Melbourne Football Club – Australian Football League

I’d previously worked with Cameron Schwab when he was CEO of Fremantle Football Club. I coached him with a major decision he was making and also worked with other management staff and established players such as Paul Hasebly, Byron Schammer and Brett Peake.

In January of 2010, having been CEO at Melbourne FC for a year, Cameron and I agreed on the the initial brief to work closely with senior management, offering an executive coaching service to support them in their ongoing performance, learning, well being and development. The vision was to extend the service to the football coaching staff and players, adding to the culture of being a ‘learning organisation’.

“In all cases, the feedback has been exceptional. I have seen such positive change with people, some of whom I held little hope that they had this capacity such was their mindset. The simple objective is often the most challenging to achieve – clarity. More than any person I have worked with, Scott Barrow achieves this.”

Cameron Schwab - CEO
Melbourne Football Club

At Melbourne Football Club I mostly coach one on one with staff members, but I’ve done some group work with players as well. I also co-created and initiated 3 new club initiatives:

  • “Emerging Leaders Program” with the General Manager of Strategy
  • “Living & Training High Performance” – a player driven open forum – with the General Manager of Player Development & Strategy
  • Improving Goal Kicking Conversion Rates – influencing this critical aspect through skill execution, training design, coach & player ownership, and cultural factors

The scope of one on one coaching has covered issues in the domains of work and personal life, and combinations of both. Broader areas of coaching have included:

  • career development & planning
  • program design, implementation & prioritisation
  • job performance and purpose
  • leadership & change management
  • work life balance
  • family, relationships & life choices
  • situational coping
  • wellness & stress

The feedback has been outstandingly positive. People continually report looking forward to their coaching sessions and walking away feeling lighter, more energised, and resourced. In simple terms they say they’re better at work and happier and healthier in themselves. Other staff have also reported positive changes they’ve noticed in my ‘coachees’.

“Previous to this experience I had not invested in personal development time with any mentors and held my cards pretty close to my chest but during this experience I really appreciated the genuine interest Scott took in my career and the effort he made to make this process worthwhile and ultimately to the success I felt I gained from it. Thanks for your great work Scott.”

Todd Viney – Player Development & Strategy
Melbourne Football Club

In coaching, the responsibility for outcomes and results always lies with the coachee, with the coach’s duty to co-create and provide an optimal learning environment to support the coachee in their aspirations. Nevertheless, at Melbourne:

  • 90% of the people I’ve worked with have reported feeling satisfied to extremely satisfied with the outcomes they used coaching to help them with.
  • 100% have reported satisfaction with my coaching service

Among many learnings from my time at Melbourne, two simple things have stood out:

  1. Its always amazing how people can view the same events or facts and interpret them in such individually different ways.
  2. No matter who it is, what their background, skills, position, privilege, power or experience, strengths and capability, there’s always a person underneath it all who, at the right time, can use some support in relation to their current reality and future aspirations.

I always enjoy my time working with the people at Melbourne Football Club and its been interesting to watch the organisation build and grow from almost rock bottom to a point where they have a sound framework for realising their vision.

“Working with Scott has allowed me to gain a greater understanding of myself as a professional, a leader and a human being. The most important aspect is that his specific style of coaching has made me realize that I have the answers within – it is the dedication of time and Scott’s willingness to listen that have allowed this to happen.”

Pete Roberts - Football Technology Manager
Melbourne Football Club