Coaching Excellence StrategiesCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#303 – Glenn Stewart, High Performance Consultant at Stewart Sports Consultancy

Unlocking Coaching Excellence: A Guide to Success

“Coaching Excellence Strategies” Coaching is not just about leading a team; it’s about nurturing potential, maximizing capabilities, and fostering growth. In this article, we delve into the core principles and strategies that drive Coaching Excellence Strategies.

Welcome to the AFL High-Performance podcast dedicated to exploring the key elements that drive success in Australian Rules Football. In today’s episode, we delve deep into the world of coaching excellence with Glenn, exploring what truly constitutes excellence in the dynamic realm of AFL.

Key topic: Building systems skills and critical thinking to unlock High Performance!

Highlights from the episode:

  • James Clear
  • John Worslfold
  • John Edwards
  • Steve Stanley
  • Mick Malthouse
  • Sir Alex Ferguson

Prioritizing Athlete Development

At the heart of coaching excellence lies a commitment to prioritizing the development and potential of athletes. Coaches play a pivotal role in guiding individuals towards their best performances, both on and off the field. Understanding the coach’s role in maximizing capabilities sets the foundation for success.

Utilizing the Eisenhower Matrix

Coaches are often inundated with tasks and responsibilities, making time management a critical skill. Utilizing tools like the Eisenhower Matrix can help coaches assess where they spend their time and prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance. By focusing efforts on high-priority activities, coaches can optimize their impact and drive results.

Fostering Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a cornerstone of effective coaching. It requires deep reflection, review, and analysis to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. Clear objectives and measures of success provide the framework for critical thinking in coaching, enabling coaches to make informed decisions and adapt strategies as needed.

Addressing Concerns Proactively

In coaching, addressing concerns promptly is essential for maintaining a positive and productive environment. This begins with identifying concerning behaviors and patterns. Employing appropriate tools and techniques, coaches can guide athletes towards a different path and address any issues that may arise, fostering growth and development.

The CARDS Approach: Foundations for Success

Summarizing the key principles of coaching and critical thinking is the acronym “CARDS.” Clarity, Alignment, Relationships, Discipline, and Systems serve as foundational elements for success in coaching. By focusing on these pillars, coaches can create a supportive and conducive environment for athlete development and achievement.

In conclusion, coaching excellence is a multifaceted endeavor that requires dedication, strategic thinking, and effective communication. By prioritizing athlete development, utilizing tools like the Eisenhower Matrix, fostering critical thinking, addressing concerns proactively, and adhering to the CARDS approach, coaches can unlock the full potential of their teams and drive success.

People mentioned:

  • Andrew Mackie
  • Mitch Duncan
  • Tom Hawkins
  • Jed Bews
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

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Improve football power performanceCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#bitesize – How footballers can improve their power performance

Blog Post Excerpt

The quest for improved power performance, with a keen emphasis on how to improve football power performance, is a crucial aspect of a footballer’s training regime. Power, the explosive strength enabling athletes to execute rapid bursts of speed, jump higher, and strike the ball with formidable force, is a cornerstone of elite performance in football. This comprehensive guide delves into the multifaceted approach required to elevate a footballer’s power, incorporating the principle of improve football power performance through strength training, plyometrics, speed work, nutritional strategies, and more.

Highlights from the episode:

  • What is Post activation potentiation (PAP)
  • Exercises to improve power performance
  • Technique to perform these exercises

Understanding Power Performance in Football

Power performance in football is not just about the ability to exert maximum force but doing so in the shortest time possible. It influences a player’s capacity to sprint, change directions swiftly, and maintain physical dominance over opponents.

Foundational Strength Training

Strength is the bedrock of power. Incorporating exercises like squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts into a training regimen can significantly enhance a player’s force output.

Plyometrics for Explosiveness

Plyometric training, involving jump and hopping exercises, cultivates explosiveness. It trains the muscles to exert maximum force in minimal time, crucial for actions like jumping for headers or sudden sprinting.

Speed and Agility Work

Speed and agility are pivotal for footballers, allowing them to maneuver through defenders and make impactful plays. Drills that enhance these attributes contribute directly to a player’s power performance.

