The week leading up to the last Saturday in September is without question the best week of the year for all right thinking Australians. The last Saturday in September is the day of the AFL Grand Final, the match that decides the champion of Australia’s national football code. Leading up to the Grand Final is a week of talking about football in every medium you can think. Mostly this is trite, idiotic crap. But if you are compelled to watch it (as I am this year because my team is playing) you can find some absolute gems.
The YouTube link should start at an interview with the Football Manager (ie Sport Director) of one of the teams playing in the Grand Final, Neil Balme. Balme was a player and a coach and is now one of the most successful and respected Football Managers in the game. It is very interesting to hear him talking about coaching and developing a team. His interview is only two minutes, so you can easily listen to them personally. If you are afraid of being tainted by the trite, idiotic crap before and after his interview, or worried that you won’t understand his Australian accent, then these are the highlights.
“These blokes can play. They’re here because they can play. At some point you gotta let them play. You gotta trust them.”
“Your leaders have to have the discipline to be selfless, to actually show the selflessness that you need the team to have. If they don’t show it, it won’t happen… If you don’t have the modelling of the selflessness from the coaches, it won’t happen.”
“It ain’t someone’s fault. It’s someone’s responsibility to get it better.”
“We’ve worked on their strengths, worked on the positive side. You don’t ignore the bad stuff, but you don’t make an issue of it.”
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