Why are we so quick to discard coaches?

greatwhiteshark

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Read the following article and found it interesting reading, now of course our sport is totally different but the truth is we are probably discarding many good people who have heaps of knowledge way to early.

What are others thoughts?

Super Bowl winning coach Andy Reid is nearly 62, where are all the 60-something coaches in the AFL?

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is closing in on his 62nd birthday and has just won his first Super Bowl, 20 years into his career as a head coach.

Commentators on the coverage of yesterday’s Super Bowl spoke of him as a revered figure in the game. A person listened to when he speaks.

Which begs the question: Where are all the 60-something coaches in the AFL?

Australian Rules football has a culture to sack and discard where American sport has a culture that preserves and builds stocks of knowledge gained and accrued over decades.
One of our most refreshing “new” faces in AFL coaching is Chris Fagan, but Fagan is really an old face. He will turn 59 this year and last year was the oldest AFL coach by a fair margin.

Maybe his early coaching success is the product of natural ability ... or maybe it is the product of 24 years spent honing his coaching skill either as a head coach at lower levels or an assistant at AFL level before taking the reins at Brisbane.

Two of the next oldest along the line to Fagan last year — Alan Richardson (four years Fagan’s junior) and Ross Lyon (five years younger) were sacked by their clubs.

John Worsfold at Essendon (seven years Fagan’s junior) is on notice that he is to be replaced by Ben Rutten after this year.

If Andy Reid is evidence of anything that relates to AFL football it is how much of a rush we are in to hire and then sack coaches, and that the attitude reeks of an immature industry.

Reid was an assistant or line coach for ten years in college football in America before he got his first job in the big time at the Green Bay Packers.

He spent another six years at Green Bay as a line coach before he was made assistant head coach in 1997-98. He wasn’t appointed head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles until 1999.

He was coach of the Eagles until 2012 and took them to the 2005 Super Bowl, where they lost to new England.

He shifted to Kansas City after being told his contract would not be renewed and in seven seasons with the Chiefs has had winning seasons (where you win more than you lose) every year.

The term “winning season” is a pertinent one because it is a key tool for American franchises judging their coaches — whereas in the AFL you either are a premiership coach or you aren’t.

Those that aren’t are either treated with suspicion (can he do it?) or total disdain (they will never go anywhere under him).

Reid may not have won a Super Bowl until yesterday in 20 years, but he has had winning seasons in all but three of those years.

Even our successful coaches aren’t immune from being discarded. Three-time premiership coach Mick Malthouse was 62 when Carlton sacked him from his last post.

The term ‘winning season’ is a pertinent one because it is a key tool for American franchises judging their coaches — whereas in the AFL you either are a premiership coach or you aren’t.

Two-time premiership coach Denis Pagan was 60 when Carlton sacked him. Essendon moved on four-time flag winner Kevin Sheedy before he had turned 60 in 2007 and he only coached again because the league needed a senior, ambassadorial figure at fledgling club Greater Western Sydney.

David Parkin, who coached three flags at Carlton and one at Hawthorn, retired when the Blues implemented a coaching succession plan to hand the reins to Wayne Brittain at the end of 2000, when Parkin was 58. Leigh Matthews, again a four-flag coach at two clubs, was 56 when he last coached at Brisbane.

Malcolm Blight, a two-time flag winner at Adelaide and a three time grand final coach at Geelong, was just 51 when unceremoniously dumped by St Kilda. Port Adelaide’s only premiership coach Mark Williams was shifted at 52 and hasn’t been given a senior role since.

Adam Simpson said something that stuck in the memory when hired by West Coast ahead of the 2014 season.

Others, he said, viewed the Eagles as conservative and insular because of the lack of change in key personnel. He viewed it as a strength.

Having people around the club like chief executive Trevor Nisbett and strength and conditioning coach Glenn Stewart, who had literally been there for decades, represented an enormous bank of information and experience to draw from, he said.

If this principle applies to other key personnel why wouldn’t it apply to the most critical person at the club: The coach? And isn’t there something wrong with an AFL culture that either prevents these people from evolving and adapting, or doesn’t give them the time to?
 

