Revolution Coach

Gary Hill, coach of the American Revolution, the United States National Australian Football team, added some extra excitement to Round 2 of the AZAFL when he made the trip to Phoenix to put on a coaching clinic for the leagues aspiring coaches. Thanks to excellent negotiation from John Pops Meier, AZAFL Commissioner, and great organization by Sam Yabbie Conrad, Steve Mom Hoza, and Revolution team member Jeff Fingers Purcell, the clinic paired with Round 2 to make for an excellent weekend of footy development in the Valley of the Sun. Special thanks also goes out to Phoenix Head Coach Jeff Coach Richards (Whod have thunk it, the coachs nickname is Coachboy, these guys are clever.), who housed Gary for the weekend, and no doubt treated him to some fabulous Aussie-Arizona hospitality.

Day 1 of the clinic saw a hearty crowd of enthusiastic Arizona footballers gathered in a classroom at the Newman Center on the campus of ASU to learn some proper footy coaching theories and techniques. Along with organizing attendees already mentioned were the knowledge hungry Brad "Porkchop" Palumbo, Jared "Kaiser" Schrieber, Stan "Stanimal" Jones, Tom "Bobby" Paswater, David "Pass the Dutchie" Marli, Charlie Chucky Hollingsworth, Anthony Squirrel Starks, "Evil K-"Neil Dilts, and Richard Harp-a-Long Clogan. Gary Hill masterfully instructed the boys all morning using some great teaching techniques. One particularly effective technique involved videotaping each one of us kicking the football in an adjacent grassy area, so we could critique each others form and learn how to correct specific kicking problems. Gary proved that old dogs can learn new tricks, when he reconstructed Pops kicking style, causing Pops to be straighter and longer than hes ever been before. Oh, and his kicking improved too. Later, in the evening matches, the age-challenged Commissioner returned to his original form, kicking no goals, no behinds, and leaving several youngsters face first in the turf in the process. In the end, Gary and all of the coach trainees unanimously agreed that Fingers had the perfect kicking form. Big surprise. After all, he is a footy god. Hey, Im writing this thing, I can remember the clinic the way I want to remember it. Oh, I forgot that was with both feetthe perfect form I mean.

After a break for lunch, the crew reconvened at the grounds of the Tempe Sports Complex to do some field work for the few hours leading up to the Round 2 AZAFL action. At the grounds the group grew by three when it was joined by Darren "Priscilla" Toohey, Dan D-Train Reidy, and Jay My Girlfriends Australian and Im going to be really good, really soon Mueller. The afternoon proceeded with Gary directing us to lead each other through some excellent drills using the methods that we had learned earlier in the day. Highlights of the afternoon included great demonstration of learned techniques by Kaiser, Pops, Bobby, Harp-a-Long, and Yabbie, as well as some slightly better than mediocre coaching and drill play by Fingers. Everyone agreed that much was learned during day one, and after the day of hard work we were all rewarded Saturday night with three matches of well played football under the lights, on a beautifully warm desert evening in Round 2 of the AZAFL. You can check out the match results at the AZAFL website

Day 2 of the clinic was held at Longview Elementary, our regular training grounds in Phoenix. A slightly smaller group was formed on Sunday morning, but was bolstered by the additions of D-train and Irishman, Noel I dont even need a nickname, Im just that cool O'Cualain. The morning was spent addressing specific needs for coaching in Arizona and the AZAFL. Gary addressed all of our questions, and helped us to develop drills that would help correct our players most common deficiencies. Some of the more confusing Laws of Australian Football were discussed at length, until everyone had a full understanding of how the laws have recently changed, and how they are being enforced.

In the end we all learned a great deal, and gained enough knowledge to continue on with a common approach to coaching in the league. We also got everybody on the same page as far as proper technique with the various skills, which should help us immeasurably in teaching our copious new recruits correctly, so they get it right from the beginning. In addition, we were left with plenty of supplementary materials to foster continued learning and teaching of football. And the entire clinic was captured on videotape for documentation, learning, and accreditation purposes. Thanks Steve Mom Hoza, for assuming that responsibility, as well as for your many other contributions. The positive effects of this coaching clinic will be felt for some time to come in the AZAFL, as well as across California and the Nation as Phoenix makes its way up the ranks of the USAFL. Many thanks go to Gary Hill for his time and effort in helping us along our path to footy success. Also, thanks to all of the attendees, especially Squirrel, Evil K-Neil, and Harp-a-Long for making the early morning trip up from Tucson. In total, 18 of the AZAFLs finest took part in soaking up Gary Hills knowledge and experience over the course of the two-day clinic not bad for a bunch of desert Hooligans running an Australian Football league. Keep up the good work boys!

Jeff Fingers Purcell

Coach-Chandler Outlaws

Junior Development Officer-AZAFL

- Jeff Purcell

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