Highlights of the episode:

  • How he landed a job at Leicester Tigers after his internship
  • His advice when doing internships and what his typical week looked like during his internship
  • How he does a drop body height drill
  • Coaching heavy & coaching light for prep work and coordination drills
  • His advice when doing a program review

#shanelehane #preparelikeapro #plplivechats #podcast #melbournestrengthcoach

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Interview Transcript

Jack: Welcome to the ‘Prepare Like A Pro’ live chat show. My name is Jack McLean. I’m your host and tonight my guest is Shane Lehane. Shane is currently the athletic performance coach at the Sydney Swans Football Club. Prior to working for the Sydney Swans, he has worked as a strength & conditioning coach at Leicester Tigers, Melbourne Rebels and Rugby Australia, the Wallabies. With over a decade of experience in elite sport, he is also embarking in his PhD on decision making to make sound interventions.

Before we start this episode, our mission here at Prepare Like A Pro is to empower aspiring athletes and staff with practical knowledge from some of the industry’s most inspiring individuals and to strengthen the AFL community. If you like the show, please show support by following us on Instagram and subscribing to the podcast. We’re on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.

Welcome, Shane. Thanks for jumping on, mate. 

Shane: Thanks, Jack. Thanks for inviting me on. I’ve listened to a few of your guests and it’s definitely an insightful podcast. I appreciate you having me on.

Jack: Who would’ve thought a few years ago you’d have a picture of an oval. Are you calling it a pitch now or a field? Have you converted? 

Shane: I’m converting slowly. Probably the default is still ‘a pitch’, but the footy language is starting to creep in a little bit more.

Jack: I’m sure we’ll go into a bit more detail about the different sport demands and all the technicalities. Looking forward to diving in. Let’s start with the beginning of your career, mate. At what age did you discover you had a passion for strength & conditioning, and more specifically working with elite athletes?

Shane: Probably the one thing that everyone in my position has is that we’re probably all fair athletes to a certain extent. I was a pretty average sportsman or average to okay sportsman who was always struggling to make first teams. And probably that developed an interest in developing physical capabilities.

And I was coaching from a pretty young age. Munster Rugby, which is my local professional team, ran summer camps. I would work on those summer camps as a 16–17-year-old. Started coaching technical rugby with kids at quite a young age. And I guess that some of those skills that I developed, I didn’t realize it at the time, but some of those skills that I was developing then have carried through the whole way.

But when I finished school, I actually didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I’d say, the sports science community was relatively small in Ireland at the time. So, I actually went to university and studied a history degree and was playing sport myself at the time. Started doing a little bit of strength & conditioning work with the university teams there and discovered that that was a passion and something that I wanted to do.

So, a year left on my history degree. Luckily enough, universities are free in Ireland, so I didn’t run myself into too much debt. And then went over to UK to Loughborough University, which is a big sports science uni over there. And by the time I got there I was pretty clear on what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go.

So, I was coupling coaching regularly amateur teams and then getting some exposure with professional environments. And, I guess, I was pretty clear at the end of that process that I wanted to work in the professional sports environment, if that was a possibility. So, I had a number of internships.

There were professional teams, primarily in Rugby Union. And then working in amateur sport and across the university and in Ireland with some hurling and getting football teams, amateur rugby teams led to an internship with Leicester Tigers, which, fortunately, led to a full-time position at the end of that year. And here we are, 13 years later and I’m fortunate enough that that’s my occupation. 

Jack: Fantastic, mate. You mentioned a couple of things that it’d be good to dive into there. The fact that sports science wasn’t the most popular career choice at the time. So, through doing some strength & conditioning at universities and other teams around the community, you got a bit of a taste for it. Why, do you reckon, at that point of your career, did you choose that side compared to maybe the tactical technical side of coaching? 

Shane: As I said, I didn’t consider a sports science or strength & conditioning as a viable profession, to be honest. When I left school and was starting university, I didn’t know that much about it. And I was always quite aware that my tactical technical knowledge even around Rugby Union, which was my primary sport, probably wasn’t the level of depth or understanding there that would’ve been required to excel in that field.

I guess, just due to the nature of my own experiences of being a sort of okay athlete, an average to okay athlete that the interest in physical development was fostered at quite an early age with me. And that became an area, which, I guess, was a more natural progression in terms of my educational pursuits.

Jack: And you mentioned the internships and you had a successful process where you actually landed a job, a full-time job after the internship. For those S&Cs listening in, obviously, that’s not always the case, but what do you think, looking back now, what was some things that put you in good stead for the club to invest in you for your first full-time contract?

Shane: I guess I was quite lucky: when I took that opportunity at Leicester Tigers, I was very clear that that’s what I wanted to do. And I actually think that’s part of the internship process. If you actually do a period of time and you realize maybe this isn’t the profession for me, or I’m more interested in other aspect of performance, be it analytics or video analysis or whatever it is, that’s part of the process too.

But I was very clear about what I wanted to do. And I think I’d accumulated quite a bit of experience in the amateur setting. And so, I had practiced my coaching a fair bit, and then I had enough exposure in professional environments. Not to add technical knowledge in an elite environment, but probably more to understand how to behave and interact in that environment.

For those that might not be aware, Leicester Tigers is the most successful team in UK rugby. They’re 11 time Premiership champions and twice European Cup winners. So, it’s a very established program. I was pretty conscious that I probably wasn’t going to walk in there and be solving performance problems for the department there. But what I could do was provide physical work and do what was required to help the program run smoothly. 

Jack: That makes a lot of sense. Be clear on where you want to go and then how you can contribute through assisting others in the environment.

Shane: And then you’re, obviously, absorbing technical knowledge as you spend time there. I remember sitting in the office and it’s quite an established department. We’ve got colleagues that have gone from there into private industry. Some have gone to the NHL. One colleague went to the MBA, wanting to go into private industry in the technology side.

And I remember sitting early days in the office and not only not understanding some of the concepts, but not understanding some of the words. I’m having to sit there and google behind my desk, pretending that I understood what was going on. But what I was able to do was contribute effort at the start. And then, as your technical skills improve and develop, then you’re able to contribute more to the technical aspects of supporting a performance department. 

Jack: And you mentioned something. I think a pretty important point as well is being able to understand the environment. It is a different beast working in elite sport and how it all flows. So, those other internships that you did, for those to get a better understanding on how much time you put in to get to that point that led to success of full contract, what would be a typical week while you were doing your internships?

