What I do
Is high quality execution and accountability relentlessly demanded of you in your environment? Are you always having to respond to changing situations that require ongoing improvement and learning? Or do you just feel like you’re in a bit of rut?
Are you open to different ways and ready to think for yourself to get the results you need?
My name is Scott Barrow and What’s Possible is my business. I use a whole person coaching approach for deep, sustainable changes in performance, behaviour and outcomes. The coaching happens through targeted professional coaching conversations and physical movement-based learning & training.
Who works with me? People searching for the next level in what they do, and unsatisfied with typical approaches. I’ve worked with athletes and non athletes, individuals and organisations. Here's what some of them said about me.
Thinking about it? Contact me – I’ll call you, hear your situation, explain what I do, and we can discuss how we might work together and get you where you want to go.
Why I Do It
I believe that people can attain deep satisfaction in life.
I believe people can grow, can change, can develop, can improve; and, with the right type of support around them, this process is very fulfilling and intrinsically motivating. I believe people can get great satisfaction by stepping into a learning process and that ultimately, the answers are within them.
I believe that good coaching does this in a way that is very respectful and honouring of people.
We are in a world surrounded by knowledge, but not surrounded but brilliant results. Good coaching helps people come up with solutions and results that fit very well into their lives, rather than adding another piece of information or something else to integrate, requiring more effort.
Coaching is my way of being a part of people's success, by helping them.
It’s my way of giving.
Self Determination Theory classifies intrinsic motivation as one of 6 non-hierarchical types, where the reason for doing something is simply for the joy of the experience itself. Through this lens, I can absolutely say that coaching, for me, is intrinsically a joy.
I really hope this feeling benefits you as well.
The Story So Far
What's Possible arose as a result of many different vocational experiences in different settings with different types of people and groups.
The population spectrum has included:
- Olympic, international, professional and developmental level high performance athletes & coaches
- Teachers, principals, international scholars and primary and secondary school students
- Recreational sporting enthusiasts and weekend warriors
- Business owners, executives, senior managers, emerging leaders and other professionals
The common theme for me with all these groups is a passion to help others become more.
Throughout this journey, I’ve found myself asking 2 questions over and over again:
1. What learnings and principles from these experiences have a more universal application to developing human potential?
2. Using a coaching based approach, what is possible for us a practitioners and the people we work with?
Considering the 1st question above opens up the scope of possibilities of who I can work and learn with, while exploring the 2nd question is my essential motivation for doing this work.
This is why What’s Possible.
My name is Scott Barrow, and professionally, coaching has been at the core of what I’ve done for more than 20 years. My experience shows a gradual expansion over time from technical coaching of elite athletes from Olympic to State and AFL levels, to a broader more open coaching approach that supports people in whatever outcomes they are seeking.
From a successful background and continuing passion for high performance sport, I’ve constantly explored the development of the whole person within the performer. While performance is all about continuous improvement and excellence, I also approach it through personal growth to build deeper, more sustainable, and ultimately higher levels of performance.
Time away from pure sports performance in education, corporate and health settings has seen me support people to develop well being and life satisfaction as well as performance. My work with business owners, executives, scholars and senior managers has been in areas such as leadership, learning, community, strategy, career, relationships, self-awareness, healthy living, and body based learning. The intention has always been to assist people in making sustainable changes that have specific impact but also potential to transfer into their whole lives.
I was also an original member of the development team that created a unique movement-based learning program for the Bluearth Foundation that has now worked with 50, 000 students and trained 1,100 teachers throughout Australia. This consolidated my foundations of using movement and the bodymind, as a vehicle for ongoing learning, self-knowledge and balanced physical training.
Academically, my major qualifications are a Degree in Human Movement, a Post Graduate Diploma in Sport Science, a Certificate of Professional Coaching and a Diploma of Professional Coaching (accredited by the International Coaching Federation).
From this total experience and knowledge, I offer valuable and unique services for a better body and mind, cutting edge performance, personal aspiration, deeper health, well being and living. Wherever possible I also look to integrate these in a whole way.
My Time In AFL
I’ve spent 13 years working in AFL club environments. I’ve worked with 4 AFL clubs, 1 WAFL club and 1 U18 club. It’s been a significant learning. A high level football environment is unique so I thought I’d give you an account of some of the things that have stuck in my memory over the years.
I started with the Sandringham Dragons in the U18 TAC Cup, the junior level feeder competition for the AFL. I worked as a physical preparation coach and it was my first real exposure to the robust nature of footy clubs. There I met Wayne Oswald, the regional manager of the club. Wayne introduced to me the idea of the habits a player displays in one area of their training will be the same as the ones they’ll show out on the field in a game and even more importantly, the same ones they’ll have in the their life away from football. This resonated with me instantly and has been a major driving concept. I’ll never forget Wayne and his positive influence on me. Brad Gotch was the head coach there and he’s gone on to have a long coaching career at AFL and VFL level.
