LEONGATHA’S senior coach, Beau Vernon, is typically understated about his involvement in a Level 3 ‘High Performance’ coaching course being offered through the AFL.
It’s something a lot of the coaches in the Gippsland League have already done, he says.
But he’s absolutely delighted to have the honour of being mentored by Hawthorn great, coach to the coaches, David Parkin.
“I think a lot of the coaches do it. We did a couple of full days in November and then there’s regular journals and logs that have to be entered and they give you feedback on that,” said Beau this week.
“There’s no point in telling you that everything you are doing is right so they give you plenty of constructive criticism.
“I had Leigh Brown come over and do an assessment of the training we do and David came down and watched one of our games recently.
“He’s also been down and seen us train and seen me talking to the guys and also planning for the game and that sort of thing.
“So he can relate to all the things we do now which is great.
“It’s not about strategy or game plan or anything. It’s mostly about communication and that sort of thing.
“But I’m really lucky to get him as a mentor. He gives me feedback but I can also contact him if I have an issue I want to ask about. I’m pretty lucky there,” he said.
As matter of fact as Beau is about the course and where it might lead, David Parkin is the exact opposite.
He sees something special in Beau’s coaching methods, his willingness to learn and his response to the course.
“I sometimes don’t get on to these things until late at night, and I sent back one of Beau’s reports to him at about 11.30pm one night but I was surprised to see he got straight back to me with a few questions,” said Parkin during a visit to the club recently.
“I think when Beau first came into the club, he was probably trying to control everything, which is understandable, but he’s now been able to build the capacity of the playing group around him, and getting better results that way.
“Just watching the way he goes about things I can say I’ve not seen anyone better as a young guy, even at AFL level,” he said.
It’s high praise but would not come as a great surprise to those who have worked closely with Beau over the past few years.
So, if he does have special talents in the coaching area, would he be prepared to take it further?
“When I came into this (at Leongatha), I said I’d give it two years but right now I’m really enjoying it so how long that will be I don’t know,” said Beau.
“But sure, if something came up in the future I’d certainly look at it. It’s something I really enjoy doing.”
The other thing David Parkin said was that Beau’s developing talents have also been noticed at AFL level and he wouldn’t be surprised to see them put to good use at a higher level sometime in the future.
But for now, there’s a big job to be done at Leongatha in 2016.
“Not seen better, even at AFL level” – David Parkin on Beau Vernon