Shane: The dynamic of internships has changed significantly, I guess, since when I did it. That internship at Leicester Tigers was pretty much 12 months full time, which was for minimal pay. I think the dynamic of that has obviously changed in recent years, which is probably for the better.

Jack: Through the club or through university?

Shane: That was through the club, because I sought that internship out myself independently. But the uni at the time did a placement opportunities there. And then I was coming from Loughborough, which is another established sports science uni and had some experience. So, I was knocking on doors, looking for internship opportunities at the time.

And I definitely think that shift from that full time internship model, I think that’s pretty much dead now. But there’s no doubt that that accumulating time in the saddle and accumulating experiences is what helps you. So, I would probably encourage anyone who’s starting out there that it doesn’t necessarily have to be in a professional elite environment, but certainly logging time, making mistakes, learning from mistakes is necessary to be able to contribute to a performance department at the highest level.

Jack: And you mentioned the strong proud club. Was that deliberate that you went there? You wanted to go to the top? 

Shane: It was obviously desirable to end up at a club like that, but, to be honest, I was emailing and pestering anyone who would give me an opportunity, to be honest. As I said, I’d accumulated plenty of time in semi-professional amateur exposures to it. And I was just lucky to end up at a club like that, really. But I guess a combination of persistence, experience, ambition, but, no doubt, a bit of luck as well. I applied to every other possible professional sports organization that I possibly could for time. And I was just lucky that they took me on. 

Jack: And you were there for a number of years. For the developing athletes that are listening in, you mentioned the performance side, success. Were there premierships involved when you were there? 

Shane: Yeah, there was. My first three years in professional sport actually were grand finals, which I took for granted at the time. I haven’t been back to one in over 10 years now, since that last one. And, I guess, ironically, the first two years we’ve won the league as minor premieres and lost the final. And the last one, I think, we finished second and managed to get over the line in the final.

And I keep saying it to the guys here at the Swans: it’s easy to think that that sporting career will just keep going, but in the time that I’ve been working in professional sport, it’s a difficult thing to get a professional contract. It’s a difficult thing to remain a professional sportsman and stay injury free and stay listed.

And then it’s even rarer, the majority of people go through their careers without having the opportunity to play in a grand final or win a medal. So, when those opportunities present themselves at any level, you’ve got to be grabbing them.

Jack: And thinking back, at that time three in a row is incredible feat. Because, obviously, then you’re the one that’s hunted after the first one. What was something that really stands out when you think back in terms of things like leadership, the players, coaching staff, high performance?

Shane: I think there was definitely a high performance mentality in that club. And it’s quite interesting, actually, because, obviously, there’s a lot of focus on creating values. And I’m sure most of us have walked into organizations where there’s some inspiring words up on the wall to indicate the organization’s or the club’s values.

But what I found in that place is that Leicester Tigers didn’t have that. It was more the consistent day-to-day behaviors of people that were there. And that was very much driven by Richard Cockerill. For those outside of rugby, who might not be aware, he’s a pretty notorious, uncompromising head coach. But the consistency around behaviors was paramount. It just wasn’t acceptable. It wasn’t accepted by the organization and it wasn’t accepted by the senior playing group to turn up there and not to be putting in effort every day.

And I’ve spent time, my experience at Melbourne is probably that’s a young organization, trying to find its feet in professional sports landscape. And I think an organization like that is probably trying to instill and learn those values. They take time to develop. But I would say consistency of professional habits regardless of wins, losses, regardless of individual’s contract status, regardless of personal issues. And, obviously, there’s going to be fluctuations there. Athletes are human beings at the end of the day. But the consistency of behavior was very high there.

Jack: Okay. So, it wouldn’t fluctuate depending on a win or a loss? It wasn’t reactive, it was just consistently putting in the work each day?

Shane: Yeah, there was definitely emotions. I would say there was more emotion around the loss than there was emotion around the win, unless it was a grand final. Just it wasn’t acceptable to be losing. But yeah, consistency of behaviors.

I want to think back to it even from athletic performance perspective of that side of it. The athletic performance realm has developed a lot in the last 12 to 13 years. It was literally a case of turning up and doing the basics very well over and over and over and over again, over the course of days, weeks, months, years even.

Jack: And was there a lot of stability through the club that time with staff and key points?

Shane: Yeah, we were quite fortunate, I think. Our departments had a lot of stability and then there was a lot of stability on the coaching end too.

And I was there for the tail end of a very dominant period and it kind of slipped. And it’s interesting, actually, in the time, they’ve come back to the top now, but in that intervening time that I’ve been there, they went through a period of, actually they’ve just won the premiership this year, but they finished bottom of the league last year. So, it’s a bit of a complete 180. But they now seem to have that stability again, which is again, correlating with the team being successful. 

Jack: And then going back to your career journey. You then, by the looks of it, went to make the move to Australia in Melbourne. And what was your decision making there to, obviously, a successful club and your place where you have a first contract? I imagine it would’ve been difficult move in a lead role as well. What was your thought process in moving countries?

Shane: I guess the opportunity came up quite quickly. Bryce Calvin, who’s head of performance at England Soccer now, was at the Rebels at the time. And we had a bit of a relationship. He was at one of the teams in Ireland and we’d compete against each other. And when I’d go home, I’d pop in and spend some time there. And now we had a bit of a relationships.

I got a call one day and he was asking me about joining in, potentially, 12-months time. And I was a bit non-committal, said I’ll probably sign on at Leicester and we’ll discuss it. And then a couple days later I got another call asking if I could be there in three weeks. It was a pretty quick decision in the end, really.

I’ve grown up watching Super Rugby. And, I guess, the Australian sports landscape is obviously renowned globally, particularly around the sports science and athletic performance components. So, that was really attractive. And then the opportunity to challenge myself in another environment. So, it ended up being a pretty quick decision, but a pretty easy decision.

And I’m not sure if I thought this or realized this at the time, but I couldn’t have learned more than that transition going from a very established, successful team, stable team to an organization that’s still building and still finding its feet. I learned some important lessons from that transition. Probably made more mistakes and had to learn more in that first 12 months than any other point in my career. 

Jack: What were some of those mistakes that you made? Because, obviously, that is a fair change going from a successful club to one that’s developing. A fairly different environment, I’d imagine. 

Shane: Yeah, different environment. And I guess this is what’s spurred my interest in this PhD question, which I’m trying to answer, provide a framework for.