Nutrition and Recovery

Optimal nutrition fuels performance and recovery, enabling sustained power development. Proteins for muscle repair, carbohydrates for energy, and adequate hydration are fundamental. Equally, rest and recovery practices, including sleep and active recovery, are indispensable for peak power output.

Technology and Equipment

Leveraging technology, such as wearable sensors and advanced training equipment, can provide insights into performance metrics, enabling tailored training interventions.

Mindset and Mental Training

A strong mental framework bolsters physical performance. Techniques focusing on mental resilience, concentration, and visualization can enhance an athlete’s ability to harness their power under pressure.

Case Studies

The blog would feature case studies of footballers who have successfully improved their power performance, offering insights and inspiration from their training routines and methodologies.


Maximizing power performance in football requires a holistic approach, integrating physical training, nutritional support, and mental fortitude. By embracing these strategies, footballers can unlock new levels of performance, setting new standards on the field.

Power Training Playlist:

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your game? Our program is designed to propel footballers, like yourself, towards greater fitness, speed, and strength, ensuring you’re fully prepared to dominate on the field!

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Team Success Through CollaborationCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#302 – Strategies for Managing Performance Teams in AFL with Scott Murphy

Empowering Teams: Strategies for Athletic Success

In the dynamic world of sports, achieving sustained success requires more than just individual prowess. Team Success Through Collaboration, teams, especially in the competitive realm of football, must operate cohesively with a shared vision. Team Success Through Collaboration, Scott Murphy, the Physical Performance Manager at Geelong Football Club, shares invaluable insights into the strategies that have propelled the Cats to a decade of sustainable success.

Join us in an insightful conversation with Scott Murphy, the Head of High Performance at Geelong Cats, as we explore the intricacies of AFL team dynamics. From defining effective team dynamics to strategies for effective high-performance teams, Scott shares his wealth of experience and insights in this exclusive interview.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Management techniques that have been proven successful in Scott’s extensive experience
  • Key pillars of a successful high-performance manager
  • Strategies to influence the athlete’s lifestyle outside of the club
  • How does he influence the perception of stakeholders when things don’t go as planned in pre-season
  • Adapting his strategies to keep things exciting for the players

Tune in to gain valuable insights into the world of AFL team dynamics and high-performance coaching with Scott Murphy. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or a high-performance coach looking to elevate your team’s performance, this episode provides a playbook for success both on and off the field.

Building a Strong Team Culture:

Murphy emphasizes the importance of collaboration, stating that being a lone rider is not an option in the world of sports management. Instead, he encourages the creation of a robust team culture where boundaries are set, and tasks are delegated with confidence. According to him, effective teamwork extends beyond the field and into the daily operations of the club.

Coaching Beyond Leadership:

While leadership is a key aspect, Murphy underscores the necessity of maintaining a coaching mindset. Regardless of one’s position, whether a manager or a player, the ability to influence athlete behavior remains crucial. This, he believes, is fundamental in instilling confidence in players’ bodies and fostering a belief in their capabilities.

Individualized Approach to Performance:

Murphy’s approach extends beyond the training ground. To influence players’ lifestyles outside the club, he advocates for a personalized, one-on-one strategy. Building trust, creating a dialogue, and fostering a genuine rapport are critical components of ensuring that players buy into the team’s vision.

Adaptability in Strategies:

The journey towards success is not static. Murphy suggests starting with a blank slate each year, reevaluating goals, and making necessary adjustments. This adaptability, he believes, keeps the strategies fresh and exciting for the players, preventing monotony in testing protocols and training methodologies.

Listening and Learning:

Murphy acknowledges the importance of listening to different perspectives, both within the team and from external stakeholders. He advises against dismissing viewpoints outright and emphasizes the value of learning from observations. This open-minded approach contributes to a more holistic understanding of the team dynamics.


Scott Murphy’s decade-long journey with the Geelong Football Club offers a treasure trove of lessons for sports enthusiasts, coaches, and managers alike. From the significance of teamwork and coaching to the need for adaptability and open communication, his insights provide a roadmap for sustainable success in the highly competitive world of football.

People mentioned:

  • Andrew Mackie
  • Mitch Duncan
  • Tom Hawkins
  • Jed Bews
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your coaching? Uncover the strategies to build a thriving online platform, liberating yourself from the time-for-money constraints while pursuing a career as an AFL S&C coach.