Virgin Dog

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There are many reasons I can see for this:
  • Clubs value a fresh approach. If Fagan was 20 years into his career, it might be a bit different, but right now he's essentially brand new to the top job. So long as Brisbane remain competitive, he will likely be at the helm well into his mid 60s (so long as he wants to be).
  • Burnout is a very real thing. So many senior coaches have spoken publicly about the commitment it requires to be in the job. The stress adds up, and time spent away from the family would get harder and harder the older you get.
  • A senior coach's career is relatively short in the first place. There are some (Scott twins, Clarko, Worsfold) that have careers spanning a decade plus, but most careers really aren't that long in the first place. When you consider that, and the fact that many who get into senior coaching are in their mid 40s (or thereabouts), it results in most senior coaches not lasting past the age of 50.
I think one of the biggest points is the first one - the game constantly evolves (can partially thank the AFL for their constant rule changes), and it requires fresh game plans and fresh ideas. Worsfold didn't go from premiership coach, to coach of a side who can't win a final, because he lost the ability to coach. The game just seems to have gone past him, and his footy career and successful period of coaching career are so far removed from today
 

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Topkent

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Read the following article and found it interesting reading, now of course our sport is totally different but the truth is we are probably discarding many good people who have heaps of knowledge way to early.

What are others thoughts?

Super Bowl winning coach Andy Reid is nearly 62, where are all the 60-something coaches in the AFL?

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is closing in on his 62nd birthday and has just won his first Super Bowl, 20 years into his career as a head coach.

Commentators on the coverage of yesterday’s Super Bowl spoke of him as a revered figure in the game. A person listened to when he speaks.

Which begs the question: Where are all the 60-something coaches in the AFL?

Australian Rules football has a culture to sack and discard where American sport has a culture that preserves and builds stocks of knowledge gained and accrued over decades.
One of our most refreshing “new” faces in AFL coaching is Chris Fagan, but Fagan is really an old face. He will turn 59 this year and last year was the oldest AFL coach by a fair margin.

Maybe his early coaching success is the product of natural ability ... or maybe it is the product of 24 years spent honing his coaching skill either as a head coach at lower levels or an assistant at AFL level before taking the reins at Brisbane.

Two of the next oldest along the line to Fagan last year — Alan Richardson (four years Fagan’s junior) and Ross Lyon (five years younger) were sacked by their clubs.

John Worsfold at Essendon (seven years Fagan’s junior) is on notice that he is to be replaced by Ben Rutten after this year.

If Andy Reid is evidence of anything that relates to AFL football it is how much of a rush we are in to hire and then sack coaches, and that the attitude reeks of an immature industry.

Reid was an assistant or line coach for ten years in college football in America before he got his first job in the big time at the Green Bay Packers.

He spent another six years at Green Bay as a line coach before he was made assistant head coach in 1997-98. He wasn’t appointed head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles until 1999.

He was coach of the Eagles until 2012 and took them to the 2005 Super Bowl, where they lost to new England.

He shifted to Kansas City after being told his contract would not be renewed and in seven seasons with the Chiefs has had winning seasons (where you win more than you lose) every year.

The term “winning season” is a pertinent one because it is a key tool for American franchises judging their coaches — whereas in the AFL you either are a premiership coach or you aren’t.

Those that aren’t are either treated with suspicion (can he do it?) or total disdain (they will never go anywhere under him).

Reid may not have won a Super Bowl until yesterday in 20 years, but he has had winning seasons in all but three of those years.

Even our successful coaches aren’t immune from being discarded. Three-time premiership coach Mick Malthouse was 62 when Carlton sacked him from his last post.




Two-time premiership coach Denis Pagan was 60 when Carlton sacked him. Essendon moved on four-time flag winner Kevin Sheedy before he had turned 60 in 2007 and he only coached again because the league needed a senior, ambassadorial figure at fledgling club Greater Western Sydney.

David Parkin, who coached three flags at Carlton and one at Hawthorn, retired when the Blues implemented a coaching succession plan to hand the reins to Wayne Brittain at the end of 2000, when Parkin was 58. Leigh Matthews, again a four-flag coach at two clubs, was 56 when he last coached at Brisbane.

Malcolm Blight, a two-time flag winner at Adelaide and a three time grand final coach at Geelong, was just 51 when unceremoniously dumped by St Kilda. Port Adelaide’s only premiership coach Mark Williams was shifted at 52 and hasn’t been given a senior role since.

Adam Simpson said something that stuck in the memory when hired by West Coast ahead of the 2014 season.