I turned up at the Melbourne Rebels after coming from a successful organization. And came there and probably didn’t appreciate some of the differences between the competition structure, the depth and the quality of player and the squad, the stylistic demands of the team. And where athletic performance development sat in the performance hierarchy in terms of supporting the team, winning and losing games.

So, I came from a team that played a very attritional brand of rugby, where strength, power, hypertrophy was a really integral part of how the team were trying to play. I also came from an organization, the team that had a lot of quality players within their squad. And so, the guy who was on the bench was also an international standard player. And because we were trying to play that kind of confrontational style, then I would say something like strength and power development sat quite high in the pecking order in terms of supporting outcomes on the weekend.

And when I came to Melbourne, I inputted, pretty much stuck that program into the Rebels environment. And there’s consequences to driving up any physical metric. And that’s okay if that’s a decision taken from a collective organization. I think I took the view that I had the answers because I come from a successful organization.

And you realize when you come in there, the competition is shorter. It’s pretty much a sprint. You play 28 to 32 games in a European season. You’re playing 14 in a Southern Hemisphere competition. If you lose three games in a European competition around Christmas time, it’s not good, but you can bounce back. If you lose three games in a Super Rugby season in a row, then your season could be done.

Second thing is the depth of the squad. Like we always had an international standard player who could come in if there was an injury. But if you are trying to attack, say, lower body strength and you’re starting full back gets to tap back, the next guy he might be an international player and the next guy might be a school kid. So, the drop, the noticeable drop-off. There’s a noticeable drop-off, which has a significant, a much greater impact on performance than increasing that athlete’s strength numbers.

Jack: And the games. Every game.

Shane: Yeah, every game counts more. And then probably lastly, is the stylistic demands. I think when I came, Super Rugby’s known for, and the Rebels especially, at the time were trying to play a really fast tempo, move the ball around kind of style.

So, they probably had more of an emphasis or we ended up having more of an emphasis as they understood the competition on. Maybe guys being a little bit lighter, speed development being a little bit higher in the pecking order, plyometric being a little bit higher in the pecking order. And strength’s still important, but just not that same need to develop athletes in the same way.

So, I learned those lessons through that transition from coming from one organization to the other and a different competition structure to the other. When I think about moving now into a completely different sport, then the lessons from that transition I think really have set me up better to make a transition like I have into the Sydney Swans.

Jack: Thanks for sharing, mate. That’s insightful into also your thought process of taking on a beast of a PhD research. We were talking about that off-air, but that makes a little bit more sense now.

On that topic, we talked about strength & conditioning philosophies and, like you’ve mentioned, working in Europe then to come to Australia, Super Rugby, and then now Australian rules football. Are there like non-negotiables with your strength & conditioning philosophy when you’re the lead strength and power coach? Or are you more now, with your experience, like you mentioned earlier, making some mistakes, how each environment has its own different demands, therefore you have to be pretty flexible?

Shane: I think it’s far more the latter. There is a term of the philosophy fallacy, I think. I actually think technical philosophies in terms of how we train athletes are, like our job is to select appropriate tools and understand the environment and not really have a hard and fast philosophy.

So, my only real philosophy is that the football programs comes first and that dictates or starts to direct your training interventions, where they fit, how hard to push. It’s football first.

And so, I’ll have come down to being an Olympic lifting guy or a west like barbell guy, or have-to-do-RDLs guy, it’s really a case of how are the team trying to play? What is the individual athlete’s needs? And then, how can we construct an appropriate intervention to support that? I guess, my message has been since I arrived here, is that, if we take an example of the strength and power program, there actually isn’t a strength and power program.

There’s only the football program of which there’s a physical arc where everything we’re trying to do is come back to aspects of either directly supporting footy or increasing your availability, or trying to increase your availability, so you have more opportunity to train and get better at technical tactical outputs. So, that would be my answer there. I think the only philosophy is to really start with the football program and support the football program. 

Jack: Which makes a lot of sense. With roles these days, have you found that you’ll have key performance measures that can challenge that? So, let’s say, you’ve got to put this much on the group with their box squad or anything like that. Or is it moving more towards, which would obviously influence your subconscious motivation to try and get them strong opposed to if you’re trying to help the team win a premiership and you haven’t got those KPIs?

Shane: We’ve done a lot of profiling of the athletes over the last year, I think. If I’m honest and reflective where we’re at with the strength and power interventions, as an example this year, I think, the programming has been relatively generic. Some individualizations were relatively generic.

And now that we’ve collected all this data over the course of the year, we’ll look to differentiate into force dominant, velocity dominant. Maybe even guys that we just need to maintain and we’re prioritizing technical tactical development. That’ll be the step forward. But we’ll produce physical reports for the coaches here and for the GM of football and have some discussions around having KPIs around physical markers.

But I actually think that’s a bit of a dangerous route to go down. And I’ve had this conversation with some of the hierarchy here. Because, ultimately, for people in our world, the goal is actually not getting guys fitter or faster or stronger. The goal is winning more football games. That’s what we’re trying to do or influence, have a positive contribution to the football program. And what you don’t want is staff members working in silos looking to justify their own positions by maximizing physical outputs.

And that’s not to say, there might be periods of time. One season in particular where we were coming off the back of a pretty poor season and I would say a pretty deconditioned athletes. And at that time really driving up physical capacities, I think, had a really positive impact on the team performing. But that’s not always the case.

I think the key skill of being a practitioner in the team sport environment is not solely increasing physical capabilities. It’s understanding where those interventions fit in the greater purpose of trying to win football games and perform well on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. 

Jack: Because at the end of the day, they’re not Olympic weightlifters or power lifters. It makes a lot of sense, mate. And thanks for giving us a good insight into, whether philosophy is the right word, but I guess your thought processes in your programming. With the influences of your career, when you look back, who have been some strong influences, mentors, if you like, that have helped shape your approach?

Shane: I’ve been quite fortunate, really, by the accident. I crossed paths with a lot of experts, almost founding fathers of sports science in the professional team sport environment.

When I think of really early influences, probably I had a bit of tennis when I was young. I grew up near a tennis club and my first ever coach there, one of my first ever coaches, a guy called Lima Bryan, even reflecting now, is one of the best coaches I’ve come across in terms of improving technical ability, but also driving motivation. When I reflect back, I think being around someone like that at a young age was pretty impactful, resonated with me on the importance of coaching and the influence that a coach can have.

