G’Day ‘learners’.

Today’s blog will help sports coaches (and all caring adult stakeholders) to:

Consider the idea of REVISITING THE ARCHIVES to better inform the practice and future of your own and peers’ efforts with learners…

Watch, share and subscribe to ‘Gunn Engagement’ YouTube OR Facebook Pages for more!!!

I was talking today with a coaching leader, Murray Harley (pictured third from the left AT the very bottom of post), in Army Rugby attire with other famous Aussies, Ben Roberts Smith VC, George Gregan and Jim Williams. We swapped yarns about the intricacies of coaching and the need to be constantly innovative but balancing it with the ‘basics’ (which aren’t that basic, the HOW and the WHY).

As an army officer, no stone is left unturned under Murray’s watch. He has played close to the highest level below the Wallabies possible in rugby but more importantly has an uncanny knack to get the absolute best out his players as coach whether that be schoolboys or army rugby women. Aussies, if you are after an ‘expert’ in the ‘dark arts’ of scrummaging Murray is a ‘go to’ man but his tale of the New Zealand ‘scrum doctor’ Mike Cron got me thinking once again about the little things that are forgotten in coaching.

Below is some of the story about Mike Cron’s pursuit of learning innovation inspired by the World’s greatest athletes in any PE teacher’s opinion (when teaching ‘components of fitness’, Male Ballet performers!

“Every year you have to be better than last year otherwise you shouldn’t be here, so that’s the first thing.”

Murray’s story about Cron again reminds me about coaches wanting to learn and those that don’t. How one of my first LinkedIn videos with the QLD U15s Australian football WOLFPACK was viewed by 5000 people including a Head Coach of a Dutch TOP tier football club, FC Utrecht called Jan van Loon. Jan humbly reached out to me with his Finnish legendary player/coach mate called Joonas Kolkka, to talk about Youth development and retention.

Thus, I swapped with Murray how I got Jan to also meet David Rath (AFL's coach innovation guru). and was told by Jan that the Hawthorn coach called Alistair also came... "Our best coach!" I told him. Those at the top of the coaching game it appears are always learning!

Alistair Clarkson.jpg

THUS, in the spirit of innovation here is something from the Archives called ‘Gunny’s Crazy Town’ from a few years’ ago when helping Australian Football:

Game Principles:

1. Maintaining possession

2. Creating space in attack

3. Create passing options

4. Good decision making in passing

General considerations in all of these games:

1) Normal AFL rules but the objective is attacking team to make as much ground up field as

possible – for example in one game there will have 45-60 seconds (each team takes turns with

rotations depending on numbers)

2) Team A starts from end line and attempts task, and Team B defends (unlimited touches)

3) Toucher often has to do a task, like, make their way around a sideline marker

4) Swap over when the ball is dropped or intercepted and Team B starts from the same position

5) There is always a winner = eg it could be the team which makes most ground wins

6) Play six on six etc but if odd number one player always attacks and swaps (number superiority)

7) However, on the above point, sometimes the game favour the attack depending on age

Field set=up below:


Now, if you’ve read this far, it means you are an innovator like Murray and the above coaches mentioned. Thus you’re probably asking: “What did it look like?” OR “How did it go?”

To ANSWER that you’re gonna have to do two things: 1) SUBSCRIBE to ‘Gunn Engagement’ YouTube; 2) SEND me something from your archives that was innovative. Doesn’t matter if it didn’t work… AT least you were having a crack!!!

If presently in Melbourne or Brisbane, invite me to your organisation or session if you'd like me to share my answer... UK and Ireland coming in September!!!


Yours in learning,



Ben Roberts Smith VC, George Gregan , Murray Harley and Jim Williams

Ben Roberts Smith VC, George Gregan , Murray Harley and Jim Williams