The Roar
The Roar


'Leadership groups', 'Banana skins'. Enough already!

Roar Guru
29th September, 2008

One you get some success coaching in sport, you then write a book about why you where successful. Then every other coach who wants to be successful reads the book. Once a seed has been planted, you see some of these ideas popping up all over the place.

And like weeds, they look harmless enough at the beginning, but then sooner or later the weeds became a pest that is out of control.

As I come out of that dreadful gardening analogy I move onto the more dreadful sporting concept called the leadership group.

I’m not sure if this just an Australian invention that was ripped off another country, like the Australian crawl swimming stroke or Russell Crowe, but I’m pretty sure the leadership group is truly an Australian term.

And I think it was the ex-Hockey coach Rick Charlesworth who come up with it.

Perhaps it’s good to see some coaches read other books besides the Art Of War by SunTzu. Who can forget that little pearl “know your enemy.”

I’m sure every whiteboard in change rooms around the country has that written somewhere.

So what do Leadership groups do?

Well I’ve heard they choose where to go on holidays after the season is over. They decide what punishment team mates should get for turning up late to training and for allegedly roasting members of the public in public toilet cubicles while other team-mates allegedly film them.


I think the leadership group also are responsible for boring the life out of any sports fan with half a brain.

The AFL particularly loves a leadership group.

I suspect a leadership group is needed because there are so many players on an AFL roster. Who is going to put all those witches’ hats out?

Just like school where when there was a big class, some of the students helped the teachers hand out pens and paper and rub the chalk off the blackboard.

The only thing more annoying than the term “leadership group” is the “banana skin”.

The banana skin is now used around the sporting world to describe a very good team losing to a very crap team. Sydney FC coach John Kosmina described the Wellington Phoenix as a potential “banana skin”, for instance.

What he was saying was that his very good team, Sydney FC, who was sharing the lead with Melbourne Victory, was playing the very crap bottom of the table Wellington Phoenix, and sometimes crap teams beat good teams.

Well, it happened and football journalists around the country celebrated.