But then professionally, one of the first people I ever came across in the Irish sports science landscape, which maybe not everyone’s familiar over with here, is Dr. Liam Hennessy. And he really set up a lot of the professional systems around team sports in Ireland. Some of the stuff that’s quite advanced now, and this was going on in the mid-90s, but athlete management system, centralizing player contract, so you could manage player workloads. Stuff that really was ahead of his time.

And Des Ryan was part of that group as well. He headed up the Academy at Arsenal for years and is an expert in youth development. And then Alex Martin was my first true high performance manager at Leicester Tigers, who is a little bit under the grid, but is maybe one of the best guys I’ve come across for really understanding the nuances of physical development, like really narrowing down on the physiology of developing athletes.

And then the time I’ve been over here, again like Bryce Cavanagh has worked in professional cricket, has worked in netball, has worked in Aussie rules football, professional rugby, and he’s now heading up the program at England Soccer. And I learned a lot from Bryce. Bryce’s first role in professional soccer, football, England football is one of the top jobs in the world. And he’s shown that by having a diverse range of experiences and understanding performance more holistically, that he can walk into a sport that he hasn’t been involved with before and really have an impact.

And I guess more recently than the last couple of years, Dean Benton, John Pryor, the guys involved at Rugby Australia. Are again expert practitioners and really think about performance more holistically than just physical development. I know Dean’s really hammered home and John Pryor hammered home to me that actually developing general physical qualities is relatively easy, but it’s how you transfer those qualities to football performance is the nuance and the skill. So, I’ve learned a lot from those guys.

And then, unfortunately, part of a young ambitious department here at the Swans, the Swans is a very stable organization. It’s been a pretty stable performance team here for a long time led by Rob Spurrs, Mike Rennie, Mark Kilgallon. Did a great job here for years and years and left a solid legacy of a good program here, a good legacy of research and development.

And then we have a relatively new department here for the first time in a long time in the last two years. Myself, Rob Innes, Will Sheehan, working with a great medical team. I guess we’re all influencing each other and trying to build something here and build on the legacy of the guys that went before us.

Jack: And how many of those influences, like you mentioned from all different walks of life, from a tennis coach to working with colleagues at Rugby Australia, how many of them came organically and how many would you reach out to, like you did with Leicester Tigers?

Shane: I always think this isn’t just true for professional development, but also personal development. I think it’s a mix of formal-informal education there. So, I’m just doing the ACA level 3 at the minute and that’s really good formal education. But then you’re also connecting with people who are working in the MBA and MLS. You’re having those informal conversations about some of the day-to-day problems.

Some of those relationships have risen through working in the elite sport environment. But I think I’ve always been quite good at reaching out and trying to connect to people. And a lot of us are trying to solve the same problems. So, if you can share your experiences, if you’re willing to give something and not just take information, then I think those relationships tend to nurture and develop quite well.

And then, on the academic side, I’ve been really lucky, particularly around Warren Young, who’s influenced me a bit and encouraged me to do this PhD. And Scott Tapley at Fed Uni, he’s there at Warren. And then James and Paul Gaston at La Trobe, who are part of my supervisor team. And they’re really interested in what’s going on in the implied environment, but they also force me to really be vigorous around studying and keeping on top of the academic literature as well.

Jack: And then, going back to your career journey again. So, you were at Melbourne Rebels for a good stint there and then decided to move to Sydney Swans, I believe, was your next role. Take us through your thought process in changing codes to Australian rules football. 

Shane: I guess I learned a lot from that transition, as I mentioned. I didn’t realize when I made that move from Leicester to Melbourne, it’s that Dunning-Kruger effect. I think I thought I knew everything when I moved to Melbourne. I thought I had all the answers coming from a successful team. And I learned so much in that transition when you’re battling at the middle to the bottom end of the table at times, there is a lot more learning in those environments.

And the role was very broad as part of a smaller team, smaller organization. So, you really had an appreciation of what the head coach was trying to achieve, what the attack coach was trying to achieve, even what the commercial team were trying to achieve. And you understand that winning games is only part of it in the sport like Rugby Union and Melbourne. You’re trying to create a commercial footprint in there as well. So, it gives you better appreciation.

I guess I learned a lot from that transition, same when I was involved in with the Wallabies at international rugby. And I guess I was aware that another big test of that would be moving to a code that I was relatively unfamiliar with. Living in Melbourne, it’s hard not to get somewhere engrossed in footy, but I guess I’ve never been involved in the day-to-day running of it.

So, through that sharing of ideas, and myself and Rob, Rob was at Richmond Tigers at the time, we would frequently converse on, if we had a hamstring issue, then maybe seek his opinion, grab a coffee with him and have a chat through it. And I’d go over and present in our strength and power program. He’d come over to the Rebels and present on some of the rehab philosophies at Richmond.

And through that information sharing, when he came up here, then we had a conversation potentially coming up. There was still a pretty thorough interview process following that. But the thought of working in another sport, the thought of working in a pretty prestigious organization like the Swans, and then also working with Rob, who I knew was a good guy, and starting to really put our impact or put our imprint on an organization like the Swans is a pretty exciting opportunity.

Jack: Absolutely. And what were some of the big challenges early days as you were taking on the role?

Shane: There were some big challenges, but again, from that transition I was much more ready and prepared for those challenges.

So, one, Rob and I, and Will, we didn’t walk in here on a program that was floundering. They’d been in 19 over the last 22 final series. So, there was a lot of good things in place here. There wasn’t a rescue operation that had to be put in place. So, we had a very good handover from the previous performance department here and still very good relationships with Mark Kilgallon and Mike Rennie, my two predecessors. They’re still very involved as a reference point. I know Rob Spurrs did the same for Rob Inness.

So, the first thing was being respectful of what had been done already. I came in mid-season last year and Mark Kilgallon who had preceded me in my role had pretty much the next month to six weeks planned out for me to allow for them to continue what they’re doing and me just to get an idea of how things were running currently.

And he was also pretty honest, like every program in Australia, the COVID situation had created some issues and potentially some detraining around some components. So, Mark highlighted some certain areas where he thought there could be room for improvement off the back of the COVID situation. So, it’s pretty seamless handover there.

It’s being respectful of what’s gone on before. Walking in, understanding the landscape, understanding the coaches, what the coaches are looking for in the organization, what are they looking for from the athletic performance department. I made that mistake of walking in the Rebels and trying to make a name for myself by driving up physical capacities. And, as I said, there’s consequences that if you’re not aware of what the organizational demands are and what the landscape is. 

