Bohdan Babijczuk, a name synonymous with excellence in fitness coaching, takes center stage in episode 50 of the “Prepare Like a Pro” podcast. As an AFL High-Performance Manager and Athletics specialist, Bohdan Babijczuk coaching journey has left an indelible mark on both AFL football and athletics. His journey unfolds as we delve into his experiences with renowned teams such as the Melbourne Football Club, the Australian national basketball team (Boomers), Richmond, Sinclair, and Kangaroos.
Bohdan Babijczuk coaching journey, one of Australia’s most respected fitness coaches, has had a strong involvement with AFL football. He is a highly experienced athletics & physical preparation coach. Bohdan has worked with the Melbourne FC, the Australian National Basketball Team (the Boomers), as Head Fitness Coach from 2002 until 2006, while he also worked as a consultant and specialist speed coach with Richmond, St Kilda, and the Kangaroos from 2005 and 2006. Before these appointments, Bohdan was the Fitness Coordinator at Hawthorn Football Club from 1994 until 2004, after a stint with Collingwood as strength and Conditioning Coach from 1991 to 1993. Bohdan Babijczuk coaching journey has a Bachelor of Education – Physical Education and is a Level 5 Athletic Coach.
Highlights from the episode:
- Bohdan’s track & field/strength & conditioning journey from start to present
- His learnings from working with Olympic athletes and
- His philosophy on video analysis and creating biomechanical reports for players to develop better movement efficiency
- His love for athletics and the Olympics
- The importance of being able to manage big personalities in elite sport and why creating a competitive environment is crucial for performance
- Bohdan’s approach to developing the art and science of coaching in elite performance from observing other environments, to upskilling himself with new credentials
- The different type of running required for team sports and why understanding the different demands and mechanics are so important
- The importance of journaling after coaching sessions and preparing for future sessions
- His advice for developing footballers and strength & conditioning coaches wanting to work in elite sport
The Respected Fitness Coach
Bohdan Babijczuk’s illustrious career is anchored in expertise, backed by a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and a Level 5 Athletics coaching certification. His impact reverberates through the fitness corridors of AFL and athletics, making him one of Australia’s most respected fitness coaches.
Navigating Through AFL and Athletics
Babijczuk’s footprint in the AFL landscape is notably marked by his roles with the Melbourne Football Club and his contributions to the Australian national basketball team. This journey, spanning from 1991 to the present, is a testament to his adaptability and prowess in enhancing athlete performance.
Coaching Journey: From Athlete to Mentor
A unique aspect of Bohdan Babijczuk’s narrative is his transition from a competitive athlete to a mentor and coach. His experience in long jump, triple jump, and decathlon provided a foundation for understanding the intricacies of coaching. Babijczuk reflects on the pivotal moment when he shifted his focus from personal competition to guiding others, realizing the profound impact he could make.
Unveiling Coaching Philosophy
In this podcast episode, Babijczuk shares his coaching philosophy and the evolution of his approach. He emphasizes the significance of individualized coaching, acknowledging that each athlete is a unique canvas that requires tailored strategies for optimal results. The narrative resonates with aspiring coaches and athletes seeking insights into the art and science of performance enhancement.
Lessons from Athletics to AFL
Bohdan Babijczuk’s dual expertise in athletics and AFL positions him as a valuable source of insights for cross-disciplinary coaching. The parallels and divergences between the two domains provide a rich landscape for understanding the nuances of physical preparation. Coaches and enthusiasts alike stand to gain valuable takeaways from Babijczuk’s experiences in navigating these diverse athletic terrains.
Challenges and Triumphs: A Coach’s Perspective
Throughout the podcast, Babijczuk candidly discusses the challenges he faced as a coach and the triumphs that shaped his journey. His narrative extends beyond the realms of physical training, delving into the psychological and emotional aspects of coaching. This holistic approach underscores his commitment to nurturing not just athletes’ bodies but also their minds and spirits.
Longevity in Athletics: A Mark of Success
A striking element in Babijczuk’s coaching legacy is his contribution to athletes’ longevity in their respective sports. The discussion unfolds the secrets behind his programs that prioritize longevity, drawing parallels with iconic athletes like David Anderson, who played the game they loved for extended periods. Babijczuk’s role in enhancing athletes’ durability is a hallmark of his impact on the field.
Future of AFL Running: A Glimpse
As the podcast progresses, Babijczuk shares his insights into the evolution of AFL running from a historical perspective to its current state. He offers a glimpse into the future, predicting trends and innovations that could shape the running dynamics in AFL. Coaches, athletes, and enthusiasts keen on staying ahead of the game will find valuable foresight in Babijczuk’s projections.
Running Techniques for AFL: A Deep Dive
A standout segment of the podcast involves Babijczuk’s deep dive into running techniques tailored for AFL requirements. Whether it’s kicking on the run, making an exit run out of a pack, or receiving the ball at top speed, each scenario demands a nuanced approach to running. The discussion sheds light on the technical intricacies that set apart AFL running from other athletic endeavors.
The Coach’s Mentality: Shaping Success
Towards the end of the podcast, Babijczuk shares anecdotes and lessons from coaching various athletes, highlighting the importance of a coach’s mentality. His role as a mentor extends beyond physical training, encompassing emotional support, guidance, and instilling a winning mindset. Athletes like David Anderson, whom Babijczuk has coached since the age of 19, stand as testaments to the enduring impact of a coach’s influence.
AFL’s Running Evolution: A Systematic Approach
Babijczuk’s involvement in consulting and collaborating with various teams unveils the systematic approach adopted in AFL’s running evolution. The exchange of knowledge among coaches and the emphasis on development at both the main and junior levels underscore a cohesive strategy for nurturing talent and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
Conclusion: Bohdan Babijczuk’s Enduring Legacy
Bohdan Babijczuk’s journey from athlete to AFL High-Performance Manager and Athletics specialist is a captivating narrative that encapsulates dedication, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. His insights serve as a beacon for aspiring coaches, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts, offering a roadmap to elevate performance across diverse sporting landscapes. As we unravel the layers of Babijczuk’s coaching philosophy, one thing becomes clear – his legacy extends far beyond fitness; it’s a legacy of shaping lives, careers, and the future of athleticism.
- Shane Crawford
- Garry Bourne
- Jess Java
- Carmen Miller
- Bill Walker
- Neil Osborn
- Viv Mitchell
- Phill King
- Debbie King
- Viv Mitchell
- Alan Jeans
- Bachar Houli
- Ben Dixon
- John Platton
- Mick Gafer
- Valeri Stoimenov
- Chance Batman
- Jack Higgins
- Jordan Ridley
- David Anderson
- Daniel Chick
- Dustin Martin
- Cody Weightman
- Lauren Jackson
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.