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Training Elite Athletes InsightsCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#300 – Athlete Profiling and AFL & NBA Performance

Unlocking Athletic Potential: Training Insights from Geelong Cats S&C Coach

Are you curious about the nuances in training elite athletes across different sports? Training Elite Athletes Insights In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into a fascinating conversation with Daniel Jones, the Strength and Conditioning Coach at Geelong Cats. Training Elite Athletes Insights As he shares insights from his experiences working with both NBA athletes and AFL footballers, we uncover the common threads and unique challenges that shape their training regimens.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Difference in profiling AFL and NBA athletes
  • His approach to improving older and younger athletes’ efficiency
  • Challenges in the individualizing program for NBA athletes
  • How does he get buy-in from athletes who don’t like doing their program
  • Using VueMotion and AI tools for objective metrics

Understanding Athlete Profiling

Jones kicks off the discussion by addressing the significant differences in profiling NBA athletes compared to AFL footballers. AFL, being a more aerobic and running-centric sport, requires a focus on aerobic fitness testing. However, the underlying theme emerges—despite varying sports demands, the fundamental movements in the weight room remain remarkably similar.

Profiling Athletes Across Sports

Moving beyond the nuances of profiling, Jones emphasizes a consistent approach to improving athletic performance. Regardless of the sport, the core objective for strength and conditioning coaches is to push athletes, enhancing efficiency and capacity. This uniformity in approach extends to addressing the inevitable decline in performance that comes with aging athletes.

Navigating Workload Challenges

With the challenges of managing a group of 43 athletes in mind, Jones sheds light on effective strategies for workload management. Planning and preparation are key, with a keen awareness of optimal times during the pre-season for specific assessments. This strategic approach allows coaches to individualize training and assessments, ensuring each athlete receives the attention required for optimal performance.

Building Bridges Through Relationships

A pivotal aspect of Jones’ coaching philosophy is the importance of building relationships and understanding the athlete’s motivation. By uncovering the athlete’s “why,” coaches can bridge communication gaps and cultivate trust. This understanding proves particularly crucial when athletes resist specific exercises or training methods, allowing for a more tailored and effective training program.

Embracing Objectivity in High Performance

Jones delves into the realm of high-performance sports, advocating for an objective approach. Recognizing the emotional nature of decision-making in coaching, he highlights the significance of leveraging technologies like force plates and View Motion. These tools provide coaches with objective data, minimizing subjective biases, and facilitating informed decision-making grounded in factual information.

View Motion: A New Perspective

In discussing future trends in high-performance training, Jones introduces View Motion—an innovative technology he has recently been exposed to. He appreciates the insights it offers, especially in providing objective metrics. As an Artificial Intelligence enthusiast entering elite sports, he acknowledges the value of an objective approach, countering the subjectivity inherent in the decision-making process.

In Conclusion: A Unified Approach to Athletic Excellence

As we conclude our exploration into the world of elite athlete training, the underlying theme is clear—an athlete’s potential is unlocked through a combination of understanding, trust, and an objective approach. Whether on the basketball court or the football field, the principles remain steadfast. Coaches like Daniel Jones play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of these athletes, ensuring they not only reach their peak but sustain it over time.

People mentioned:

  • Dan Meehan
  • Steve Saunders
  • Jona Segal
  • Alex Moore
  • Scott Dickinson
  • Andy Baar
  • Keith Baar
  • Kevin Durant
  • Brett Bartholomew
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your coaching? Uncover the strategies to build a thriving online platform, liberating yourself from the time-for-money constraints while pursuing a career as an AFL S&C coach.

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2K Time Trial PacingCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#299 – How to pace your 2km Time Trial

Mastering Your 2K Time Trial Pacing: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you an aspiring athlete looking to enhance your performance in the dreaded 2K time trial? Pacing plays a pivotal role in achieving success in this challenging test of endurance and speed. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of pacing, introduce a valuable tool, and provide practical tips to help you conquer your 2K time trial goals.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Running calculator
  • Training paces by intensity
  • Focus on the process instead of the outcome

Understanding the Importance of Pacing

To kick things off, let’s discuss why pacing is crucial in a 2K time trial. Whether you’re gearing up for an AFL draft combine or simply aiming to improve your personal record, pacing can make or break your performance. It’s not just about sheer fitness; it’s about aligning your speed with your physiological capacity. Many athletes struggle with pacing, and that’s where our guide comes in handy.