Jack: And from the strength and power point of view between the different codes, from a general sense, are you changing key lifts? Are they fairly different compared to from rugby to AFL? Or are they more or less the same, you’re just changing your volume, your rep schemes and sets and intensities?

Shane: Again, I think this is only my interpretation of it. And if someone came in tomorrow, they might make a different decision. And again, this ties into maybe what I’m trying to do from a study perspective. But initially my start process was for them to keep doing what they were doing. I came in mid-season and was trying to become aware of where the program was at and where we could potentially add value after that.

But it starts with the football program and you think, ‘What are we trying to achieve?’ I think not just here, but in footy generally then, contested possession and pressure are two things that contribute towards team success. So, it’s important that we have a strength and power program, which supports those aspects.

And then, I guess for me, my decision making process in regards to key lift, I don’t think there’s any one lift. I look at the running demands of some of our guys and we’re trying to be a high pressure team. Our training has significant running demand. So, for example, something like a trap bar deadlift, I think, is an appropriate exercise for our training group and our athletes.

It’s an example of an exercise where you think I can increase newer outputs in regard to strength and doesn’t have that same mechanical load that might cause DOMS or leg soreness. And we can get those strength adaptations without the associated hypertrophy or the associated fatigue and allow them more time for running around that intensity outside.

So, I guess that’s a micro example of some of the decision making in terms of supporting the footy program. Now, someone might come in and they say, ‘I think a front squat is a better lift or a back squat or a Bulgarian split squat.’ That’s completely up to the individual, but that’s just my interpretation of working from the football program back to help guide exercise selection.

In terms of the differences between the sports, I was expecting a lot of differences, but I’ve actually been more surprised by maybe some of the commonalities. I would say the volume of strength training is less. Guys just don’t need to be maintained the same and hold onto the same body mass.

We would obviously have significant portions of our training in a rugby program that were focused around maintaining hypertrophy or increasing hypertrophy and increasing lean mass. That’s probably not the case with the majority of our footy athletes. There is, obviously, a group of players that are in that category, but not many. So, the volume is probably lower.

The intensities, we would try and maintain lifting intensity, but some of the commonalities around still running bay sports, the ability to drop body height and be strong at lower positions is important around the scramble for possession contest on the floor. That’s also important in a sport like rugby union, where you have to drop your body height to carry out a ruck or make a tackle.

So, probably I was expecting a lot of differences and there are. But I’ve probably been surprised by maybe some of the commonalities that exist across the sports as well.

Jack: And for the developing S&Cs listening in, dropping that height drill, do you have technical ability to help on the field with contact prep and tackle technique? 

Shane: I think that’s the golden standard is general training and then more specific athletic performance training, and then finally tying it into a more contextual scenario.

So, we’ll obviously do some work in the gym prep-wise around flexibility, mobility, maybe some coordination based exercises, which tax that ability to drop body height and be strong at lower positions. Then we might go outside and have a drill focused around perturbations at low body heights. And then it might go straight into one of the technical coaches and do a ground ball situation. So, you’re trying to tie in some of those physical development aspects with the technical action.

And I think that’s probably the gap. Obviously, some of the Frans Bosch’s coordination based principles are quite polarizing, but for me, I think that’s where they fit. There’s obviously the need to develop general physical capacities and capabilities, but sport’s not about maximum force output. Team sport is about appropriate force production and short timeframes across planes. And you can do that in a light performance sense, but then it’s also important to put that into a contextual drill with the coaches as well.

Jack: I imagine, working with John Pryor, you’ve been exposed to the Frans Bosch’s systems. Like you said, it’s quite polarizing, but it’s very popular and he has made a big impact on the industry. Where does running mechanics sit with your programming in the gym? Or is that something you just do on the field?

Shane: No, it fits in the gym as well. I think where I’ve been sold on some of the coordination based principles is that it’s not an and/or situation. And I guess for us, we’ve done away with maybe some of those traditional warm-ups, the mini band, do your crab walks, and we’ll substitute that for coordination.

It’s training against lower resistances, but it’s still a training. Guys don’t need to be necessarily warming up like you would be to squat under a barbell or warm up for a heavy bench press. But I guess we’ve used those warm-up windows in either on the field or session prep pre-training or the start of a gym session to integrate coordination based principles, running mechanics, hip conditioning, trunk work.

And there’s the acute process of getting ready for training. I think there’s a warm-up element to that, but it’s also like building a wall. You just keep adding those. Add a brick every day, add three bricks a day, and then you’re accumulating those training exposures over the course of the season.  

Jack: And was that something that you brought into Sydney Swans or were they already doing hip conditioning and that Frans Bosch sort of philosophy?

Shane: There’s definitely portions of it. And I guess I’m still learning the space too. Someone like John Pryor is excellent on the practical application in the team sports setting. He’s a fair bit more advanced than where I am currently. But those are some principles that I probably got exposed to more with him and through Dean Benton.

And I guess where those guys have challenged me is that the definition of strength and power training in the team sport environment has probably gotten broader. When you think of strength training, you think of squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing, chinning, your traditional general exercises.

But where those guys have rechallenged me that, when you’re in a team sport setting, in a sport like footy, it’s also the ability to get in the right positions. So, is your flexibility, mobility good enough to actually drop your body height and pick up a ground ball? For me, that’s part of the strength and power interventions that we put in place.

The coordination based principles, as I mentioned, like sport is not having 700 milliseconds to generate max force. It’s can you generate force quickly in 50, 100, 150 milliseconds across planes? If you are asking someone to compete on the floor around a scramble, then it has to occur instantaneously.

And I guess those things maybe start to bridge the gap between traditional strength and power training and football performance. 

Jack: And you mentioned the coordination aspects of it. So, it’s very much a skill and practicing and getting that, building that brick by brick, as you mentioned, and you talk about the importance of motivation. How do you find buy-in with these drills? Is it something that is pretty easy? Or is it something that you have to definitely go in and be pretty prepped to build a lot of energy around these drills to make sure they’re done well? 

Shane: No, I think they probably naturally land themselves to engagement. One, we try and tie everything back to the football program. As I said, there is no strength and power program. There’s only the football program and the aspects that we’re putting in regard to our strength and power interventions or interventions on the field in warm-up or acceleration or speed. The drills are focused on the individual being a better footy player.

