28 April, 2016

How to take the path to Greatness

How to take the path to Greatness

Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan

I recently worked with a club team who were struggling to come together as a team despite telling the coaching staff that they wanted to win the Premiership. The coaching staff felt that there was too much reliance on the coaches to bring the team together and opportunities being provided to the team weren’t being taken up to their full extent – such as personal fitness programs, extra skills sessions, appropriate recovery etc.

We, as a coaching staff, felt that the team needed to step up a bit more. They actually needed to sacrifice a bit more if they wanted to achieve greatness.

I did some writing and spoke to the team about the following four points. Maybe this is something that might help you to reset a team that you feel are not sacrificing enough, when you as a coach are sacrificing so much.

  • In order to perform as a team we need to work hard as individuals. Without individuals putting in the effort to achieve a higher level of fitness and general wellbeing, then we will only be as good as our weakest players.
  • As coaches and a club, we can put all of the opportunities in front of you and provide support to access the services you need to progress. But it requires you as an individual to decide what you want and make the personal sacrifices to achieve success.
  • Coaches are not the motivation you need to succeed. We are merely the ones holding the light showing you a path to take. There are multiple paths within the club and those paths not only have a skill level associated with them, but also a level of commitment to improving other areas of your game and life. You choose the path you want to follow, not the coaches. 
  • The below weekly plan is just one of those lights along the path to success for this year. If you choose to make the sacrifices along the way and stick to it, then you will achieve personal success. If everyone follows the plan then team success is more likely.

Leaders – This is where you start to earn your stripes. How do you get the team working together and walking the path to success? How do you find those players that have wandered off the path and bring them back? This is all part of your apprenticeship as leaders. Teams who achieve greatness have excellent leaders at their core. Those leaders have the answers to these questions.

The rest of the team – This is a team sport. It requires us all to remember that our personal achievements and failures will have an impact on others. If we fail to prepare ourselves each week and over the season, then we are letting our team down. Is this fair?

We need to be putting in the work required to stay on that path to success that you have said you want to achieve. If you can’t commit to that path, then tell us and we will find a path that better suits your level of commitment.

We need good followers as well as sound leaders to be successful. See the below video. 

So did it work? Well it was a small part of the eventual success the team achieved, which was winning the Premiership.

Weekly Plan Outline

Day Timer Action Remarks
Monday 5.30 – 6.30pm Recovery Session
  • All players to report
  • Injured players to see Physio
  • Remainder to follow Monday fitness session plan
  • Ice Baths – min 5 minutes
Tuesday AM Personal Strength Training
  • Gym or other strength program
  • Medium Session
Tuesday 5.30 Pre Training
  • Personal Warm Up
  • Agility/Fundamental exercises
5.50 – 7.00 Team Training
  • Team training
  • Skills and fitness session
Wednesday AM or PM Personal Session
  • Own session should be focusing on identified weaknesses such as cardio fitness, strength. Could also be swimming.
  • Finish with flexibility.
  • Heavy session
Thursday 5.30 Pre Training
  • Personal Warm Up
  • Agility/Fundamental exercises
5.50 – 7.00 Team Training
  • Team training
  • Team structures and game play
Friday AM or PM Personal Session
  • Own session should be focusing on identified weaknesses such as cardio fitness, strength. Could also be swimming.
  • Finish with flexibility.-Light Session
Weekend Game Day – Pre Game
  • Turn up to ground 1.5 hours before start time.
  • Own preparation, stretching, strapping etc.
  • First Warm Up – Focus around team dynamics, focus, movement, intensity levels.
  • Team Talk with Coaches
  • Final personal preparation
  • Final Warm Up on ground – leadership group to lead
  • Game Time
Weekend Game Day – ½ Time
  • Players to undertake core body temperature cooling – slushies, showers, cool water immersion
  • Team talk with coaches in cool room
  • Warm up on ground – leadership group to lead.
Weekend Game Time – Full time
  • Shirts, boots and socks off
  • Walking in rooms, start recovery process
  • Weigh in and RPE
  • Drinks
  • Ice Baths – 5 mins minimum
Weekend AM or PM Day after Game
  • Walk or light run or swimming
  • Stretching

© 2017 Paul Mead

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