We don't plan to fail, we program for success

West Perth Football Club & Athletic Institute Gear up for Season 2019

When the paper work was signed for Athletic Institute to take over the Strength and Conditioning program for the West Perth football Club for the next 3-years, the team could have not been more excited. We knew we had 3-years to make some positive changes and we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy road, like most things worth while in life, it was going to take hard work, standards, accountability and passion to grow as a club and individuals. The club finished in 5th the previous season, and was tipped to finish 7th or 8th in the 2018 season, so we knew we had some work to do from a performance stand point to give ourselves the best opportunity. Our original conversation with the club and eventually signed contract stated that as a club/business it wanted to be competitive, develop a positive culture, increase crowd support and obviously play consistent finals footy. As the head strength and conditioning coach my first thoughts were, get to know the players better, get a basketball ring and table tennis table, make players accountable and get strong by lifting some weights in between…..oh, and run.

One thing i have learnt in business and coaching is that you MUST get to know your athletes, the better you know them, the easier it is for you to help them perform better. A strength program can be individualised with loads, sets and reps, which is great, but modifying the program is hard if you don’t know them. Once you build rapport and a good working relationship, then things start to move a lot quicker in the right direction, and there is no alternative or quick fix to building good relationship with your athletes. You may ask why i wanted a basketball ring and ping pong table? Well for one it brings athletes together and its different from their competitive sport, but more importantly it’s a great opportunity to get to know each other and also get competitive. You a far more likely to work harder (on field) for someone you know and respect, then someone you don’t know. 

Accountability is massive, and there’s only one way to keep people accountable, set standards and test to see if they are being achieved. If our goal is be competitive in finals we have to keep each other accountable, and have a growth mindset (want to get better, not look to blame), and above all, hard relentless work. This is part of the reason why we managed to make the 2018 Grand final and finish 2nd for the season. It wasn’t our greatest day, but the boys worked so hard to get there and i know given the chance we will rectify that day. So our job is to keep players accountable to a certain physical standard, so all players get physically tested at the beginning and end of pre-season, and even mid-season. One of my favourite sayings at this present moment is “do the work and reap the rewards”. If you are kept accountable and you aren’t doing the work, it will show, and that isn’t anyone’s fault but yours. Now no one is perfect and we all have set backs and life will stress us out from time to time, but overall if we work hard with a true desire to improve the results will show. Now this is the biggest thing I’ve learnt……strength, fitness, culture, success, and relationships all have one thing in common….they take time and hard work, so the sooner you start, the better. Fitness programs that offer 8-week transformations (strength or weight loss), business “gurus” who promise a quick fix for your business, performance coaches who will increase your acceleration in a few weeks also have one thing in common….they’re making false claims. 

Anyway, the purpose of this short blog was to give you a little snippet of what a testing session looks like at the West Perth Football Club with the team at Athletic Institute. 

If you know a local team that could use a performance program to be competitive, reduce injuries, develop a stronger culture and get strong, let us know.

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