The other advantage, I think, of coordination based training is that, by definition, there’s a learning process to it. So, it naturally engages the athlete. It’s not a pre-planned movement like a squat or a deadlift, and you know how it’s going to go. You’re essentially providing a start point and an end point and asking the athlete to solve the movement problem. Which I think is engaging if you’re an athlete, you’re trying to master something.

And the other component to it is that Bosch talks a lot about failure being necessary for learning. So, if something is getting easy, then we try and challenge it through either greater variability or unstable surface or quicker transitions. And I think that stimulates the learning process.

Jack: And then you mentioned Olympic lifting a little bit earlier. Is that something that you do in your strength and power program? 

Shane: No, it’s not been a main thing. And again, it’s nothing anti Olympic lifting. We probably, not this one, but we previously have done derivatives of that. It might be a jump shrug or something like that. And I guess I’ve probably gone to that default team sport, athletic performance coach of thinking, ‘Oh, it’s not the teaching time. Isn’t worth the investment.’

But we’ve made a conscious effort with our first and second years. And Dan Cosenza, who works with me and particularly looks after the late stage Academy and those first and second years. We’re pretty keen on those young guys having a broader curriculum of training generally. And he’s maybe convinced me that it is a more viable tool.

He started those guys, those first years who came in on the draft, Olympic lifting in November. And they’re actually really proficient now in a relatively short period of time. So, Dan’s work in that space has probably challenged my conceptions there. I think it might be a useful tool. At the moment we tend to maybe use things like squat jumps or loaded countermovement jumps and try and drive some competition around that through the use of gym wear.

And, as you know, team sport athletes are quite competitive. So, if we can put an objective number on it and put it up on a screen that updates, then they tend to get around it. And I think there’s a real sweet spot there on individualization and competition in the team sport environment. Ultimately, I think that competition drives intensity and its intensity that drives adaptation. So, there’s always that sweet spot of having highly individualized programs.

We also have those Olympic lifts variants and the guys are really good at it. There’s also value of having 40 or 50 kilos on a bar and everyone’s competing to see how quickly they can move that. But certainly Dan’s work with the first years made me think that it may be a more viable tool going forward. 

Jack: If you have that with the Academy all the way up, you’ve got time with them. What about with the coaching, with the prep work, with the coordination drills? Do you and Dan break the group up in half, so you got more eyes on them in that sense? Or do you do it all at once? Like you mentioned, the power of the group.

Shane: No, I guess what we try and do is, I guess what we term coaching heavy and coaching light. And we try and have either days or portions of the training, which are quite coach intensive, where there are real technical components that we want them to improve on and therefore require plenty of eyes on. Or we have components of training where we’re happy to leave them go.

And that might look like their upper body strength training. I don’t think too many of our boys need coaching at the minute on bench pressing and bench pulls or not too much queuing on trap or dead lifts. But something like our plyometric work or coordination based training et cetera, I think needs to be quite heavily coached. So, we try and periodize that.

And I guess the way we try and solve that problem is we’ll start every strength and power session with a rotation of hip conditioning, flexibility, mobility, their trunk work and a coordination element. And they’ll basically work at a little circuit there at the start, which is coached quite heavy. And then we’ll let them disperse into their stations. So, we’ve tried to set up the environment like that.

And then we’ve also, I guess, tried to use those daily session prep windows, or using the 5 to 10 minutes we have pre-training. So, yes, warm them up, but also use those for quite direct coaching interventions. We might have little acceleration group or the running mechanics group, and we can grab those guys. And again, it’s not a significant amount of time, but it’s probably microdosing those interventions over the course of a week. And then over the course of a season. 

Jack: You mentioned periodizing the heavy exercises, the complex movements with the light ones. Is that something that comes into account with a six day break? Or if they’ve just come from a big meeting, you simplify and you go, ‘Okay, damn, we’re going to go lighter with them today. Because they’ve just spent with the coaches for two hours’? Or is it more just an aspect of depending on what level you’re at with your program and your accumulation phase in pre-season to season?

Shane: I guess there’s probably two avenues to that. There’s obviously the general team dynamic. And then there’s also looking at the individuals. We obviously have guys who play, don’t play, and our young guys coming through.

So, I guess we start with a general view of what we think is best suited for the group holistically, or probably the guys who played AFL holistically. And then we’ll work through the individuals in terms of prescription, depending on where they’re, what their game demands have been, what the coaches’ requirements are of them, what we’ve discussed as a multidisciplinary team with the medical group. And then try and come up with appropriate interventions from that.

But I think an important skill in team sports setting is, what we try and do is periodize some of their cognitive load there. So, we know when the guys come in on a Monday after a game, that they’re going to have a lot of information thrown at them from a technical tactical perspective. We know they’re going to be sitting in long meetings and going through video clips and having one-on-one with the coaches.

So, I think a day like that is better suited to something that does not have high cognitive load in something like a strength and power session. On a day like that’s where we tend to get our flexibility, mobility work done. We’ll do 20 minutes or half an hour there. Maybe a little bit of upper body and the interaction for myself and Dan is maybe a little bit. And Rob is maybe a little bit less on those days, because we know that the cognitive load coming from the coaches is going to be pretty significant.

And then it might be vice versa the next day. We’re obviously playing a lot of footy the next day, but the volume of meetings maybe isn’t the same, the review process isn’t the same. So, it gives us an opportunity maybe putting some of that coordination based work or coaching through the plyometric work. And, obviously, there’s never an exact science there. It’s interpreting and managing the different variables that go into managing a professional athlete. But that’s the general theme that we currently try to take. 

Jack: Thanks for sharing. And for the athletes listening in, when you are working with an athlete for the first time, what do you get excited about when you see, from an athletic point of view, where this guy or girl’s got a lot of potential in their growth as an athlete?

Shane: What I’d say to any young athlete starting out, I think you often hear stories of athletes later on in their career and they don’t train that much, they just play. The majority of guys who reach the top of their profession are consistent in their professional habits and have accumulated a lot of time training. That’s how you get good in the first place.

And I think it’s quite easy in the middle part of your career to get a bit more comfortable and to drift a little bit. But I find the best guys are the people who have… If you are Richard McCaw, a pretty famous story in the Rugby Union, that at the tail end of his career he was only training once and playing a game. But that’s because he’s accumulated 15 or 20 years of consistent training at the top level.

That’s how you become an elite athlete is by being consistent and experiencing a lot of… Tom Brady. I read a quote recently, or a while ago, he’s talking about retiring. He’s like, ‘Why would I retire now? I’ve never had more answers to the problems that I see in a football game.’ That’s how you get good. You accumulate a lot of experience.

