. Are teams training for the demands of the game? Are you training with a ball? Are you training under fatigue?

"You come back and go from nought to 100. In pre-season quad injuries are number one because of all the extra kicking. Calf injuries are number two because players aren’t used to high-intensity changes in direction.

“Too often teams just do running, running, running for volume. Even here, they used to separate their running programmes from their skill-based ones. It was almost backwards. There would be skills early in the session, a low volume. 70% of the session is running. That is madness. Boys save themselves during skills because they know running is coming up. Coaches don’t get the most out of it from a football point of view.

“My thing is if you want players to enhance performance, the demands of the game are vital. Every type of running programme or conditioning at this club has an emphasis on ball in hand, chasing a player, dynamic movement. We never, ever run laps. We do not do straight line running. It is positional specific work or match play.”

The principle is applicable to any sport or code.

Everyone trains to play, so every training is designed to make them a better player.

“Our running drill has seven or eight coaches spread around the ground with a whistle. It is one v one. One player is alert to where the whistle is coming from.

“He is under fatigue, staying switched on, testing reactive response to changes in the game. He has to get the ball off coaches as many times as possible with a defensive player trying to interrupt or spoil it.

“Full body contact is involved as they are running. They can grapple or bump, it is not straight lines.”

For some teams, things will inevitably go wrong. White stresses that when the injuries do come, that is the time to learn from them. What did their lead up look like? What was missed?

The chaos is a challenge. Collingwood, with White at the helm, is determined to overcome it.

“It can be exciting. People talk about whoever wins this flag will have an asterisk beside their name because of everything going on. For us as a club, we see it as the most difficult premiership to ever win. That’s what drives us on.”
Ehhhh that's a lot of time spent talking about how right he is about everything.
 

Marstermind

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 16, 2004
9,270
27,330
The Gasometer
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Kangaroos
Ehhhh that's a lot of time spent talking about how right he is about everything.
Especially for a bloke whose three years at Collingwood saw them progressively slip from 2nd to 2nd last.

Anyway, I'm sure that's not his fault and hopefully he's a good acquisition for the Roos!
 

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Tas

Premium Platinum
Dec 23, 2002
57,401
47,828
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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There can be only one...
Hopefully nobody who wants to play in the middle comes back next season under 80kg
 

Jasemon

Club Legend
Dec 27, 2011
1,278
3,893
Brunswick
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Will be a juggling act between making us considerably fitter across the board; too many players running out of steam towards the end of games/lack of two way running in general, and then addressing our excessive injury list.

At various points this year we were either no.1 or no.2 highest injury list in the comp. We’ll be coming from a long way back but clearly both Rawlings and Nobes are acutely aware of this hence the appointment. Let’s trust they have the right guy.
 

The Lone Latic

Glutton for Punishment
Oct 8, 2011
600
1,043
Watching the Latics fail repeatedly
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wigan Athletic
He makes some good points though. What's the point of straight line running or running laps of an oval when you don't actually do that on game day? Change of direction at speed is pretty key in the modern game and doing shuttle runs aren't going to help condition the body to do that on a regular basis
 

Tas

Premium Platinum
Dec 23, 2002
57,401
47,828
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
There can be only one...
He makes some good points though. What's the point of straight line running or running laps of an oval when you don't actually do that on game day? Change of direction at speed is pretty key in the modern game and doing shuttle runs aren't going to help condition the body to do that on a regular basis
We lift weights and we don't do that at games either.... because it builds strength and endurance?
 

step up

Rookie
Jan 1, 2007
29
11
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I've heard he has taught Mason Cox everything he knows, great..... Oh no that was Anthony Rocca, we continue to attract rejects from other Clubs, when will we ever learn ???!!!
 

King Corey

Moderator
Jun 9, 2001
30,369
100,265
Windy Hill Safe Injecting Room
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
St Johnstone
I've heard he has taught Mason Cox everything he knows, great..... Oh no that was Anthony Rocca, we continue to attract rejects from other Clubs, when will we ever learn ???!!!
Anthony Rocca took Mason Cox from being a graduate engineer who'd never touched a football to one of his side's best in a grand final?

I'd day that's a pretty good effort.
 

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