AFL – Burnout the big worry for coaches

Oct 01, 13 AFL – Burnout the big worry for coaches

A photo of AFL senior coaches in 2009 show`s that only Alastair Clarkson remains in the same job at the same club. This is a frighting write up from www.theage.com.au that show`s us how a role of a coach is ruthless, physical and mentally challenging that can lead to all sorts of health issues and the most common of all “Burn Out”.

The churn and burn in elite football coaching ranks remains extreme with warped work-life balance a significant problem across the industry, but at the end of a season that AFL Coaches Association bosses have summarised as ”difficult”, there are some encouraging signs of change.

In an address to the competition’s fraternity of around 180 senior and assistant coaches this week, AFLCA chief executive Danny Frawley illustrated the ruthlessness of the business by showing a photograph of the competition’s head coaches from 2009.

 

AFL senior coaches in 2009. Only Alastair Clarkson remains in the same job at the same club - Picture by Peter Cox - www.theage.com.au

AFL senior coaches in 2009. Only Alastair Clarkson remains in the same job at the same club – Picture by Peter Cox – www.theage.com.au

 

At the conclusion of season 2013, as Frawley highlighted with regret, only Hawthorn’s Alastair Clarkson remained senior coach of the same club, while Ross Lyon and Mick Malthouse had pursued careers elsewhere and Paul Roos recently ended a period of leave by taking over at Melbourne.

”The work rate and the work-life balance of our coaches remains the biggest issue in our view. Even the pressure on guys who have had the ultimate success becomes overburdening sometimes, and that’s very, very unhealthy,” Frawley told Fairfax Media after Ken Hinkley was voted AFLCA coach of the year for his achievements with Port Adelaide in his debut season.

”Yes they get well paid, but the burnout factor and the churn-out factor is something we’d still like to stem.”

 

Danny Frawley - ''The work rate and the work-life balance of our coaches remains the biggest issue in our view" - Picture by www.theage.com.au

Danny Frawley – ”The work rate and the work-life balance of our coaches remains the biggest issue in our view” – Picture by www.theage.com.au

 

Coaching icon and AFLCA president David Parkin reflected on the ”very difficult” year that saw two senior coaches (Michael Voss and Mark Neeld) sacked, one resignation (John Worsfold), one extraordinary suspension (James Hird) and a legend of the game (Kevin Sheedy) pass the baton to a protege at Greater Western Sydney.

”But a good thing is that coaches who have been whacked – and there are four again this year – are being better supported through that time.

”They are being helped better through the transition out and, more importantly, they are able to stay in the game,” Parkin said.

”We’ve got four senior coaches who might previously have gone sideways this year, but probably all four will be re-employed in the game in some sort of coaching role with some other club [down the track]. That is wonderful. It’s far preferable to losing all this experience, competence and intellectual property; we should be retaining it rather than sacking it,” Parkin said. ”I have much greater confidence now in the industry’s ability to look after its own better.”

The four-time premiership coach was concerned, however, that many AFL clubs – and some coaches – still needed a major mental rewiring when it came to linking hours worked with perceived commitment. Academic Mandy Ruddock-Hudson has been commissioned by the AFLCA to report on the area.

”The clubs themselves need to provide an environment that encourages more balance in their lives … that’s about changing the attitude of ‘more is better’,” Parkin said.

Frawley said ”the big win” for the AFLCA in 2013 was that revised protocols around recruitment appeared to have been respected while clubs remained in premiership contention.

Reflecting on the circumstances, two years ago, when Collingwood was left a coach down during finals after Neeld was named as Melbourne’s new senior coach, Frawley said: ”That should never happen again.

The full link to website and article can be found below –

 http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/burnout-the-big-worry-for-coaches-20130925-2uelj.html

Excellent work from The Age (www.theage.com.au)

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