The Running Calculator Advantage

Enter the running calculator, a free website URL that could be your secret weapon in 2K time trial preparation. Recommended by experts like James Russell, this tool allows you to analyze past data, set target times, and create tailored training plans. It’s especially beneficial for athletes who may have misjudged their pacing in previous trials. By leveraging this resource, you can fine-tune your training sessions for optimal results.

Tailoring Training Plans for Success

Whether you’re gearing up for an AFL combine or aiming for a personal best, a well-rounded training plan is essential. The running calculator helps structure varied training paces, including easy runs, threshold runs, and high-intensity sessions. Avoid common pitfalls like turning easy runs into threshold runs, ensuring that each session contributes to your overall progress.

Power Tip: Focus on the Process

In our journey to master 2K time trial pacing, let’s not forget a crucial power tip: focus on the process, not just the outcome. Rather than fixating on your 2K time trial goal in isolation, concentrate on maximizing your effort in each training session. Consistent high standards, relentless commitment to running technique, and adopting an elite lifestyle are key components of this approach.

Integrating Recovery for Optimal Performance

Pacing isn’t just about pushing your limits; it’s also about recovery. To excel in your 2K time trial, you need to integrate recovery sessions into your routine. From massages and ice baths to saunas and mobility exercises, these practices ensure that your body copes with the training loads effectively. Quality sleep, proper nutrition, and mindful recovery contribute significantly to your overall success.

The Road Ahead: Consistency is Key

As you embark on your journey to master 2K time trial pacing, remember that consistency is key. Focus on the process, adhere to your training plan, and make recovery an integral part of your routine. Over time, these habits will culminate in improved performance and success in your 2K time trials.


In conclusion, mastering 2K time trial pacing is a multifaceted process that requires strategic planning, the right tools, and a commitment to the journey. Whether you’re an aspiring AFL athlete or a recreational runner, the principles discussed in this guide can elevate your performance to new heights.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your game? Our program is designed to propel footballers, like yourself, towards greater fitness, speed, and strength, ensuring you’re fully prepared to dominate on the field!

Book a FREE footballer discovery call

Holistic Biomechanics for AthletesCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#298 – The Secrets of Biomechanics and High-Performance Programming

In the dynamic sports world, understanding biomechanics, especially Holistic Biomechanics for Athletes, is crucial for unlocking an athlete’s full potential. Holistic Biomechanics plays a pivotal role in optimizing athletic performance. Guided by Phil Graham-Smith, Head of Biomechanics & Innovation at Aspire Academy, we unveil the crucial elements of athletic performance.

Join us for a deep dive into Holistic Biomechanics for Athletes, where each topic reveals secrets behind athletic prowess. Whether you’re an aspiring S&C professional, coach, or athlete, this episode offers knowledge to elevate your understanding of applied sport science in high-performance environments.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Key areas of biomechanics before creating a set of tests
  • Isokinetic testing for measuring quad and hamstring strength
  • His advice for S&C coaches when training athletes
  • Pose estimation apps for biomechanics
  • Key principles when building a technical model for a specific sport

The Foundation: Needs Analysis

Graham-Smith emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive needs analysis. This foundational step involves a holistic examination of each sport and event group, taking into account biomechanics, strength and conditioning, psychology, and nutrition. This meticulous approach sets the stage for tailored training programs that address the specific demands of each discipline.

Crafting Precision: Top 10 Qualities

With the needs analysis as a compass, the next step is identifying the top 10 qualities crucial for success in each sport. These qualities serve as the benchmark for designing tests that are not only accurate but also swift in providing actionable insights. Graham-Smith highlights the significance of creating tests that mirror the real-world demands athletes face, ensuring the collected data is both relevant and immediately applicable.

Evolution of Testing Methods

Biomechanics testing has come a long way, as Graham-Smith recounts the transition from traditional measures of eccentric quad and hamstring strength to innovative methods. The journey includes utilizing the Concept 2 dyno machine and the I squat with portable force plates. This evolution reflects the adaptability and constant pursuit of more effective ways to assess and enhance athletic performance.