A year or two later in 1998 I started at Carlton Football Club, again as a physical preparation coach. Welcome to the real world. They had great players, and good coaches but the system was loose. To be fair, I think many clubs were in the same boat at the time. Carlton was also coming to an end of an era in terms of the great players they had and the recruiting strategy they employed. I worked with Stephen Silvagni, Craig Bradley, Brett Ratten, Andrew McKay, Scott Camporeale, the perceptually gifted Lance Whitnall, and Anthony Koutafides to name a few. Exceptional players. Kouta regularly did things on a footy field I’ve never seen anyone else do. Winning the 2001 club best and fairest coming off a serious knee injury and almost no preseason preparation demonstrated his talent but also mental toughness and of course our great rehab skills! I also worked closely with Barry Mitchell and greatly appreciated his no nonsense football wisdom and fantastic sense of humour. The other coaches there at the time were David Parkin, Wayne Britain, John Worsfold and Ross Lyon. In the 3 years I was there we vastly reduced soft tissue injuries, improved player education and Carlton finished 2nd in 99, 3rd in 2000 and 6th in 2001.
After a two year break away from AFL I started at Port Adelaide Football Club in the lead up to the 2004 season. In the year before I started they had a whole lot of groin, osteitis pubis, and hamstring related injuries which may have been a training reaction to the Brisbane Lions premiership success and big bodies they had in their team. At Port I worked closely with Andrew Russell, the Athlete Preparation Manager, who I’d worked previously with at the VIS. Long story short, we cut soft tissue injuries in half, made our players available and more importantly, won the premiership! Port had a super talented playing list and a really good coaching team including Mark Williams, Alistair Clarkson, Dean Bailey and Phil Walsh. The club being newer to the league weren’t stuck in tradition as much, had a good system and had Andrew Russell. What Andrew achieved before I got there and his impact on that club cannot be overstated. In 2005, I witnessed the drop off. After some significant staff changes, being up on top for 4 years, winning so many games and reaching the dream goal, it seemed the whole edge of the place had softened slightly. For me personally, I started to look for opportunities to impact broader performance issues and the one I sunk my teeth into from multiple perspectives was goal kicking – something I’m still exploring to this very day. From a pure spectator point of view, being able to train, watch and admire what Gavin Wanganeen, Peter Burgoyne and Shaun Burgoyne could do was a privilege. I think Gavin could be the most talented athlete I’ve ever worked with in terms of so called “natural” ability.
At the end of 2005, having job offers at Port and Brisbane, an opportunity came up for my wife to work radio in Perth and we decided to go and live in the beautiful city. In late 2007, after some study and training, I approached Cameron Schwab, the Fremantle Football Club CEO at the time, for some feedback on an idea for player performance and well being. Within 5 minutes he suggested we trial me as a consultant, with some players. I started with Paul Hasleby, things went very well, and more players were guided my way. For me it was where personal satisfaction in my coaching “performance” was met with excellent results for the players. I also worked directly with Cameron, assisting him with a major decision at the time. Some of my best and most enjoyable work was done at Freo.
A couple of years later while still with Fremantle I got a call from Scott Watters, the coach of Subiaco in the WAFL – Jarrod Schofield, the beautiful kicking ex West Coast and Freo player who I’d also coached at Port had mentioned me. Scott was looking for someone to run the physical preparation. The potential hit to my pride in terms of working at a lower lever was well and truly offset by my initial and ongoing impression of Scott. Bright, determined, searching and open minded in relation to being creative and trying things. Subiaco were coming off amazing success, winning the last 3 consecutive premierships and the challenge of going for 4 was too good for me to pass up. I ended up being involved in player preparation and performance, junior development, sport science, club culture development, football tactics and philosophy, football training design and coach counsel. Among much satisfaction and great experiences, it was the quality of my relationship with Scott that was most gratifying. It allowed us to work very well together and explore what we thought was possible at the time. In the 2009 WAFL Grand Final we lost by 3 goals to a team that had been 1-2 wins above us on the ladder for the whole year. We were 5 goals down at ¾ time. One or two less and I reckon we would’ve pinched it. To give an example of what I see as important, my most rewarding moment for the whole year was see the team respond to the challenge offered by Scott to play the last quarter out regardless of the score. They did. The 3rd quarter got away from them but they literally did their best after that when they could’ve easily given up. I feel I contributed to that quality in the team.
Just before Christmas 2009, we moved our family back to Melbourne. Em decided to give up her radio job and we wanted to be closer to family. A little while later Cameron Schwab, now the Melbourne Football Club CEO, got me consulting to the Demons, offering performance and learning based coaching for senior management, and an open coaching space for players to take ownership of their performance and gain clarity around what it is to be the best they can be. The results have been excellent. Of the many things I’ve learnt coaching in this environment is that no matter who it is, what their status, authority, position, skills, age or abilities, there’s always a person beneath it all. A person who at times, can benefit with support in relation to what they want and the vision they see.
I also began my unique Goal Kicking Conversion Rates Project that addresses the deep change required via skill execution, training design & integration, coach & player ownership, and strategic program design.
This brings me up to the current day and while I have a few projects I would like to get the opportunity to explore, time will tell what comes next.