Ahead of his debut series as a State of Origin coach, New South Wales mentor Brad Fittler provides Inside Sport some advice on how to get the best out of a playing group. It isn’t all about half-time sprays—only sometimes.
“I just throw everything I have at the coaching game. Whatever is needed will just have to be done. And that changes all the time, because you’re constantly watching players and thinking about how the team can play at its best. I haven’t put in concrete how I think the NSW team should play, I’ll wait and see what the team looks like when we pick it and then go from there. But the key for me will be to get the players knowing that I’m in it as much as they are.”
Learning from coaching Lebanon
“With that one, the association with all the boys being Lebanese really helped. From a World Cup tournament approach point of view, it was about harnessing their passion for their home country and turning it into effort. I suppose the one thing I learnt was, again, you have to hand it over to the players. We are there to give them some direction, boundaries and guidelines. They need to feel like they’re there to do the work, but they just need to know we’re doing whatever we can.”
To spray or not to spray
“I try not to pre-empt anything. That method is one of those things where you have to rely on instinct. If you feel like the team would be better off if someone was told they’re doing the wrong thing, then you gotta say it.”