So, I think it’s always exciting when you get a young athlete first time in because the environment is so new. The support services around them, they can get their meals delivered, they can have a massage after training, there’s someone working with them individually to improve. And the reality is: if you’ve reached it to an AFL list, then you’re in that top 1%, you’re in that 1% or 2% athletically, anyway. That’s the reason why you’re there in the first place.

So, it’s exciting when you see how enthusiastic they are. I think the message I would have is that it’s important to maintain that. And that’s true, I think, if you’re playing VFL football, or if you’re playing local park footy, you get good by accumulating consistency and accumulating training time.

Jack: I love that. Consistent habits, like you talked about earlier with the head coach, at least targets how important it was with behaviors. So, you’ve mentioned a few highlights so far, but is there one that really stands out? A highlight of your career, something that you’re really proud of throughout your professional career today? 

Shane: I’m very lucky that I do something that I probably count it more as a vocation than a job. This is my hobby as much as something that pays the bills. And I’m very lucky in that sense. And there’s been some highlights there.

I guess being involved in premiership wins in the UK. I probably appreciate it more now, as I go further away from it. So, that’s what I thought professional sport was, going to ground finals. And I haven’t been back to one in a decade. You realize how special those days are to actually win the big prize.

The Melbourne Rebels experience. There were some tough years there, but that’s had a profound effect on me as a practitioner. I’m definitely a lot better from being there surrounded by good practitioners and good people who are trying their hardest to get to that level.

And then working international sport. I just did a season with the Wallabies, but being involved in the Bledisloe Cup win or a Bledisloe Cup game win, I should say. Another, not winning the competition and winning the cup, but being there, at the Bledisloe Cup was pretty special. And then again, I probably didn’t appreciate how big it would be. But being on the sideline and involved in game there, watching Lance kick his 1000th goal, that’s probably one of the most insane things I’ve been involved in professional sport.

I actually didn’t really comprehend. Because, obviously, I haven’t grown up here and I’ve never seen a pitch invasion, but there was like seven minutes left and the kick man came to me and he’s like, ‘Oh, we need to get everything off the sideline.’ And I was like, ‘There’s seven minutes left in the game.’ And he’s like, ‘Mate, they’re going to go nuts if he kicks it.’ I was like, ‘Well, like a shot at the end of the game?’ And he was like, ‘No, that’ll go straight away.’ I was like, ‘You can’t get anywhere near the pitch in most professional sports.’

And so, I was of the very wrong assumption that if something was going to happen, it was going to happen when the final whistle went. But that was a pretty special event to be involved in.

Jack: It was crazy. I was watching that on the TV and it would be once in a lifetime, if not more, experience to even just see it, let alone be there. Where were you at the time? Were you like all staff tucked away inside somewhere? Or were you on the ground?

Shane: I was on the sidelines just by the race. I said to our logistics managers, like we just have to get everything off. Obviously, there’s jerseys and spare boots and all sorts of stuff on the sideline. She was like, ‘We’ve got to get it out.’ And yeah, there’s some pretty hectic stories from that night of people coming over the dugout and crashing through physio tables and kids stripping up and their parents running away and trying to get in close to the action. It was an exciting night to be a part of.

Jack: A hundred percent. And then, on the flip side, what about a major challenge that you’ve overcome in your career and what have you learned from it? Or how did you grow from it, I guess? 

Shane: As I probably highlighted, that transition from Leicester to Melbourne. I’ve learned so much from that experience. I think, if I’m honest, when I reflect back, I was maybe quite lucky to survive that first 12 months, really, after that transition to Melbourne. Well, with good intentions, but I think I probably created more problems than what I solved in the short term. 

Jack: Was that like injuries or what were some of the things?

Shane: Yeah, it was some of that, I think. There was no significant injuries there, but maybe in my first season there, I think, we had three guys pull up facet joints. I always think stuff happens.

I’m pretty comfortable with the fact that if you train 45 blokes for four hours a week for 40 weeks of the year, then the chances of something happening, something to someone at some point is you’ve got to be okay. You try and mitigate risk, but something might occur to someone at some point.

But I think we had three short term injuries in my first season there at Melbourne. But three, they cost blokes games at the weekend. Something would happen on Thursday and they wouldn’t get up for the Saturday. And as I said, that has a significant impact on team performance at the weekend.

And so, that was a pretty significant challenge. As I said, I probably was going through that Dunning-Kruger cycle at the time where I thought I had all the answers, because I come from a really successful program, was used to being aggressive with prescriptions. And going in and having to tell a coach that so-and-so aggravated his facet joint doing X and Y out on a Thursday isn’t an easy conversation. And then having to do it a couple of weeks later is an even harder conversation.

But I learned a lot from that experience. One, being more considerate and understanding what are some of the other pressure points for some of the other stakeholders that are involved in the organization. And then just being more resilient with that stuff as well. If you’re training athletes regularly, or if you’re an athlete training regularly yourself, then occasionally things will go wrong and you have to be resilient enough to cup that. Review it, try and learn from it and then go on.

Jack: Well said, mate. And for S&Cs listening in that are managing a program and maybe going through that current experience right now, what would be your review process? And then, with more experience now, how do you manage it? I guess better than at the beginning where you were dealing with these hard decisions and then also being able to communicate with the coach. 

Shane: Well, I think the important thing is that ideally you wannt to be making as many of those mistakes as you can. If you’re a young practitioner in the amateur environment, it’s not a positive experience anywhere. But when the consequences are a little bit less, that’s where you want to be learning. Maybe trialing things, making mistakes and learning from them. I think if you’re in the pro environment and what I learned from that is the skill is being considerate of how you impact the holistic program and having an understanding of that.

And I hope this doesn’t sound like it’s a case of being conservative with prescriptions. That’s not the case. Because it’s just understanding when’s the time to push, when’s it time to maybe consolidate, who are the individuals that we need to maybe look after this week or who are the individuals that we need to push to give them greater chance of being selected in the team in 4, 5, 6-weeks time.

I think you have to be quite honest with yourself. Again, going through a thorough review process, speaking to other practitioners in the field, also working as part of multidisciplinary teams. Even if you’re part of local footy club, there’s probably a physio there or head coach there. Really honestly reviewing those situations and reviewing your practice and then also understanding that stuff will happen.

