“dam AFL sports crisis management” – an introduction

“Sport Crisis Management” wasn’t a deliberate plan.
It just happened. Initially at the request of a number of tennis players and golfers.
By way of explanation, Mikhail Youzhny’s ranking had blown out to the wrong side of 150. Facing tennis redundancy he took dramatic remedial action. Together with golfer DA Points who had lost full rights on the PGA Tour, they wrote a detailed, well reasoned though quite emotional submission imploring da mcdonell (dam) to take control and resurrect their careers.
The role had not been sought.
It required serious consideration before acceptance. It was much like a politician being called upon to serve the community. Personal considerations were cast aside. A sense of obligation and the opportunity to “give back” to sport won out. The role was accepted and commenced.
Those who follow tennis will realise Mikhail almost immediately won a Challenger event in Germany. His first win on tour for some years. He now sits at 127. A promising return to form. He was fulsome in praise of dam. Understandably.
Likewise fellow team member Matt Ebden won at Traralgon and Michael Berrer made the final at Andria Italy losing to Ivan Dodig. The immediate revival of their fortunes was obvious and pronounced.
On the golfing front, Brett Rumford won the Western Australian PGA and was in contention in each of the Australian Masters, Open and PGA. This exceeded his expectations, which should not have been the case. It says much about his mindset. (dam – make a note to address this).
Only Robert Allenby has proved a challenge too far, thus far. It is however early days and he is the project player, cum problem child. This has been his annus horribilis. Will cut him some slack until next year. Did however organise Robert’s interview in the press this week to start damage control. His recent marriage may also prove to be a positive in his life. Can’t take credit for that, but did counsel young Kym to refrain from being his caddy.
Word spreads fast within the elite sporting world.
That news included confirmation that dam hailed from Melbourne and considered Australian Rules to be the greatest unknown world sport, bar none. If USA or England invented it – there would be no Soccer (sorry World Game) or Gridiron.
The consequence. A request to dam from three AFL players all facing personal dilemma’s in their football lives for different reasons, to save their careers.
Again this warranted due reflection. The existing “dam sports team” of three tennis players and three golfers were occupying a much time when there were other competing demands.
Perhaps an inability to say no, or the belief that could make a difference resulted in accepting the invitations to assist Melbourne’s Jack Watts, Essendon’s Jake Melksham and Carlton’s Denis Armfield.
The deal being there are two main aspects of the dam AFL team project.
Firstly to engender a team atmosphere.
The “dam AFL sports’ is the new “Bronzed Aussies”. A concept unashamedly pinched from Australian surfers in the late 70’s who toured the world as a team despite it being an individual sport. Our boys are now a team independent of their own clubs.
Secondly, the modus operandi is for dam to communicate messages to the athletes to guide their careers. All emails are to be acknowledged.
Encouragement, sympathy and support where appropriate. Suggestions for conduct both on and off the field and training track. Importantly, providing objective feedback and direction. If there is a need for the advice to be blunt, then so be it. By not coveting the role or being beholden to the athletes provides the ability to be candid. Critical.
It was immediately apparent there were issues.
Denis was out of contract.
Fair to say that is reasonably significant. Unless this issue was attended to immediately, there would be no career to manage.
A discreet word to Stephen Silvagni and Brendan Bolton resolved that loose end. A years extension was signed within days. One of the benefits of having a reputation amongst the elite of the sporting world is that people in positions of influence take your call. Deal done.
Whilst knowing little of Jake (not keen on the Bombers and understandably so) it was patently obvious, even from an opening conversation – he would not perform his best at Essendon.
Through connections with the Demons, there was little difficulty in persuading them to give up draft selections for Jake. No doubt this decision was assisted by the support of Simon Goodwin, Jakes former assistant coach, now at Melbourne who holds him in high regard, and vice versa. Jake was delirious. Incredulous and delirious.
For Jack Watts, it is his last year of a contract with Melbourne.
The immediate aim is to alter his mindset and the opinions of others. There is no more maligned player in the league. No co-incidence there was a press release “from the club” quoting Jack’s new attitude and desire to be aggressive. Looked remarkably familiar to that drafted by dam. It will be a theme over the next few months. Have enormous confidence in Jack. Just hope Paul Roos shares this view. (dam note – must engage Paul Roos).
The “dam AFL sports” team impressed by the immediate action and impact on their careers, are now enthused and engaged. 2016 can’t come soon enough for them.
Through the Almanac, you too have the chance to share their journey. Part of the deal is that their 2016 season is now on public display. Emails and experiences will be shared.
Look forward to your company throughout the season.

Regards da mcdonell.

About da mcdonell

Established "dam Sports Crisis Managment" to salvage & reinvigorate flagging careers of elite athletes. In practice mentoring rather than coaching or managing in the traditional sense. In the Almanac, we focus on the AFL players of the "dam AFL sports team"


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    It took me a couple of reads to work this all out.

    I’ll keep an eye on your posts and also your blog.

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