From Swim Coach to High-Performance Maven
Paul Sealey’s journey in the sports industry, from swim coaching to AFL High-Performance Management, highlights the significance of diverse experiences. His transition into elite sports performance, exploring powerlifting and Olympic lifting, underscores the role of AFL High-Performance Management in shaping his path.
Networking and Learning in the US
Episode 47 of the Prepare Like A Pro Podcast features Paul Sealey, the Talent High-Performance Manager at the Australian Football League. His experiences in the United States, including Texas A&M University, shaped his expertise in AFL High-Performance Management. Sealey’s journey emphasizes adaptability and continuous learning in sports performance.
Highlights from the episode:
- Paul’s football journey from the start to now.
- His learnings from working in the USA college system.
- His role at the AFL and how he manages AFL draft prospects all over the country.
- The challenge the 2020 COVID season brought, and he managed to keep players active and engaged in their development.
- Paul’s love for high performance, physical preparation, and why training yourself as a coach is so important.
- The importance of having an individualized strength & conditioning program for working on your strengths as well as managing past injuries.
- What has worked and what has and hasn’t throughout his career.
- How he values technique and posture when it comes to running & gym movements for young developing footballers.
- Paul provided insight into his approach to preparing AFL footballers and how important lifestyle factors like sleep & nutrition are when it comes to getting the most out of yourself.
Unique Landscape of College Sports
Sealey contrasts the American college sports system with Australian high school and university sports. The US system’s focus on speed and power development, in contrast to Australia’s emphasis on skill development, played a crucial role in Sealey’s growth as a high-performance manager.
Bridging the Gap: College Sports to AFL
Sealey’s shift from the US college system to the AFL reveals the challenges of adapting coaching strategies. Balancing structured training in college with the limited time in the AFL, he navigates the nuances of managing large groups and prioritizing coaching focus for athlete progression.
Wearing Multiple Hats in AFL High-Performance Management
As the high-performance manager at the AFL, Sealey oversees the national academy, collaborates with state academies, NAB League teams, and manages GPS units for athlete monitoring. This multifaceted role demands effective communication, collaboration, and adaptation within the AFL structure.
Lessons from Experience: Mentoring and Mistakes
Reflecting on his journey, Sealey highlights the significance of learning from mentors and embracing continuous improvement. Fundamental principles, mastery of basics, and avoiding blind adherence to trends are crucial lessons he imparts from his experiences.
The Core of Athletic Excellence: Training and Beyond
Sealey emphasizes core strength and introduces innovative training approaches, emphasizing the consistency of coaching cues across different modalities. His holistic coaching philosophy aims at developing well-rounded athletes both physically and mentally.
Navigating the AFL Lifestyle: Athlete Routines
Insights from Sealey provide a glimpse into the lifestyle and training routines of AFL athletes. Balancing training, recovery, and lifestyle choices is crucial, with a focus on establishing positive habits for optimal performance.
Empowering Future Leaders in the AFL Community
Beyond athlete development, Sealey empowers future leaders in the AFL community through collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing. His impact extends beyond the athletes he directly trains, influencing coaches and contributing to the growth of the sporting community.
Key Takeaways: Navigating the High-Performance Landscape
In unraveling Paul Sealey’s journey, key takeaways include adaptability, exposure to diverse coaching methodologies, and a holistic approach to athlete development. His story serves as inspiration for aspiring coaches and sports enthusiasts to embrace challenges and contribute to the growth of the sporting community.
- Mike Clarke
- Matthew Glassop
Jack McLean is the founder of Prepare Like a Pro. He loves coaching people so that they can reach their personal/professional goals and become the best that they can possibly be. He is currently the Strength & Rehab Coach of Melbourne Football Club and has worked as Strength & Conditioning Coach at Hawthorn Football Club. Jack is a Level 3 Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and Professional Coach and a Level 1 Australian Weightlifting Federation Coach.