The game of AFL or the game of professional rugby union is a tough game. And if you’re constantly protecting yourself, then you’re not going to be prepared. And the injury’s not going to manifest itself maybe on a gym session or a field session, but it will manifest itself when you’re trying to perform at the weekend at some point.

Jack: Which is probably worse for the coach when your player is down.

Shane: And the worst thing you can do as a practitioner is to be afraid there and be conservative and you think, ‘Okay, nothing’s happened under my watch.’ But we’re all responsible, everyone in the team is responsible for team performance at the weekend. So, it’s not to look after your own self-interest, it’s in the betterment of the organization and the team going well.

Jack: Awesome. Well said, mate. We’ll move into the get-to-know-you side of the podcast. So, they’re a bit lighter, these ones. If you’re a quote man or just a general life motto, but have you got a favorite, inspirational quote or a life motto that you live by? 

Shane: Yeah, there’s a couple that I write in my mood journal every day when I’m planning my day and ones are like strong opinions weekly held. So, I think where I am in my career is that I believe in certain things because they’re evidence based and I have experience to suggest that they work. But there’s nothing, I hope, that I believe in so firmly that if I’m presented with information to the contrary, then I’m not willing to change my mind. And that’s happened numerous times over my career.

And it’s probably a little bit of a red flag for me these days when I speak to someone and they seem really sure. I think if I look at the people who are much more experienced than I am, they obviously have a lot of experience and they are working from an evidence based practice, but they’re still trying to figure out how to solve problems in the environment. They’re not entirely sure what the best solution is in the applied environment.

And then the second one is probably on the same theme like that. ‘As the island of our knowledge grows, so too do the shores of our ignorance.’ That’s a Johnny Wheeler’s quote, I think. The more you learn about human performance and team performance, the more you realize you don’t know.

You’re dealing with the complex organism, a human being operating in a complex environment, like a game of footy or a team sport environment. So, there’s a lot of variables there. You’re just never going to have a full grasp of all the variables that impact an individual and impact team performance.

I think when you realize that, it’s a humbling experience and probably makes you more comfortable not knowing all the answers and more highlights the fact, you just need to continue on that educational process. 

Jack: Embrace the chaos, huh?

Shane: Embrace the chaos.

Jack: What about in your work life, what are your pet peeves? What makes you angry?

Shane: I guess, that consistency beats comes back to me, I think. And I get it. Professional athletes are blokes in their twenties and I think in my own personal journey I probably didn’t start to figure out who I was personally until I was maybe closer to 30 than I was at 22 or 23. But, obviously, the perception is that what you’re doing is going to keep going forever and that eventually the grand final will come and the premiership will come. And the reality is that it has a short lifespan, even if you have a long career.

So, I think inconsistencies in behavior and getting bored with doing some of the things that we know are important for not just athletic performance, but even performance, nutritional habits, good sleep quality, being engaged in aspects outside of footy. When I see people getting inconsistent with some of those behaviors, that tends to irritate me.

But then, it’s obviously important to realize too, that not everyone is as straight-laced and boring and disciplined as I am now. And I probably wasn’t like that either when I was 23 or 24.

Jack: And what about when you have a day off, what’s your favorite way to spend your day off when you get one?

Shane: Well, I’m very lucky to have a supportive wife who has really allowed me to pursue my career ambitions. So, it’s always good when we get a bit of a day off, just to have some family time, to be honest.

She has very successful career of her own. But probably the nature of professional sport is that it’s quite demanding. And as a result, she puts in a hell of a shift at home. So, it’s always nice to spend time with my family. With Sarah, my wife. My daughter’s four and a bundle of energy. And then we’ve got another one on the way in August.

So, probably spending time with family, drinking some coffee, hanging out at the beach, sneaking in a gym session, probably. It’s pretty basic, but it’s what makes me happy.

Jack: To have a good life.

Shane: A good life.  

Jack: Recharge and connect with home. That’s awesome, mate. Well, thanks so much for jumping on. We’ll wrap it up now. What are you excited about for 2022? You’ve got plenty going on with Sydney Swans, family, new baby on the way, and, obviously, your PhD that you embarked on as well. So, what’s at the front of your mind at the moment that you’re excited about?

Shane: I guess professionally I really think we’re on the verge of, potentially, doing something with the Swans. I’m still learning the game of footy, but the environment feels like it did those Leicester days for me. And I think we could really do something.

We’ve got a really good mix of experienced guys, like Josh Kennedy and, obviously, Lance Franklin, Sam Reid. And then some really quality young blokes coming up through, Chad Warner, Errol Gulden. So, it just feels like professionally we could really do something in the next couple of years, which I’m excited about. We’re in the process of constructing this new training facility down the road, which is really exciting professionally.

And I guess with the PhD and speaking with you and work, and I just feel like what’s essentially a personal interest around that, experiential personal interest around that decision making is also starting to filter in some way. Academic and educational and professional interest, which I’m quite excited about.

And then, family. It’s going to be hectic in six or seven weeks from now. But I’m excited about meeting our little daughter and our family being complete. So, that’s an exciting time there as well. 

Jack: Absolutely. Well, you’re living a full life, mate, so congratulations. And thanks for sharing with us your journey so far. Clearly, there’s more years to come, but thanks for sharing with us and being so open and honest as well with what’s worked and some learnings and lessons along the way as well. Really appreciate it. No doubt, I’ve got a lot from it, but also the audience of athletes and strength & conditioning coaches and the practitioners working in elite sport. On behalf of all of them, thank you for jumping on and sharing with us. 

Shane: Awesome. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate the time and having the conversation. 

Jack: For those that want to get in contact and ask questions, where’s the best place to get in contact with yourself?

Shane: Sure. I’m not the best on social media, but probably you can find me at LinkedIn. I really need to spend more time on photograph day at the team photograph day. Because I always look a bit scruffy, but you’ll find me there on LinkedIn, somewhere in my Swans. Shane Lehane. And anyone who wants to connect and reach out, I’m happy to chat.

Jack: We’ll add the link in the show notes, guys. And thank you for everyone that’s tuned in live. If you joined in halfway through or at the end, make sure to tune in to the very start. This episode will live on our YouTube channel. Once we end live, you can watch it from the very start. And then the podcast recording will be live next Tuesday.

Our next live chat will be with Valeri Stoimenov, who is also a strength & conditioning coach. He’s currently the coordinator at Bendigo South East College. That will be at 8:30 PM, Friday, the 15th of July. So, I’ll see you guys then.

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