Conditioning Matters: Beyond Strength

In a thought-provoking perspective, Graham-Smith urges the strength and conditioning (S&C) community to shift focus from just strength (S) to conditioning (C). He emphasizes that while strength is vital, the true essence lies in conditioning – the factor that facilitates the transfer of improvements into actual performance. This insight challenges conventional norms and directs attention to the holistic development of athletes.

Tech Advancements: Pose Estimation and AI

The integration of technology in biomechanics is an ever-evolving aspect. Graham-Smith discusses pose estimation, a technique that kinematically tracks movement using AI algorithms. Collaborating with NSA Tech, he explores solutions for movement tracking. Acknowledging the effectiveness of single-camera solutions, he emphasizes their coach-friendly nature and their potential to provide valuable information, especially in tasks involving changing directions.

Decoding Technical Models

The discussion moves into the realm of technical models and their construction. Graham-Smith sheds light on the principles and considerations involved in building a technical model, especially in scenarios where none exists, like in Australian Rules Football (AFL). While acceleration mechanics may share common principles, understanding the unique demands of each sport is crucial for tailoring technical models that optimize performance.

Conclusion: A Holistic Approach to Athletic Excellence

In conclusion, Graham-Smith’s insights highlight the need for a holistic approach to athletic excellence. From needs analysis and precision testing to embracing technological advancements and redefining conditioning, the journey toward unlocking athletic potential is multifaceted. It requires a dynamic and adaptive mindset that combines tradition with innovation for optimal performance.

People mentioned:

    • Alex Natera
    • Paul Comfort
    • Adrian Lee
    • Dan Cohen
    • Frank Dick
    • Sam Joseph
    • Rob Newton
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your coaching? Uncover the strategies to build a thriving online platform, liberating yourself from the time-for-money constraints while pursuing a career as an AFL S&C coach.

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Data-Driven Performance StrategiesCategoriesCoaches High Performance PLP Podcast

#297 – GBP top 10 episodes for 2023

Navigating the Data-Driven World: Strategies for Optimal Performance

In the fast-paced world of sports and performance, staying ahead requires a strategic and data-driven approach. As we delve into the key aspects of performance optimization, we will explore the significance of measurement, coping strategies for stress, and the essential elements of physical conditioning. Implementing Data-Driven Performance Strategies allows athletes and teams to make informed decisions, leveraging insights derived from comprehensive data analysis. In this dynamic landscape, the fusion of experience and cutting-edge technology is paramount, showcasing the transformative impact of Data-Driven Performance Strategies on achieving peak athletic prowess.

Highlights from the episode:

  • #10 – Peta Carige, Consultant Performance Sports Dietitian
  • #9 – David Joyce, High-Performance Coach
  • #8 – Jacob Jennings, Head of Sport Science at Brisbane Broncos
  • #7 – Steve Saunders, Science and Medicine Consultant
  • #6 – Leigh Egger, Head of Performance at Feyenoord Rotterdam
  • #5 – Nathan Kiely, Rehab and Speed Coach for Brisbane Broncos
  • #4 – Billy Hulin, Head of Sport Science at Collingwood FC
  • #3 – Carmen Colomer, Head of Performance at Perth Glory
  • #2 – Max Gawn, Captain of the Melbourne Football Club
  • #1 – Frans Bosch, Founder of Frans Bosch Systems

Measuring Progress: The Data-Driven Advantage

In any journey towards improvement, the ability to measure progress is paramount. Our lives, much like the world of sports, are becoming increasingly data-driven. Whether you’re aiming to shed weight or enhance athletic performance, the scales become a reliable metric. Just as someone looking to lose 10 kilos in 10 weeks diligently steps on the scales every Friday morning, replicating the environment ensures an accurate measurement of progress.

Coping with Stress: A Game-Changer in Performance

The relentless demands of life, both on and off the field, expose individuals to various stressors. Coping strategies for managing mental and emotional stress emerge as crucial elements in sustaining high performance. Without effective strategies in place, stress can wreak havoc, affecting everything from on-field performance to academic and professional responsibilities.

Heart Rate Variability and Meditation: Balancing the Equation

Measuring heart rate variability emerges as a key tool for understanding one’s body and its responses. This, combined with the practice of meditation, forms a potent duo for mental well-being. These practices not only enhance recovery but also contribute significantly to the ability to cope with the demands of training programs and the challenges of daily life.

