Breakfast with Ange Postecoglou
Wednesday morning at Convention kicked off in culinary style at a breakfast with Ange Postecoglou, Head Coach of the Australian Socceroos.
Somewhat surprisingly, Postecoglou opened his speech with some poetry – “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost.
“Two roads diverged in the wood and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
It’s these three simple lines that have continued to inform Postecoglou’s philosophy and life choices. As a teenager, the decision to pursue football as a career path was certainly “the road less travelled” (and not the smoothest or clearest path!) – but it’s a road that led to one pretty spectacular destination.
“I haven’t worked a day in my life. I do what I love, and I feel truly blessed. I’m not sure that would have happened if I chose a different vocation and did what everyone else was doing.”
Postecoglou referred to his own training philosophy, which is based around three key things:
- Playing a pro-active style of football. This means having the intent to win, and backing yourself to overcome any challenges! Remember, you have nothing to fear.
- Working to achieve cultural change, which is based largely on the people you surround yourself with. To exact this change, there are three critical pillars to consider: respect, disciple and risk (that means training differently, recruiting differently and – of course – taking the road less travelled!)
- Focusing on performance over results. Sometimes the end result (whether positive or negative) can disguise many things. A poor result does not necessarily equal a poor performance, and vice versa.
So what are the threats to this philosophy?
Time: Many coaches and business leaders fall into the trap of considering how much time they have, particularly when employed on a contract. If you believe in something, you have to forget about these pressures and wholeheartedly focus on your long-term goals.
Pressure (supporters, media, results): Whether it’s supporters or the media, everyone wants a say – and it’s not always positive! Regardless of the feedback, it’s crucial to back yourself and work for what you believe in.
Confrontation: While you can’t avoid confrontation, don’t go seeking it out! Share your successes with all people involved, but take full responsibility for failures.
Can you overcome these challenges in order to succeed? Absolutely!
Postecoglou concluded his speech by inviting the audience to “take the road less travelled” in life and in business.
“If you don’t get up in the morning with just a little bit of fire in your belly about what you’re going to do, then you’re not in the right place.’