The path for current AFL assistant coaches working to prepare themselves to become an AFL senior coach leads through the AFL’s Level Four Coaching Accreditation program.
The 2017 class of Leigh Tudor, Dean Solomon, Steven King, Brendon Lade and Brett Kirk are currently completing a two-year ‘finishing school’ designed to prepare them for the unique challenges that come as senior coaches of one of the 18 highest profile sporting clubs in Australia.
This year’s keynote speaker was former Essendon General Manager (Football Operations), Rob Kerr.
Rob provided a wonderful insight into how the Bombers’ leadership managed the take the club from an all-time nadir in 2016, when the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the AFL’s decision and suspended 34 of its past and present players, to the finals in 2017.
The lesson’s learned and shared by Rob – responding decisively to bad news rather than with meek acceptance; making every post a winner, even the bad ones; enabling young leaders to flourish in time of crisis; and remembering the importance of honest, personal communications to bring stakeholders along – were highly relevant outside the Bombers’ walls.
There is no doubt Rob’s openness, insights and advice will aid each of the Level Four coaches immensely as they continue on their coaching journeys.