All elite coaches enter into the world of high performance knowing that their tenure won’t last for ever and the day will eventually come when contracts are not renewed or boards make decisions which inevitably take the program in the new direction.
I myself was one of these coaches whom for ten years was blessed to manage some of Australia’s top waterpolo players and guide them to not only achieving at the highest level but making sure they all had a life outside of the game to fall back on.
Sure, I was bitterly disappointed when the High Performance Manager didn’t support my involvement in the program moving forward and to be honest it took years to swallow the bitter pill, but life goes on and I can reflect on the good times and fantastic people I had the opportunity to work with over the years.
Players who are now lawyers, own their own construction companies, CEOs of top firms and so on and so on......this is the rewarding part of the journey that was high performance for me.
But the years of experience I gained from working with some of the best in the game, simply died with my exit.
Where I’m coming from here is that in Australia we simply cannot afford to mistreat coaches the way we do.
Two Olympic coaches were left out in the cold some years ago, some Aussie assistant Olympic coaches now not involved in the sport anymore.....these are intellectual people with a library full of stats and knowledge, which simply walked out the door never to be passed on.
I find it hard to believe that one Australia’s best servants and current national assistant coach to the Men’s Olympic team has no role in the high performance echelons from December 31.
For what ever reason the decision, not to offer a contract, is what I cannot comment on but yet again we have no consideration for the knowledge and intellectual property this coach has. It maybe the key to winning the next Olympics in just under a years time.
But hey, who cares we simply shift the goalposts and leave yet another high performance coach out to fend for himself.
Who is steering the ship in Australia? Who is making these decisions ? and what forward planning was/ is in place to justify these decisions?
We have lost Victoria Institute Program, which once produced and supported some of Australia’s best.
Queensland’s Institute is now a glorified club program which oversees the states ‘only’ national league team.
West Australia Institute no longer exists for January 2021!.... or does it?
South Australia Institute has struggled over the years.
NSW Institute caters for all waterpolo migrants who relocate to Sydney in their quest to be close to the resident national coaches, as well as the states best players.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for high performance institutions in Australia and perhaps the WA model maybe the right one!
I’m a firm believer that the QLD Swimming model is the the best in the world.
It operates around the coaches and athletes staying in their clubs and the high performance gurus integrate into this environment , on a weekly basis !
The swim coaches all work collaboratively and come together regularly for professional development/information sharing meetings and get practical experience in a talent camps.
Something that desperately needs to be mirrored in QLD Waterpolo - but hey what do I know!
Waterpolo is too small of a world, we simply cannot afford to treat good people the way we do !