Round 7 – Richmond v Hawthorn: Decoding Damien

From Damien Hardwick’s press conference.

When the Richmond coach was asked why Ty Vickery was taken off having kicked a couple with the Tiges on a roll he said:

 

At the end of the day they’re due for rotations. That’s how it works. There’s a lot of scientific effort [sic, I think?] goes into realising that when players are at their threshold they’re going to be counter-productive, so we get them off. It’s part and parcel of what we do.

 

Can someone please decode this.

What does it actually mean?

What does it suggest about Damien Hardwick as a (the?) leader?

 

 

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

Comments

  1. Dr Goatboat says

    Incredulous.

  2. 1. I have no control over when, why or which player comes off the ground.
    2. I have no control over when, why or which player comes off the ground.
    3. He has no control over when, why or which player comes off the ground.

    What happened was just plain dumb.

  3. Peter_B says

    Coaching by numbers. Join the dots. I could understand running midfielders being rotated by time on the ground. But marking forwards? Particularly a confidence player/head case like Vickery.
    As Cranky Pete says – Hardwick must go. (I reckon I might see if I can borrow the Cranky Pete monicker).

  4. Neil Anderson says

    Must have reached his low thresh-hold. Get him off quick in case he gets reaches new heights. WTF?
    One of the commentators mentioned Vickery didn’t have a tackle for the day. Hardwick sure anticipated that one by keeping him away from the action.
    No-one was more surprised by the move than Deledio sitting on the bench next to Vickery.

  5. Dave Brown says

    As far as I can make out clubs put a lot of effort into planning their rotations and post goal is the most convenient time to do it. Guessing post goal is probably the point at which a player’s heart rate and adrenaline levels are at their highest. So from that perspective it makes sense to bring them down as quickly as possible to ensure they don’t hit the wall later on. An attempt to manage finite resources. But not keeping the man with the hot foot on the ground (particularly a forward like Vickery) is pretty tin-eared coaching.

  6. In basketball, with its infinite rotations, it’s called the “hot hand” and you keep the player with it on the court and give them the ball at every opportunity. Then, if they get worn out landing 3-pointers, or stop scoring, you can take them off. But my experience is they rarely like coming off! Must be all that adrenalin the sports scientists have found in footballers! Also, have often thought the near 100 metre sprint to the bench, then back out again, must be quite tiring?

  7. In basketball, with its infinite rotations, it’s called the “hot hand” and you keep the player with it on the court and give them the ball at every opportunity. Then, if they get worn out landing 3-pointers, or stop scoring, you can take them off. But my experience is they rarely like coming off! Must be all that adrenalin the sports scientists have found in footballers! Also, have often thought the near 100 metre sprint to the bench, then back out again, must be quite tiring? But then, this is a bloke who selects Troy Chaplin!

  8. Andrew Starkie says

    And Hampson, Bucko.

    The game is overcooked.

  9. Paddy Grindlay says

    Very strange decision. Only happened (I sincerely hope!!) because we had Griffiths, Riewoldt and Vickery in the same team. It was the time for Vickery’s role to be taken by Griffiths, and that’s what happened.
    I don’t get it. If you take off a player who’s performance is relative to his confidence after he’s just booted two goals, somethings going wrong upstairs. Good sides can be ruined by poor coaching and there’s a bit of that going on at Richmond.

  10. it shows he is just a frontman. by his own admission. a hook to stability. as if that was what mattered, Richmond misreading the mood by 5 years again.

    it explains his incredibly reactive coaching in big game situations – actually, it’s not reactive. he’s just there, watching. cannot think of a single telling move. in almost 150 games.

    even the move of Vlastuin to midfield was talked about by many fans late last year, especially in the second half of the final with Nth.

    the real work is done by others below him. he fronts the media, does a good 2-3 minute headscratch, all is good, Dimma is a good bloke, just don’t listen to what he says.

    and in this it makes sense that the club, seeking to improve, will keep Dimma and replace the whole support team – support staff, recruiters. probably the interchange formula button-pusher.

    he is the ultimate Manchurian Candidate. at some stage he will probably wake from the slumber and it might be fun to watch… I mean, would damien Hardnose circa Essendon 2000 listen to that dribble after a 50-point loss. “we tried hard… we won the contests, well for 3/4… I thought our hair was nice…”

    Facts:

    * hawks never win the contests, even when they win the flags
    * every team this year has beaten them in clearances. they don’t care
    * Hawks were minus Hodge and Mitchell and smashed us in the last quarter clearances
    * every pundit knew that if the game broke open in the last quarter we were cactus – what did the maestro do? 9 goals in a row or whatever it was…

    apart from some late consolations, we were beaten by 9 goals by an old tired team minus there three best players (Roughead).

    yes, there was a lot to like there…

    I passed beyond cranky weeks ago and am now passing the White Heat of Contempt. Nanao Sakaki can go root himself : )

  11. Tony Robb says

    Speaking with Damien after the game, the plan was to send Ty for the pizzas,. However, Rance said he would take care of it but didn’t have any cash so Ty had to go to the ATM and you know how busy it gets at the footy. Next thing he has been off the ground for 15min. Actually I think I was talking to alamp post as it was for more illuminating than a Hardwick presser. I think I hit my threshold by about 6.30pm on Friday

  12. I really thought that the AFL’s implementation of reduced rotations this season would herald the end of players sprinting off the ground after kicking a goal (or two). This convention is nothing short of ridiculous, and ignores such an important facet of the game – it’s feel.
    Science and planned rotations simply cannot and will not ever have any “feel” or “instinct” for the game.

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I was surprised that they brought him back on.

  14. Rick Kane says

    Thank you science!

  15. Translation:
    “I wasn’t part of that overseeing role. I was part of the Richmond Football Club in a senior role at the time. At certain times, I believe the (rotation) protocols weren’t adhered to and that didn’t happen. That was very disappointing. It is the reason that (Vickery) young man was in a position he was in. That is devastating for all of us and most of all devastating for the man and his family.”

    Coachspeak, plagiarised from an ex-team mate.

  16. John Butler says

    TR’s closest to the money on this one.

    Rance would be the sort not to carry any cash.

  17. How many games has Richmond won this year?

    What do you think old mate Percy Jones would make of that?

    To be fair to Hardwick he’s not alone in the coaching world in coming up with this crap. A lot of industries wrap their skills in superfluous and nonsensical language to protect their positions. It’s like a barrier to entry to the job. Read a job ad these days, they’re hilarious.

  18. Andrew Starkie, surely Hampson would still be on the list as long as he brings his girlfriend to the B & F night? Maybe a certain S Dank is in charge of rotations. But then he cannot be held accountable for anything…

  19. Brin Paulsen says

    Tony Robb that is gold!

    Sounds like someone at the Richmond FC got hold of the same “How to win…” book as the Cricket Australia fast bowling coaches.

  20. E.regnans says

    “Part and parcel” is concerning.
    Plato said something about an unexamined life.

    Carts and horses.

    Tails and dogs.

  21. Steve Hodder says

    Hey “big fella”, I believe Plato thought an unexamined life wasn’t worth living. Can Hawthorn have Dustin Martin, if Richmond cease to be?

    onya

  22. Rick Kane says

    Socrates and yes to Dusty.

  23. Steve Hodder says

    Quite right Rick. So it was.

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