The Complete Idiots Guide to
Coaching

Alright alright, so maybe I could've been a little less mainstream and entitled the article 'Attention Chris Anderson'. Let's be honest for a moment though, how many of us have painfully sat and watched our teams play, scratching our heads in confusion and saying 'I can't believe the coach made that decision!' Whether it be team selection, or style of play, you get the drift, just anything that makes you wonder 'what the heck was coach such and such thinking there?'

Believe you me, being a Cronulla Sharks fan I've sat through plenty of them in the recent past. Eighty minutes often felt like thousands. Come to think of it, I even wonder sometimes what Chris Anderson is doing right now? If his attitude is true to form, he's probably writing a letter to the ARL still inquiring as per why he was ousted as Kangaroos coach. Oh goodness I can already imagine the response:

"Dear Chris,

We appreciate the time you've taken to write to us concerning your sacking as national head coach. We also acknowledge that you are an icon of Rugby League and would have you know that you're last letter provided much amusement. In fact not since you paraded a squad of footballers around in Cronulla Sharks uniforms with their arms wrapped firmly around their necks for the better part of twenty months have we been so entertained. Bottom line, we believe that even a couch potato or Mark Latham could coach the Kangaroos to victory. Feel free to write to Phil Gould about why Brett Kimmorley was not chosen as blues half back from day one. We're sure he'll be equally as entertained.

Kind Regards, ARL Board"

But this article isn't about Chris Anderson, it's about all coaches. In fact, I'm not even going to mention Chris Anderson again, you have my word. Instead I'll sidestep my usual style of writing to address all prospect coaches. So here we go, some exquisite yet elementary rules that often go unpublished amongst standard coaching 'encyclopaedias'.

Rule number one: Your fans are your pay check. No fan cares about how you get the job done, so long as you get the job done. The Los Angeles Lakers made a name of themselves by playing and trading dirty. Do their fans care? Hell no! Why? Because they're winning. Being a Cronulla fan, I'm getting rather restless after thirty-seven barren years and hey, I was prepared to accept Preston Campbell's departure so long as it brought results, which needless to say it didn't. Happy fans means happy superiors, which in turn means safer job. Got it?

Rule number two: You're only as good as your results. Nobody wants to know about what you've done in the past. Take our dear friend Ricky Stuart for example, no real hard line degree of first grade coaching but still producing the results that makes people acknowledge him as a great coach. Did anyone even care that Daniel Anderson had transformed the New Zealand Warriors into a finals appearing team when they were coming last? Nope.

Rule number three: Players are people, not chess pieces. Many coaches will have you believe their job is purely to strategise victory. Bah! You're kidding yourselves if you adapt to this ideology. An unhappy player is a useless player. Note to Paul Langmack who is also a casualty of rule number two, in the words of the great Will Smith: "don't hate the player, hate the game!"

Rule number four: The media are not your friends. God gave you an index finger for a reason. Take full advantage of that! When the media makes a statement you don't appreciate, flex that finger muscle! They're only interested in your fall, not your rise. I never thought I'd praise a Queenslander but more power to Wayne Bennet who answers to jack all that the media throws at him. Here's a man who understands that the less you say, the less you'll be crucified for. Also reference the Canterbury Bulldogs on this rule.

So there we have it coaching prodigies. Four simple truths that you won't read anywhere else. If anyone tries to coax you into believing that the Complete Idiots Guide to Coaching is incorrect, tell them "you know what, that's exactly what Chris Anderson (sorry) said!" or alternatively point them to Oprah or anyone else who will attempt to hinder my sales. But until next time, better days my young and upcoming masterminds!

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