AFL 2023; GWS Giants Coach Adam Kingsley on AFL 360 Football Finals v St Kilda News

GWS Giants coach Adam Kingsley has expressed that he needs to “calm down a bit” as he’s quickly adjusted to life as an AFL senior coach.

After finishing 4-7 and 15th on the AFL rankings at the halfway point in the season, Kingsley will lead the Giants to an elimination final against St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday afternoon, in his first season at the helm of AFL’s newest franchise.

It’s been a season full of learning curves for Kingsley, including how best to manage his own stress and emotions in the box.

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After the opening win over Adelaide in the opening round that got his coaching career off to a flying start, the Giants suffered three straight losses early in the season as the manager’s frustrations became increasingly evident.

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Speaking to AFL 360, Kingsley said it “certainly didn’t do himself or ‘his coaching staff’ any good to let his frustrations show so openly.

“Probably at the beginning of the season I was visibly a little frustrated at times and I don’t think it helped me, let alone my coaching staff,” Kingsley told AFL 360.

“We probably haven’t been running at full speed in this condition a bit too often.”

Kingsley was attacked with a stress ball in the coaching box in the early rounds to ease the tension a bit.

An association with the freshest senior coach on the block quickly formed, as Kingsley revealed that introducing the stress ball in his kit bag and his move from the bench to coaching allowed him to “refocus my attention.”

It proved a fruitful move, kickstarting the Giants’ seven-game winning streak and earning them an unexpected Finals spot.

“The stress ball was mostly getting my attention back to what was important and letting go,” Kingsley said.

“It has not only helped me, but also our coaching staff … it has improved significantly over the course of the season from the first two or three rounds.”

The stress ball helped, but Kingsley wanted to get closer to his players and see the game from their perspective.

Having never been on the bench in his entire coaching career, Kingsley moved down mid-year and the move paid off.

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“Moving onto the bench … I’ve never done that as a senior or as an assistant coach, so I thought I’d go there and experience that for a while,” he said.

“It felt like I acted a little bit better and so did the team upstairs.

“I think we’ve reaped the rewards of that.”

While acknowledging that when you’re not sitting at the top of the box and having a full view of the ground, Kingsley acknowledged the work of development coach Jason Davenport in making the communication and messaging from the box to the bench clear and “giving up a little” when Kingsley did seamless.

“It was fantastic to have someone like Jason Davenport on the bench for me,” Kingsley said.

“He controls the view. So if I want to check something, he can pull it up and I can just look at it. This allows me to talk directly to the players… It gives you instant feedback on what’s working and what’s not.” AFL 2023; GWS Giants Coach Adam Kingsley on AFL 360 Football Finals v St Kilda News

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