The other day I sent out a big group email via the Ride to Conquer Cancer website requesting donations to raise money for the only public hospital solely dedicated to Cancer in Australia - the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Click here if you'd like to donate and help people who really need it). One of the recipients was AFL Coaching legend David Parkin, who I worked with at Carlton Football Club for 3 years from 1999 to 2001. He made a donation so I followed him up with an email of thanks. Below is the brief exchange:
From: Scott Barrow [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, 21 August 2012 5:36 PM To: David Parkin Subject: Thanks
Thanks a lot for the donation. Very good of you. I appreciate it.
Just so you know. I'm still pursuing the Goal Kicking Conversion Rates stuff.
I went and saw Laurie Woodman a while ago and he suggested I write an article (which I wasn't ready to do at the time), I might go back to him soon to see if I can present at the coaching conferences or something.
More practically, I'm actually doing phase 1 of my program at Melbourne FC right now. It's the "audit" part of the intervention. It consists of observation of their approach & methods, and interviews of players & coaches to get their perception on it. All through the lens of culture, ownership, training design and skill execution. From here I'll report back to Neeldy and Craigy and see where we go from there. I really reckon there's scope in this. Sort of like a "Moneyball" concept - looking at the game of football differently. I also reckon there will be significant shift in regards to all this, and whether I'm leading the charge or someone else is, it will happen as everything tightens up in the game. Just a matter of when. If the league average goal kicking % over the last 10yrs is about 59%, what would it mean to a club if they could bump their rate up to 10-15% points? Especially in grand finals?
So if you think of anyone I could talk to about this, or anyone who might be interested at club/senior coach level, please let me know. But they've got to be able to listen outside of their normal "football expert" filters. This I know from experience.
Thanks again for you generosity.
On 22/08/2012, at 11:56 PM, "David Parkin" <email@example.com> wrote:
Appreciate your follow up. Expect your reciprocation when I ride with 28 other blokes across Australia ( on posties motorcycles ) next April – The Male Bag Ride – to raise awareness for and research money to assist, prostate cancer.
My theory, not mentioned amongst the factors you provided, that its very little to do with technique etc, but simply the lack of mental skills which Australian Football has been unable to develop via sports psychology, in the manner that other sports eg golf. If we can run at 19 kph and hit a moving target 40-50 meters away, why does a simple closed skill such as a set shot cause so much difficulty? Its all in the head!
Good luck with your study!
From: Scott Barrow [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:24 AM To: David Parkin Subject: Re: Thanks
Can't wait to reciprocate. I heard you talking about that ride on the radio.
I agree absolutely with you re the psychology of goal kicking especially with set shots. For me this aspect sat within my skill execution lens - in that it influences the execution and performance of the skill - along with other things like biomechanics (possibly worth pursuing), physical conditioning, stability & movement patterns, skill acq principles, technique etc etc.
The question I asked was why can't these methods gain real traction? For me it's symptomatic of a deeper reason. Why don't they get traction? I believe because there's no intrinsic ownership from players and majority of coaches. Why is this? Because of the AFL culture which values and sometimes gets lost in, "hard work". Until this shifts and expands, nothing will change. For me, as much as anything, the goal kicking problem/ opportunity is cultural. Real change requires all the levels to shift, not just the most relevant (on the ground, in the kicker).
I'm not writing this to have the last word but just explain my perspective. Any response welcomed. I could be wrong but i reckon improving total team goal kicking conversion rates is bigger than people realise.
From: David Parkin <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Thanks Date: 23 August 2012 10:53:36 AM AEST To: Scott Barrow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not trying to have the last word either, but you have one thing absolutely right, in that the only aspect/element of Australian Football which has seen minimal improvement during the past two decades of revolution in our game, is goal kicking. Anything which provides validated fact to change/improve that, will be a bonus for the code.
Good luck with the ride and the research.