08/05/2007 - 22:00

John Christie in the coaching corner

08/05/2007 - 22:00


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John Christie, Western Australian Hockey Association

John Christie in the coaching corner

John Christie

Western Australian Hockey Association

15 years as a coach


WABN: What techniques do you use to motivate players?

JC: “I generally make reference to the level of fitness required to compete at a state and international level and will use a number of specific quotes. I will also use famous speeches from movies such as Any Given Sunday. I also explain the privilege of representing your state and country.”

WABN: What has been the biggest mistake that you have made in your role as a coach and what did you learn from it?

JC: “On occasion, I can perhaps be too technical with tactics, which sometimes restricts individual flare. So what have I learned from that? While individual flare is important and an integral part of the game, it is important to ensure the player is aware of the appropriate time to use these skills and not simply ignore the team strategies.”

WABN: How do you manage player egos?

JC: “I am not a big fan of egotistical people nor players who taunt or disrespect the opposition, however when I do have players who perhaps believe they are better or more skilled than others, I often will explain that I do not want them to tell me how good they are, I want them to show how good they are and explain they need to sustain that performance if they want to be an integral part of my team.”

WABN: How do you manage off-field player conflicts?

JC: “I seek player input to a number of things, such as fitness levels, attendance at training, attitude at training, the value of teamwork, code of conduct, etc. Therefore, should any off-field conflict arise I will attempt to resolve this by making reference to what the team agreed to as an acceptable standard of behaviour. One thing is for sure, I will never ignore it and hope it will go away; I always will deal with it and resolve the matter.”

WABN: How important is it for players to develop skills outside of their sport? What do you do to encourage it?

JC: “I frequently make them [the players] aware that their education is far more important than any sport. I believe it is a coach’s responsibility to not only teach the how to be the best in any sporting arena, but to be the best they can be in life.”

WABN: What music do you listen to for motivation?

JC: “Generally something that gets you pumped up”. I find ACDC’s Heatseeker does the job.”

WABN: What sporting identity do you most admire and why?

JC: “Lance Armstrong. He is without doubt the most inspiration athlete on this planet. Talk about triumph over adversity. While sport is important, the game of life and survival is biggest challenge anyone can face. To beat cancer and to become a seven-time world champion says it all.”

WABN: Who has influenced you personally?

JC: “The person who has had the most influence in my life both personally and in sport is Billy MacPherson. When I was 12 years old I began to play hockey for Menzieshill Hockey Club in Dundee, Scotland, Billy at that time was 19 years old and club founder and coach. Over the years, Billy taught me how to play hockey and I ended up with 75 international caps for Scotland. I often wonder where I would be today if I hadn’t met him.”

WABN: Have you read a good book on management/leadership that you can recommend? What was so good about it?

JC: “Top performance by Zig Ziglar. It shows how success can only be achieved through teamwork and that you can only truly achieve what you want by helping others to achieve what they want. The principles are equally transferable from management of a multi-disciplined organisation to that of a sporting team.”


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