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AFL coaches to learn from the best at the AIS

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Michael Voss, Ryan O’Keefe, Amon Buchanan and Gary O’Donnell will be among the coaches attending the World Class to World Best conference.

04 Nov 2016


A group of 15 AFL coaches will take part in a professional development camp at the AIS in Canberra next week culminating in them joining more than 250 other elite sports leaders attending the 4th World Class to World Best high performance conference on November 10-11.

The visit is a collaboration between the AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership (CPCL) and the AFL Coaches Association (AFLCA). Participants will include former AFL premiership players Michael Voss, Ryan O’Keefe, Amon Buchanan and Gary O’Donnell.

The coaches will take part in a customised program at the AIS designed to help them with decision-making and managing the hurdles they may face over an AFL season, before spending time at the Australian War Memorial and completing leadership development with the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

From there they will attend the World Class to World Best conference, where they will mix with some of the country’s elite leaders and coaches from a range of high performance sports programs.

The AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership was established three years ago as an initiative of Australia’s high performance sport strategy, Australia’s Winning Edge.

Acting Australian Sports Commission CEO Matt Favier said the work being done at the AIS to better prepare and support Australia’s elite sport coaches was being recognized across the entire sport sector.

"Winning Edge is all about pursuing exceptional results and the AIS recognises the role of the coach in partnering with athletes and teams to deliver sustainable success,” Favier said. “It is innovation and collaboration across all sports which define the work of the AIS Centre for Performance Coaching and Leadership and they are themes that are always central to the World Class to World Best conference.

“The AIS welcomes the engagement of professionals from all areas of Australian high performance sport and we are excited about the attendance by the AFL at this year’s conference. There are big benefits to engaging and collaborating across the sporting sector through events such as this, including driving learning opportunities and challenging ourselves as we all strive to achieve excellence in our work.”

AFLCA CEO Mark Brayshaw said the decision to take this group of coaches to the AIS followed visits to the USA and United Kingdom in previous years where they learned from the NBA, English Premier League and the NFL.

“In reflecting on the success of these trips, we saw an opportunity to capitalise on the world-class approaches to learning and development we have in Australia, such as the AIS,” said Brayshaw.

“Professional development and continual improvement are key components of successful coaching and we encourage our members to avail themselves of opportunities to develop themselves.

“In partnering with the AIS we are most fortunate to be able to send a delegation of these coaches to attend the WC2WB conference and immerse themselves in an elite learning environment and share knowledge with coaches from a variety of sports.

“The AFLCA has specific interest in learning from coaches at the AIS and other invited guests who have led their athletes to world-class events such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Championships.”

Among the speakers at the World Class to World Best conference will be All Blacks coaching legend Sir Graham Henry, marketing academic Adam Alter, who has done extensive research into judgement and decision making, and Christian Cook, who specialises in understanding the role of stress and performing under pressure.

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