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2019 Level 3 Coaching Course with Shane McCurry |

20th Oct 2022 .5 mins read

AFL Coaching course is supporting the next generation of elite AFL coaches.

A reinvigorated AFL Level 3 Coaching Course is supporting the next generation of elite AFL coaches, with a new modernised structure helping coaches enhance their skills both on and off the field.

Thirty up-and-coming coaches from across the country gathered in Melbourne last month for the final instalment of the Level 3 Coaching course which has introduced a more contemporary and interactive style course for coaches to undertake.

Delivered across three sessions, the newly designed Level 3 Coaching Course focusses on key themes including Culture & Relationships, Skill Acquisition & Performance Psychology, and Effective Communication.

As part of the first and final sessions, participants heard from Shane McCurry, Leadership Consultant, whose sessions around Culture, Connection and Contribution challenged the group to explore their understanding and impact of their individual leadership, team connection and storytelling skills as coaches.

Working with over 60 AFL assistant coaches and a number of AFL head coaches throughout his career including Neale Daniher, Denis Pagan, David Parkin and most recently Richmond premiership coach Damien Hardwick, Shane said that the impact of connection, empowerment and story-telling can be adopted by coaches at all levels of football.

“One of the key philosophies that we encourage teams to reflect on is that everything starts with connection, and that’s not just for coaches but for leaders from all walks of life,” he said.

“There’s a saying that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care – it’s such an important starting point for coaches in building a football program, and a reliable anchor for leaders during good times and challenging times.

“We’ve all probably come across coaches over the journey who are great tactically, but haven’t been strong at the culture and relationships piece so haven’t been successful. On the contrary, there have been many successful coaches at both the elite and community level who haven’t necessarily been technical geniuses, but they were great at relationships and so still managed to make progress based on this important part of their skillset – you can’t underestimate the power of relationships.”

Currently working with the Richmond Football Club coaches and player leadership group, Shane said that the ability for coaches to show their vulnerability and share their experiences was another great tool coaches can implement both on and off the field.

“The one thing I’ve noticed through working with a range of teams in different sports and industries, and Richmond is no different, is the power of shared experience, good or bad. As a group if you go through tough times and you stay together, it’s amazing how powerful that can be in terms of creating a platform for success, because sometimes it’s the tough times that galvanise you together, to prepare you for the better days to come,” he said.

“Storytelling is an emerging leadership skill and it’s very applicable to coaching – you can generate so much more emotion when sharing stories, compared to talking about kicks, marks and handballs. Players hear so much of the same tactical talk over the journey that sometimes when you throw something different into the mix it can have a great impact, even at the highest level.”

For more information on the AFL’s coaching courses, please visit


Shane McCurry is a thought leader in dynamic settings across industries including high performance sport, corporate, government and education. Shane has presented

Shane’s foundation philosophy is that all individuals, teams & organisations have the capacity to improve, and can reach their full potential through focussing on progress, story, connection, wellbeing and reflection (and this is true for our work and personal lives!).

As a consultant, coach and facilitator, Shane's thought leadership practice inspires change, growth and progress by supporting leaders and teams to enhance Culture, Leadership, Wellbeing & Performance.



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