Alan McConnell

Making Deposits in the Care Space

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This week’s Great Coach is Australian Rules Footballer-turned-coach Alan McConnell. 

Alan’s coaching career began at Fitzroy Football Club, where he was appointed as coach for the final 8 games in their 113 year history, right before they merged with the Brisbane Bears in order to form the Brisbane Lions. 

Following his time at Fitzroy, Alan joined Geelong under Mark Thompson before being appointed as Head Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport, where he led Australia’s best male youth. 

From there, Alan moved to the newly-formed GWS Giants to take up a new role as the Director of Football. In 2017 he was appointed as the Senior Coach of the Giants’ women’s side, becoming the first person to coach both a men’s and women’s side at the highest level. 

Alan is currently a member of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) High Performance Coach Development Team, where he mentors and supports some of the nation’s best emerging and elite high-performance coaches. 

Alan has learned a lot about influencing and challenging others from his time as a coach, and this came over very clearly during our interview. Some particular highlights include: 

  • The wonderful idea that deposits in the care space allow leaders to challenge others and help them to grow and change.

  • The way that self-belief can allow you to look outside of yourself, and the impact that this can have on your leadership and the way you influence others. 

  • The particularly poignant story Alan shares about dealing with the passing of one of his players, Jacinda Barclay. 

As always, I’d love to hear what you thought of the episode, and what points particularly resonated with you. 

An Ambassador To Your Last Name

Back in 2020 I had the opportunity to interview Steve Glasson, the former world #1 lawn bowler and world champion coach. 

Towards the end of our interview, Steve spoke about helping people to be great ambassadors to their own last name. This struck me as such a simple yet important idea, and it has stuck with me ever since. 

Over the years I’ve stepped into a lot of unpredictable situations, and I’ve learned (the hard way) that the things we think about in the moments before we speak or enter a room can make a big difference to the way we leave interactions with other people. 

At such times, Steve’s words often come to my mind. 

If you’d like to become a better ambassador to your last name, drop me a line. I always enjoy hearing how other people navigate everyday leadership moments. 

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On Mourinho and Wenger

We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing over 200 Great Coaches for the podcast so far, and as a result we’ve gathered a wealth of insight and wisdom — so much insight, in fact, that we’ve decided to create some special podcast episodes dedicated to the ideas that have resonated with us the most. 

One such episode was published on Wednesday. Led by the fantastic Dr David Turner, we took a deep dive into the careers and leadership of two of soccer (or football)’s great coaches: José Mourinho and Arsène Wenger. 

Towards the end of the episode, Dr David shared his thoughts on ‘Hubris Syndrome’ - a fascinating behavioural concept that you may or may not have previously heard of. 

Make sure to catch the full episode, available now wherever you get your podcasts. 

Listen now: Apple | Spotify  | Google

A Look At Imposter Syndrome

If you’ve ever experienced ‘imposter syndrome’, then you’re not alone - it’s an incredibly common issue often experienced by leaders and coaches. 

For this article on the Australian Football League website, reporter Gemma Bastiani spoke to five female AFLW coaches about the ways in which they have addressed and overcome insecurity and fear in their own careers. 

It’s a very interesting piece that shares not only some fantastic quotes, but also casts a light on the way that female coaches think about their roles in what could be considered a male-dominated industry. 

There Is No Algorithm

There is no algorithm for leadership, so we’re always looking for new ideas to help us better lead our teams, communities and families. That’s why we’ve interviewed over 200 of the world’s great sports coaches, delving deep into their leadership experiences, methods and insights. 

Our presentations bring video and audio insight from our interviews straight to your team, in a format tailored to meet your specific needs and the challenges your team face. 

If you’d like to learn more, get in touch. 


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