Others, he said, viewed the Eagles as conservative and insular because of the lack of change in key personnel. He viewed it as a strength.

Having people around the club like chief executive Trevor Nisbett and strength and conditioning coach Glenn Stewart, who had literally been there for decades, represented an enormous bank of information and experience to draw from, he said.

If this principle applies to other key personnel why wouldn’t it apply to the most critical person at the club: The coach? And isn’t there something wrong with an AFL culture that either prevents these people from evolving and adapting, or doesn’t give them the time to?
You can analyze it all you want or you can realize it's but one simple thing. This new generation of australians are as soft as fu** and they can't handle criticism that isn't delivered with a kiss and cuddle. They all grow up thinking they are shit hot and can't handle for a second being told they aren't. The older blokes still try to talk to them like every other generation before but it doesn't translate.

Seriously all this crap about how Richmond players care about each other on a deeper level makes me sick. Kick the ******* ball to a teammate and then he kicks a goal, you don't need to know that his GF doesn't talk to him in bed every night to do that.

All a coach in the AFL does is constantly rub the egos of the current day player, older generation doesn't fu** with that.
 

Yojimbo

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Why do coaches get paid more than the Prime Minister of the country ?

How many coaches have actually improved the game ?

Would some of the older generation coaches messaging be appreciated by the "Youf" of today ?
 

Milanista28

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Does the game style of NFL evolve as much as the AFL? What worked in the NFL in 1980 could it work today? has the game changed that much? Genuine question.
 

Virgin Dog

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You can analyze it all you want or you can realize it's but one simple thing. This new generation of australians are as soft as fu** and they can't handle criticism that isn't delivered with a kiss and cuddle. They all grow up thinking they are shit hot and can't handle for a second being told they aren't. The older blokes still try to talk to them like every other generation before but it doesn't translate.

Seriously all this crap about how Richmond players care about each other on a deeper level makes me sick. Kick the ******* ball to a teammate and then he kicks a goal, you don't need to know that his GF doesn't talk to him in bed every night to do that.

All a coach in the AFL does is constantly rub the egos of the current day player, older generation doesn't fu** with that.
This is probably the most boomer Bigfooty post I've ever seen
 

Gavin Excell

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You can analyze it all you want or you can realize it's but one simple thing. This new generation of australians are as soft as fu** and they can't handle criticism that isn't delivered with a kiss and cuddle. They all grow up thinking they are shit hot and can't handle for a second being told they aren't. The older blokes still try to talk to them like every other generation before but it doesn't translate.

Seriously all this crap about how Richmond players care about each other on a deeper level makes me sick. Kick the ******* ball to a teammate and then he kicks a goal, you don't need to know that his GF doesn't talk to him in bed every night to do that.

All a coach in the AFL does is constantly rub the egos of the current day player, older generation doesn't fu** with that.
While there’s an element of truth to this, at the end of the day communication is king.
If for whatever reason coaches struggle to communicate/motivate they are in a spot of bother
Same as any work place
 

The Goon

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According to this site:

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/coaches-managers-tenure-nfl-mlb-nba-nhl-premier-league-2016-12?r=US&IR=T

The average duration an NFL coach had been with their team is 4.3 years. MLB and NBA are both around 3.5 years, and English Premier League about 3 years. The medians are a good year less than that.

Not sure about the average or median tenures for AFL coaches, but I'd be surprised if it was radically different. This would suggest that age may not be a factor in actual longevity, and that perhaps NFL coaches simply tend to have a longer apprenticeship period? After all there are a plethora of well paid college and line coach jobs to work through on your way up, and it is a more professional system than the AFL (plenty of coaches never played the game themselves, let alone at the highest level).

Andy Reid seems to be an outlier rather than the norm.
 

Engimal v3

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You can analyze it all you want or you can realize it's but one simple thing. This new generation of australians are as soft as fu** and they can't handle criticism that isn't delivered with a kiss and cuddle. They all grow up thinking they are shit hot and can't handle for a second being told they aren't. The older blokes still try to talk to them like every other generation before but it doesn't translate.

Seriously all this crap about how Richmond players care about each other on a deeper level makes me sick. Kick the ******* ball to a teammate and then he kicks a goal, you don't need to know that his GF doesn't talk to him in bed every night to do that.

