Coach of young Australian Football players. The Australian National Championships.
As a long-time coach of young Australian Football players. Working with players under the age of seven to sixteen in the Queensland State. Schoolboys team at the Australian National Championships, I want to share with emerging coaches some of the reasons. Why some of my teams lost games that they should have won. Sometimes, it was a mistake I made in the planning and sometimes. The player may have failed to follow the team rules.
In the three Australian Championships matches against Western Australia. My Queensland school boys team did well and was in with a chance of winning. The game when mistakes were made by players encouraging Western Australia to improve their game after scoring two or three easy goals with our simple ability. mistakes can be avoided. In Tasmania, in 1967, we played them in our first game. Twice the referee slammed one of his forward players who appeared to have been touch by our full-back. Our defender stopped and begged the referee but to no avail. Meanwhile a forward player plays and kicks a goal. The player also did not learn from his first mistake of not playing the whistle and allowed it to happen for the second time immediately.
Breaking the team law twice involved a defense strategy.
In Darwin, a midfielder broke our team rules in the second quarter while the game was under control. Breaking the team law twice involved a defense strategy. If the defender had the ball but no target free he had to kick the ball towards the grandstand on the defensive side of the field. Instead he kicked the ball into the tournament in the middle of the pitch which allowed the opponents to jump on the ball and give it to his teammate who scored easily. We lost the game at that point and not in the final minutes of the match when both goalkeepers made two mistakes allowing a point to be taken when our defender clearly marked the ball in front of the goal line.
He played forward and we had a ball over the wing obviously put the game without a doubt. The setback cost us the goal and the game. But if that team rule had been obey, the sand players would not have returned to the game.
In 1970 at Chelmer Reserve in Brisbane, in the final five minutes of the match, the Western Australian captain was allowed to take the lead in the forward pocket without being challenged to take the mark off the border. He kicks a beautiful goal from 50 yards. His rival did not wake up with his talent and allowed him to do twice to build his team’s victory. The runner, one of our players, was sent to deliver a message after the first goal. But he did not achieve the seriousness of the situation for that defensive player.
The opportunity to score goals.
Again in Darwin, when we played Victoria, we had a chance to win in the third quarter, but the Victorians finished strong as we conceded six free kicks in a row. These free kicks led to a few Victorian goals. This meant that we did not have the opportunity to score goals as we could not save and get the ball.
In 1968, in Collingwood, we played Victoria. In this game towards the break we were leading and playing well. Then one of the best players in the wing for a few minutes marked the ball twice ready to kick the ball forward to kick the person in the mark. This led to the Victorians scoring two easy goals and continuing to win by much less goals than in previous years.
Let me take a look at the under ten game I coached in 1980. It was the final. The reason we lost my mistake. With high school players, they will accept the reasons to move them so you can try to win the game. This is not the case for under-20s. During the third quarter, I introduced one of my leading scorers in the league as an attacking and defensive strategy. He was one of our leading players until then. He dropped his bundle and his rival ran into a commotion. To make matters worse for our fans, he marked the ball in the back of the pack, played it so that the free kick was not give to the opponent. Yes, the referee made a mistake. That happens. But I made a big mistake.
The Australian Championships talented players who could play midfield and win.
The last thing I will mention is the team I coach in the Queensland County High School boys’ tournament. I had two tall talented players who could play midfield and win. One was on the left foot. So I played him in the right corner in the hope that when he got the ball he would turn to his left foot and swing towards the goals and kick a few. What happened, however, was a collision. So our attacks continued to break down. Unfortunately, I persisted with this strategy in the hope that it would work. But it did not happen. (On the other hand, another player was unknown to me as his school played in a different tournament than my school. He formed a provincial team and was later recruit by Collingwood where he became a premier player).
That was one of the hazards associated with regional teams because there was little time to get acquainted with the players.
These are just a few of the important mistake I made at the beginning of my coaching career. There were many others, I am sure. All you have to do as a developing coach is review each game and look at the successes and failures, keeping each record and reviewing your notes from time to time.