Andrej Lemanis

Coaching is about Trust and Consistency

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Our Great Coach this week is Andrej Lemanis, professional basketball player-turned-coach. 

Andrej played for several clubs in the Australian National Basketball League, winning the Australian National Championship in 1992 while playing for the South East Melbourne Magic. 

Andrej’s coaching career began in 1996 when he joined the Geelong Supercats as an assistant. He went on to hold various assistant roles until 2005, when he was appointed as the Head Coach of the New Zealand Beakers. 

During his time with the Beakers, Andrej coached them to win 3 consecutive championships; having demonstrated his coaching ability, he was appointed as the Australian Men’s coach in 2013. 

Under Andrej’s coaching, the Australian team went from a world ranking of 11 to its highest-ever ranking of 3. Going 35–9 (79.5%) in his tenure, Andrej became the winningest coach in Australian Men’s Basketball history. 

Today, Andrej is the Head Coach of Altiri Chiba, a team in the Japanese Basketball League.

Listening back to our interview, some of the highlights that stood out to me were:

  • His story about a team consultant who was brought in to work on their interactions, and the results that saw players taking greater ownership of their team culture. 

  • How the drive to make a positive difference in the lives of young New Zealanders led the Beakers to their Championship wins. 

  • His strong belief that consistency and authenticity is what allows Great Coaches to build trust and have the influence required to get results. 

It was truly a pleasure to speak with Andrej, and as always I would love to hear what you thought of the interview. 

Connection Before Correction

One thing that a number of Great Coaches guests have stressed during our interviews is the importance of building connections and bonds with teams and athletes. 

This importance was also recognised by Professor Sergio Lara-Bercial, who interviewed 17 serial winning coaches from around the world and wrote a book sharing his findings. 

In this clip, Sergio shares why attempting to correct or teach before building bonds will never lead to success - a valuable truth that any parent, manager or coach eventually comes to discover. 

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On Chasing Influence

Did you catch Wednesday’s podcast episode? 

I sat down with my friend Murray Noble (President of the Melbourne Baseball club) and Dr Troy Urdahl to discuss Chasing Influence, inspired by Troy’s terrific new book with the same name. 

Dr Troy’s career has seen him play the roles of both educator and coach, and his deep-rooted passion for inspiring positive change in the lives of others is evident not only in his writing, but also in the way he speaks about topics such as building connections and teaching youth. 

This was a fantastic episode to record, and I really do hope you’ll take a listen if you haven’t yet had the chance!

Listen now: Apple | Spotify  | Google

A Masterclass With Jürgen Klopp

“If we can do it, wonderful…if not, then fail in the most beautiful way”. 

I really enjoyed this article from the Economist examining the career and leadership of Liverpool Manager Jürgen Klopp — a name that often comes up in discussions about legendary coaches. 

Focusing on two gestures associated with his management ‘method’, this is a great read that really encapsulates how great coaching can often boil down to the finer details. 

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