All a coach in the AFL does is constantly rub the egos of the current day player, older generation doesn't fu** with that.
"young people are soft" is the most boring opinion you can have. I can guarantee all the players today train longer and harder than their counterparts of the 80s and 90s.
 

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Topkent

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According to this site:

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/coaches-managers-tenure-nfl-mlb-nba-nhl-premier-league-2016-12?r=US&IR=T

The average duration an NFL coach had been with their team is 4.3 years. MLB and NBA are both around 3.5 years, and English Premier League about 3 years. The medians are a good year less than that.

Not sure about the average or median tenures for AFL coaches, but I'd be surprised if it was radically different. This would suggest that age may not be a factor in actual longevity, and that perhaps NFL coaches simply tend to have a longer apprenticeship period? After all there are a plethora of well paid college and line coach jobs to work through on your way up, and it is a more professional system than the AFL (plenty of coaches never played the game themselves, let alone at the highest level).

Andy Reid seems to be an outlier rather than the norm.
No the main difference is in America failing is seen as good experience where as in Australia if you don't win a flag in your first time in charge you are immediately black listed from coaching for ever.
If Damien Hardwick or Adam Simpson had been sacked at the end of 2016 neither would have ever been given another coaching gig. Both would have been written off as bad coaches.
 

Topkent

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"young people are soft" is the most boring opinion you can have. I can guarantee all the players today train longer and harder than their counterparts of the 80s and 90s.
That has absolutely nothing to do with whether they can take feedback from coaches or not. Some senior coaches have spoken about how players train less these days than ever before actually
 

Engimal v3

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That has absolutely nothing to do with whether they can take feedback from coaches or not. Some senior coaches have spoken about how players train less these days than ever before actually
Maybe some clubs, but I would doubt it. Boomer has talked before about how the training regime when he started at North in the 90s was nothing compared to what it was by the time he retired. Maybe 2 days a week in the 90s, to nearly a full week load.

If by "feedback" you mean the bullshit guys like Rocket used to serve up to his players, then I'm happy to say goodbye to dinosaurs like that. If they can't learn to communicate without screaming in a bloke's face, they wouldn't get a job managing 16 year olds at a supermarket, let alone an AFL team.
 

Topkent

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Maybe some clubs, but I would doubt it. Boomer has talked before about how the training regime when he started at North in the 90s was nothing compared to what it was by the time he retired. Maybe 2 days a week in the 90s, to nearly a full week load.

If by "feedback" you mean the bullshit guys like Rocket used to serve up to his players, then I'm happy to say goodbye to dinosaurs like that. If they can't learn to communicate without screaming in a bloke's face, they wouldn't get a job managing 16 year olds at a supermarket, let alone an AFL team.
You mean like how they plan on a Sunday, recovery Monday. Vision Tuesday, Train Wednesday, Mandatory day off Thursday and then Captains run Friday? They train less now on the actual field than ever.

Oh you mean the bullshit from guys like Ron Barassi, Malcolm Blight and John Kennedy?
 

NaturalDisaster

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Australians are incredibly impatient, from the fans to club executives.

I would loathe to be a senior coach, everyone expects instant success and magic bullet solutions. As soon as your team gets a bad run, your supporters start looking for problems your coaching and want you gone, then the media use this as fuel for their own agendas, then the club executives feel pressured to sack you and look for the next messiah, where it all just rinses and repeats itself.

Just look at this board for instance, but just the main board board but team boards. If one or two supporter bases didn’t like their coach and wanted them gone, I would say “fair enough”, but it’s every supporter base who didn’t either ; 1. Just experience success or did recently. 2. Coach just started out.
 
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greatwhiteshark

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Maybe some clubs, but I would doubt it. Boomer has talked before about how the training regime when he started at North in the 90s was nothing compared to what it was by the time he retired. Maybe 2 days a week in the 90s, to nearly a full week load.

If by "feedback" you mean the bullshit guys like Rocket used to serve up to his players, then I'm happy to say goodbye to dinosaurs like that. If they can't learn to communicate without screaming in a bloke's face, they wouldn't get a job managing 16 year olds at a supermarket, let alone an AFL team.
The current AFL player spends a great deal of time at the club doing numerous training sessions, they are full time employees. Those sessions however are mostly indoor in pools, weights rooms, Yoga classes, tactical meetings etc etc. It is my understanding they don't do that much more actual footy training on the track than previous eras.