Crafting an AFL Body: Aesthetic and Athletic

For those aspiring to develop the physique of an AFL player, the journey involves more than aesthetics. It requires a holistic approach encompassing aerobic capacity, strength, and power training. The discussion extends to annual planning and periodization, offering insights into optimizing physical development for the unique demands of Australian Rules Football.


In the ever-evolving landscape of performance optimization, navigating the data-driven world is not just a choice; it’s a necessity. As we embrace the power of measurement, coping strategies, and holistic physical conditioning, we set the stage for sustained success in both sports and life.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your coaching? Uncover the strategies to build a thriving online platform, liberating yourself from the time-for-money constraints while pursuing a career as an AFL S&C coach.

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High-Performance Strategies AFLCategoriesCoaches High Performance PLP Podcast

#296 – Top 10 Interviews for 2023

Unlocking Athletic Excellence: Insights from Top Interviews on the High-Performance Podcast

In the ever-evolving world of sports, staying at the forefront of High-Performance Strategies AFL is crucial for athletes and staff alike. The High-Performance Podcast has been a beacon of knowledge, consistently delivering valuable insights on High-Performance Strategies AFL. In this special episode, “#296 – Top 10 Interviews for 2023,” we delve into the key takeaways from the most impactful conversations that resonated with AFL professionals and athletes.

Highlights from the episode:

  • #10 – Peta Carige, Consultant Performance Sports Dietitian
  • #9 – David Joyce, High-Performance Coach
  • #8 – Jacob Jennings, Head of Sport Science at Brisbane Broncos
  • #7 – Steve Saunders, Science and Medicine Consultant
  • #6 – Leigh Egger, Head of Performance at Feyenoord Rotterdam
  • #5 – Nathan Kiely, Rehab and Speed Coach for Brisbane Broncos
  • #4 – Billy Hulin, Head of Sport Science at Collingwood FC
  • #3 – Carmen Colomer, Head of Performance at Perth Glory
  • #2 – Max Gawn, Captain of the Melbourne Football Club
  • #1 – Frans Bosch, Founder of Frans Bosch Systems


Before we embark on this enlightening journey through the top interviews of 2023, a heartfelt thank you is in order. Our gratitude extends to the remarkable guests who shared their wisdom and the dedicated listeners who made these interviews the most listened to throughout the year. Your support has fueled the success of the High-Performance Podcast, making it a go-to resource for those committed to excellence in AFL.

Focus on Periodization

One of the recurring themes in these interviews is the profound focus on periodization. We explore how combining nutrition and exercise can be a game-changer in optimizing athlete adaptation. The discussions provide a roadmap for AFL professionals looking to fine-tune their training regimens, ensuring peak performance during crucial moments.

Key Concepts Explored

The journey through these top interviews unveils critical concepts that shape high-performance strategies. Cognitive tunneling, a psychological phenomenon affecting decision-making under pressure, takes center stage. Additionally, we dissect the unique motivation factors that drive athletes to excel. The integration of data-driven insights into AFL game demands emerges as a pivotal aspect, revolutionizing the way teams prepare for competition.

Guest Highlights

The roster of guests featured in these interviews is nothing short of stellar. Among them, Ben Sapwell stands out, offering invaluable insights into speed development tailored for NRL athletes. The discussions with other notable guests further enrich our understanding of diverse aspects of high-performance training, leaving a lasting impact on AFL professionals seeking a competitive edge.


As we conclude our exploration of the “#296 – Top 10 Interviews for 2023” on the High-Performance Podcast, it’s evident that these conversations have been a beacon of inspiration and knowledge. AFL staff and athletes can leverage the shared insights to elevate their training methodologies, optimize performance, and navigate the intricate landscape of elite sports.

Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Are you ready to enhance your coaching? Uncover the strategies to build a thriving online platform, liberating yourself from the time-for-money constraints while pursuing a career as an AFL S&C coach.

Book a FREE coaches discovery call

Adapting Across Sporting CodesCategoriesHigh Performance PLP Podcast

#293 – Adapting Strength & Conditioning From Rugby Union to AFL with Sam Dodge

Navigating Athletic Transitions: Lessons from Sam Dodge, Head of Strength & Power at Adelaide Football Club

Transitioning between sports can be daunting for elite athletes, posing challenges beyond the game’s physical demands, encompassing culture, training methodologies, and unique sport priorities. In this blog post, we explore insights from Sam Dodge, Head of Strength and Power at the Adelaide Football Club, reflecting on his journey from rugby to Australian Rules Football (AFL). The theme of Adapting Across Sporting Codes resonates throughout, highlighting complexities in such transitions.

