A focus on Grey Matter - between the ears stuff

Been watching the game for a long time now, but never thought I'd see the day where IMHO our best two performances (think about it) resulted in defeats. I'm talking about games against the Hawks & Swannies. Yet, in both of these games the 1st half vs 2nd half performances were like chalk & cheese. It's happened twice now & a cause of massive frustration trying to rationalise it.


Add to this, the two fast starts against the Saints & Pies that were reeled in by half time.


We all know there are several factors available to explain team performance - fitness, ability, experience, fatigue (both physical & mental), game plan, injury management, etc.


I have concerns about the current psychological state & motivation of the players. Unfortunately, inner sanctum stuff that one can only speculate about.


Some say it's the sorry saga weighing down the players, while others flat out reject it's impact on game day.


Can anyone answer whether a proffesional sports psychologist has been or, is in regular consultation with the coaches & playing group?


I can't help think of this scene from a favourite movie of mine and wonder how much of a metaphor it is?

Who would you say is our Roy Hobbs?



Sadly we are still a very weak minded side in many aspects. The last year and abit aside, as it's unprecedented, when the going gets tough, we crumble.


When things are going our way, prodominately early in seasons over recent years, we can look a million bucks. For the most part against the top sides we've crumbled, despite sneaking a win here and there against top teams (saints in 09, geelong in 11 etc).


But when things stop going our way, and going in the reverse direction, we just implode. Hard work, esp defensively gets us into a decent table position by mid year, but when things stop going our way, that is the first aspect of our game to dissappear.


I know people make fun of richmond and the like, but you know what, we aren't that far from turning into them. Maybe not expressing it in the same ways, but in the way most seem to accept mediocrity and look towards making fun and putting down other teams, as our only source of achievement anymore.

It's going on 14 years since we've been a relevant threat to anyone. And despite plently of potential, there's no real solid proof yet, that anything will change from previous years.


I don't know what it was like living through the dark ages of the 70's and that, but atm we as a club are in that same holding pattern. as the players need a spark on field atm, the whole club needs a wake up. We need someone like K sheedy in the early days to come in and be ruthless in every aspect. Yes we all hope it's Hird and or bomber, but if it's not, we need someone to come in and say enough is enough, put up or shut up and gtfo of this club if you aren't willing to do everything in your power to be successful.


The club as a whole has gone into it's shell and is playing the victim card. Oh this is dragging us down, oh it's to hard, oh i don't want to play there, we are building to something, for next year, or maybe the year after that, maybe some time in the future, maybe.

Look I have given up on this year. Just waiting for ASADA findings to be finalised and penalties (if any) is sorted.

The way I see it… it is in the best interest of the AFL, if we don’t play or go near the finals for at least the next 3 to 4 years. Last year they tried everything but our players and club just withstood everything and climbed a step above.

It is only when the AFL used the players union to tell the players that what ever they do, they won’t play finals, that our players gave up.

I bet they got spooked again in the way we started particularly after Carlton game. I am certain they did something either before the Freo game or the Saints game to put the players off.

We haven’t been the same. Only one quarter of football after the Carlton game where we played similar. ANZAC day 1st Quarter. It can’t be form. I am certain of it.

We had a steely determination last year. Seems that might have been for naught long term.

We have actually been poor in this area for a while. It’s why we have been able to lose those games where we are favourites (St Kilda, Melbourne), but get up against some good teams.

The players just get scared when they are winning and expected to win. Even Bomber has said this a fair bit recently (which makes me trust him even more). When the pressure comes on they don’t play the way they’re expected to play. They get scared and ‘safe’ and second guess.

Scoreboard pressure, physical pressure, whatever. They just can’t handle it very well.

I would be very interested to know if we have a sports psychologist (or 3) employed by the club. I cannot imaine a club that needs it more considering current circumstances.


In general I think what can be said (and has been said) is that our ability to cope with the last 3 years has been extraordinary. 


Because the circumstances have been so difficult - looking to cherry pick certain games, people etc for scrutiny will be meaningless.


The other thing is this....the game is 90 pct mental. But the mental side can be turned around pretty quickly. The coach plays a huge part in this. Sports psychology is about playing one game at a time, one quarter at a time one contest at a time. Simple. The hard part is instilling self belief.    

A genius at this is the current soccerroos coach Ange Postcolglu. Check the latest media and its all about 'self belief and shocking the world'...He is great at instilling this into his teams. Think about it. All players have 2 legs, 2 arms etc. All players have had elite coaching, training etc...the rest is in the mind. Who really thinks they can win? Current list - Jobe, BJ, Buddha, Hepps, Pig, Bags, Hooks....Look like winners....the rest need some work.