As for your second point it is clear the game has moved on from the big sprays coaches once gave players, there is definitely still room in the game for them when they are warranted but the problem now is the players can't handle it when it happens to them.

Huge changes have happened to the game the last 30 years some good and some bad, one really bad thing in my opinion is that you can get away with not performing these days and just go and collect your pay cheque every week. Football clubs once had pride in striving to perform and be succesfull at all times, these days you can finish last, sign up a majority of the same players for next season who failed miserably this year and just move on.
Any system that rewards players who finish last with basically the same pay cheques of those who finish first is a terrible system.
 

Engimal v3

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You mean like how they plan on a Sunday, recovery Monday. Vision Tuesday, Train Wednesday, Mandatory day off Thursday and then Captains run Friday? They train less now on the actual field than ever.

Oh you mean the bullshit from guys like Ron Barassi, Malcolm Blight and John Kennedy?
Your words not mine. Here's what I can find:
When the 17-year-old Harvey embarked on his first pre-season in the summer of 1995-96, skills sessions usually ran for about 90 minutes, with 25 minutes of running tacked on at the end. He said last summer those times had blown out to two-and-a-half hours for skills and 45 minutes for running.
“When I first started, it was three days a week training. You could certainly come in and do a little bit extra if you needed to, but there were only three official training sessions, two weights sessions and that was pretty much it,” he said.

“Now we’re at the football club from 8am to 3pm every day expect for one day during the week.

“There’s been a few changes (in my time in the game), but the pre-season is probably the biggest thing.

“Every year, probably for the last five years, I’ve thought this can’t possibly get any harder, and for some reason it gets bloody harder.

“You look at the stats at the end of every year and you’ve run an extra 30 or 40km every week and you didn’t think it was possible, but they certainly fit it in there.”
He goes as far to say that he thinks it'll become harder and harder to achieve a high tally of games due to the stress on body and mind:
“Everything’s just got bigger, harder and longer, so for that reason I don’t think anyone will reach the 400 milestone again.

“I honestly believe that I’ll be the last player to do that.

“I don’t mean to sound big-headed or anything like that, but the game has changed so much and, if I had started 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be playing 400 games, there’s no way known.”
]
 

Topkent

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Your words not mine. Here's what I can find:



He goes as far to say that he thinks it'll become harder and harder to achieve a high tally of games due to the stress on body and mind:

]
All he says is you're at the club longer.
Like I said before they do vision and recovery for 2 days, have a mandatory day off and do a captains run and vision for another day. They spend less time training on the field than ever before.

And also just because Boomer Harvey says less blokes will play 400 doesn't make it fact. That's his opinion. Weird that both him and Fletcher achieved it in the modern era though.


The rest of what you qoute is for pre season, that's irrelevant to the point. They also get paid an absoloute bucketload more than ever before for often being less skilled.
 

Engimal v3

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The current AFL player spends a great deal of time at the club doing numerous training sessions, they are full time employees. Those sessions however are mostly indoor in pools, weights rooms, Yoga classes, tactical meetings etc etc. It is my understanding they don't do that much more actual footy training on the track than previous eras.

As for your second point it is clear the game has moved on from the big sprays coaches once gave players, there is definitely still room in the game for them when they are warranted but the problem now is the players can't handle it when it happens to them.

Huge changes have happened to the game the last 30 years some good and some bad, one really bad thing in my opinion is that you can get away with not performing these days and just go and collect your pay cheque every week. Football clubs once had pride in striving to perform and be succesfull at all times, these days you can finish last, sign up a majority of the same players for next season who failed miserably this year and just move on.
Any system that rewards players who finish last with basically the same pay cheques of those who finish first is a terrible system.
Not to say the same thing twice (read my above post), but Harvey said that skills sessions go for 60% longer now, and they were only required in the 90s to do them 3x a week.

I agree that their training varies now more than ever (he states that the only real non-skills training was weights/running), but from what I've read the time spent on skills has only increased.
 

Luv_our_club

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If you want to coach for a while then you need to establish deep trust and confidence in your CEO, your president, your GM of footy.

Asses their charachter before you accept the position.

This is why Buckly and Hardwick and Simpson survived.

At Hawthorn we had one weak link, Jeff as President, and Clarkson almost didn't survive.
 
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