In this Prepare Like a Pro Podcast episode, we sit with Sam Dodge, Adelaide Crows’ Head of Strength and Power Coach. Sam, drawing from extensive sports performance experience, shares insights on adapting training from Rugby Union to Australian Rules Football (AFL). Challenges and strategies are discussed, emphasizing the need for flexibility and open-mindedness when navigating diverse sporting landscapes.

Whether you’re a coach, athlete, or sports enthusiast, this episode offers valuable insights into high-performance training in Australian Rules Football. Adapting Across Sporting Codes remains a central theme as Sam discusses mindset and approach adjustments. The episode serves as a guide for understanding the intricacies of transitioning between sports, shedding light on critical aspects contributing to success in unfamiliar sporting territories.

Tune in to stay ahead in the game and learn from the best with Sam Dodge on the Prepare Like a Pro Podcast! Adapting Across Sporting Codes is a continuous process, and this episode is an inspiring source for navigating challenges and triumphs associated with switching between different sporting disciplines.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Advice and challenges for coaches transitioning from Rugby to AFL
  • How he tackles neck training in AFL
  • Difference between the head of strength and power of Rugy and AFL
  • How he does primer sessions for rugby and footy
  • How did he individualize his program for a large squad of 40-45 players

1. Cultural Adaptation in Athletic Transitions

Sam Dodge stresses the importance of quickly adapting to cultural differences when transitioning between sports. His experience highlights the need to respect and understand the unique dynamics of each sporting environment. The cultural adaptation extends beyond the nitty-gritty of strength and conditioning, emphasizing a holistic approach to integration.

2. Game Priorities: A Shift in Focus

Dodge sheds light on the fundamental differences in the priorities of rugby and AFL. While both sports demand strength and power, the emphasis varies. In rugby, physicality can determine the outcome of a game, while AFL puts a premium on the ability to run and maintain play. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for athletes leaping these codes.

3. Neck Training in Australian Rules Football

A fascinating aspect of Dodge’s insights is the attention given to neck training in Australian Rules Football. The unique nature of contact in AFL, with hits coming from all directions, necessitates specific training. Dodge reveals that neck strength training is consistently incorporated into the program, showcasing the commitment to addressing the sport’s distinctive physical demands.

4. Role Variation in Strength and Power Coaching

Dodge shares an unexpected aspect of his role at the Adelaide Crows – involvement in combat grappling. This revelation highlights the variations in the responsibilities of a Strength and Power Coach across different codes and clubs. It also underscores the adaptability required in such roles to cater to the specific needs of the team and its coaching staff.

5. Individualized Training: Tailoring Workouts for Success

A key takeaway from Dodge’s philosophy is the emphasis on individualized training. Managing a large squad of 40 to 45 athletes requires a nuanced approach. He advocates for a comprehensive profiling battery, including measures like max strength, jumping ability, isometric strength, and conditioning. This approach ensures that efforts in the gym are targeted and aligned with each player’s unique physical qualities.


Sam Dodge’s journey from rugby to AFL provides valuable lessons for athletes navigating similar transitions. Beyond the physical aspects of training, understanding and respecting the cultural nuances of each sport is paramount. The ability to adapt methodologies while acknowledging the distinctive priorities of the game ensures a smoother integration into a new sporting environment.

In the dynamic world of elite sports, the insights shared by Dodge serve as a guide for athletes and coaches alike. As the sporting landscape continues to evolve, the lessons learned from transitions between codes become increasingly relevant, shaping the way athletes approach challenges beyond the field of play.

