Throughout the history of human kind, certain individuals stand out from the crowd; they stand as great leaders who left grand legacies. Generally they were not great leaders because they were good people, or exceedingly intelligent; they had one overarching skill that made them great. They had an ability to motivate people with words.
Churchill fighting them on the beaches, JFK asking not what your country can do for you, Reagan asking for the wall to be torn down. These types of speeches, gave hope in despair, boosted characters of men, inspired bravery, gave courage, and ultimately changed the course of history.
Likewise throughout the history of Football similar icons stand out from the rest, Swashbuckling Barassi barking orders, Salt of the earth Hafey calling for the back pocket plumber, Sheedy or Parkin using their obscure words of wisdom or bulging jugulars to raise their troops but one famous footy speech towers above all others, the don’t think, do speech by John Kennedy Snr.
Don't think, Do.
Sentiments that might have worked in 1975 but would they wash today? Today it’s more likely to sound like don't think, don't do, don't act, just play your role...
It would appear coaching today is far more programmed into roles and structure, you can’t get emotional or else your message gets muddled and lost in translation to the simplified millennial mind. But isn't emotion, if harnessed, the x-factor that can take you over the edge, to go the extra yard? Isn’t it the final ingredient that can turn a player from good to great?
It would seem in times past the art of man motivation would focus on inspiring individuals to become team-oriented. Now they focus on inspiring teams to work as a single unit individual.
We must never let the art of inspiring men become a forgotten skill, a lost relic in a room full of computers, GPS trackers and ipads. Where once stood a magnet board and man talking, now huddles a group on plastic Bunnings chairs around an ipad watching dots navigate a green oval. Am I now inspired to be a better dot?
In a comp so even, if you motivate your troops, you may gain 5% on top of the other teams who are running their structures. That 5% that may take you from thereabouts to the pinnacle.
Don’t think, Do.
Clear and concise. Let’s see how the famous speech would look seasonally adjusted to fit today’s footy world.
Boys, Our key indicators show we were lacking in certain key criteria in the first half. We have been comprehensively outpointed in every key statistic. It’s one thing to be outpointed, but we have not been allowed to play our brand, to get the game on our terms.
Now look, our structures have been dragged all out of position, they are getting numbers to the ball, they are using their plus-one around the contest but we have been slow to react. We need to get more numbers to the contest! Be first to the contest, Attack the contest as a unit!
Bomber, your numbers have been down but keep playing your role and things will turn. When you get the ball I want you look inboard and use the corridor by foot, go long and try to get it over the back of their press or use the fat side if it’s really on.
We are so far off the boil in terms of key indicators; we really need to raise the intensity to get back on terms. It will not happen with possession tempo football, just get it moving forward anyway you can, take a risk, get it moving though their press, run in number, run in waves with link handball, run them off their feet.
Are we clear? Get it and play on, use the sling runner who will go long through the corridor, I need you all to play your role and move forward as a unit. It can’t be worse than what we have been playing; stagnant, stop-start footy.
If you see the loose man over there, don’t get sucked into going sideways, keep going fast through the corridor, if the corridor kick is on, take it, it opens up the whole ground. It won’t come off every time but I’ll take the blame when it doesn’t, you are playing our brand. But I won’t wear players who don’t two-way run, players who neglect their defensive responsibilities, who are playing like individuals… you can come in here post game and say, at least I played my role for this team.
So every time we mark I want runners, drag your man with you, create space for others to run into but don’t all get sucked to the contest, you must keep your structure and shape, but we don’t want a team of outside players either. Somebody still needs to hit the contest, we are getting killed in contested possession numbers. I need more repeat efforts, go and go again. Second efforts are key. More spread, More repeat entries.
Play your role! Don’t think, don’t hope, play your role! At least come off and say I played my role, I ticked off my KPIs, I played my role in the structure. Play your role. We must play our brand of footy and get it on our terms to win the match, but we will only win if we play as a unit. You must play our brand and keep our structures. The crowd might laugh, it may not come off this time, but if we keep playing our brand of footy the result is not important, we will build into the team we want to become moving forward. Are you all with me?
Inspiring stuff hey?
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