Andy Friend

Our Great Coach on this episode is Andy Friend.

Andy is an Australian rugby union coach and former player who is currently the head coach of Irish province Connacht.

He was previously head coach of the Australia Sevens team, the Brumbies in Super Rugby in Australia, English club Harlequins, and Canon Eagles and Suntory Sungoliath in the Japanese Top League.

He also coached the Australian Under-21 team to the final of the 2005 World Championships. And was an assistant to Eddie Jones within the Wallabies setup for the 2002 Tri Nations Series and 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Andy is an articulate and calm coach who speaks with authenticity and simplicity on the fundamentals of elite level leadership.

He has spent both his childhood and adult life traveling the world, and this gives him a deep appreciation of the needs that unite people; and how you can communicate emotion and intent despite language barriers.

He is the type of person you feel immediately at ease with, and his ability to find a balance between the leadership and care for his players and staff, and family life, which also makes him a good role model for all of us who try to juggle the competing priorities in our life.

Some of the key highlights of this interview for me were:

How Great coaches have a strong sense of purpose that both motivates and guides them. This is matched with a natural inquisitiveness that fuels their ongoing development.

How being sacked as a coach helped him realise the need of not imposing your own values on the team, but rather co-creating the right team values for that organisation.

And His learning around not trying to do everything, but rather to invest time in building, in his words, the bank account of trust, with his athletes. And how this translates to him spending 70% of his time working with individuals within the team.

If you would like to send us any feedback or if you know a great coach, who has a unique story to share, then we would love to hear from you, please contact us at thegreatcoachespodcast@gmail.com or contact us through our website thegreatcoachespodcast.com

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