People mentioned:

  • Frans Bosch 
  • Mark Kilagon 
  • Adam Beard 
  • Mark Bennett 
  • Jeremy Moody
  • Matthew Knicks 
  • Pat Lamb 
  • Robbie Mills
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

Coaching Success Strategies ImpactCategoriesCoaches High Performance PLP Podcast

#278 – Understanding decision-making by Head Coaches and High-Performance Managers in the NRL

Unleashing Coaching Potential: Key Strategies for Success

In the realm of sports and personal development, coaching plays a pivotal role in unlocking potential and achieving excellence. Coaches serve as mentors, motivators, and guides, shaping individuals into their best selves. To truly make a lasting impact, it’s crucial to employ the right Coaching Success Strategies Impact. Here, we’ll delve into key techniques that can elevate your coaching game and help you bring out the best in your athletes or clients. Coaching Success Strategies Impact are the cornerstone of effective mentorship, driving progress and fostering growth.

Welcome to another insightful episode of “PLPlivechats”! In this edition, we delve deep into the fascinating world of decision-making within the National Rugby League (NRL). Join us as we sit down with a true expert in the field, David Boyle, a seasoned Player and High-Performance Manager.

Making the right decisions under pressure is a hallmark of success in any competitive arena, and the NRL is no exception. In this episode, we unravel the strategies, psychology, and intricate tactics that go into the pivotal choices made by Head Coaches and High-Performance Managers. From crucial in-game calls to the long-term planning that shapes a team’s trajectory, David Boyle provides invaluable insights drawn from his extensive experience in the league.

Highlights from the episode:

  • How coaches adapt to strategy on the fly on game day
  • Tips to prepare for those striving for the head of high-performance role
  • Why are emotional intelligence and leadership courses more in demand right now
  • Importance of cognitive decision-making for coaches and high-performance managers
  • Team first mentality and why coaches should lead by example

Understanding the Power of Connection

At the heart of successful coaching lies a strong connection between the coach and the individual being coached. This rapport creates an environment of trust, open communication, and mutual respect. By establishing this foundation, coaches can better understand their athletes’ needs, aspirations, and limitations. Remember, a connected coach can inspire and drive their team to new heights.

Tailoring Approach to Individual Needs

Every individual is unique, with distinct strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Recognizing and adapting to these differences is a hallmark of an exceptional coach. By tailoring your approach to suit the individual, you can provide personalized guidance that resonates deeply. This approach fosters a sense of belonging and ensures that each person feels valued and understood.

Cultivating a Growth Mindset

In the realm of coaching, fostering a growth mindset is paramount. Encourage your athletes or clients to embrace challenges, learn from setbacks, and persist in the face of adversity. By instilling this mindset, you empower them to view failures as stepping stones towards success. This shift in perspective can lead to remarkable growth and achievement.

Effective Communication: The Cornerstone of Coaching

Clear, concise, and empathetic communication is the cornerstone of effective coaching. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. Active listening, constructive feedback, and the ability to convey complex ideas in a relatable manner are all vital aspects of this skill. Mastering the art of communication enables coaches to inspire, instruct, and lead with precision.

Setting and Pursuing Meaningful Goals

Goal-setting is a fundamental aspect of any coaching journey. However, it’s not just about setting goals; it’s about setting the right ones. Encourage your athletes or clients to establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. These goals serve as a roadmap, providing direction and motivation. Regularly tracking progress and celebrating milestones further fuels motivation and determination.

Nurturing Resilience and Mental Toughness

In the face of challenges and setbacks, mental fortitude is what sets champions apart. Coaches play a pivotal role in nurturing resilience and mental toughness in their athletes or clients. Provide tools and techniques for managing stress, building confidence, and maintaining focus under pressure. This fortitude will not only enhance performance but also instill a sense of unshakeable confidence.

Embracing Continuous Learning and Development

The world of sports and personal development is ever-evolving. Coaches must be committed to their own growth and development as well. Stay updated on the latest techniques, strategies, and advancements in your field. Seek out opportunities for professional development, attend workshops, and connect with fellow coaches. This commitment to continuous learning ensures that you’re equipped to lead your athletes or clients toward sustained success.

Conclusion: Transforming Lives through Coaching Excellence

In the realm of coaching, the impact extends far beyond the field or the training ground. It’s about transforming lives, instilling values, and unlocking untapped potential. By employing these key strategies, you can elevate your coaching game and empower those you guide to achieve their highest aspirations. Embrace the power of coaching, and watch as it catalyzes remarkable personal and professional growth.

People Mentioned:

  • Ashleigh Jones
  • Dan Baker
  • John Mitchell
  • Reece Williams
  • Craig Bellemy
  • Wayne Bennett
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