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Lenny wishes he’d had this program: Richardson

Senior coaches, football directors, players, agents and stakeholders from all corners of the AFL industry came together yesterday for the launch of MAX360 – a concept developed by the AFL Players’ Association to help maximise and track individual players’ personal growth in all areas of life.

The days of players “preparing for life after footy” by simply studying or completing an apprenticeship are over; instead, the AFL Players’ Association is working with clubs to help ensure players are developing in all facets of life so that they can maximise their time in the game.

“Lenny Hayes said he wished this sort of program was in place when he started” – Alan Richardson

The program is the first of its kind, and has been met with plenty of support from St Kilda, Sydney, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs – the four clubs that piloted it throughout 2014. St Kilda coach Alan Richardson, who was on hand at the launch of MAX360, said it had even been a source of envy for a number of his senior players.

Richardson revealed that after learning about MAX360, “Lenny Hayes went up to our PDM (player development manager) and said he wished this sort of program was in when he started (his career).”

While the benefits of personal growth for each individual player are obvious, Richardson also believes the program will benefit the Saints on the field. He explained its benefits simply: “good people make good players.”

A player insights survey conducted by the AFL Players’ Association in 2013 revealed that Hawthorn, Geelong and Sydney – the three most successful clubs of the last decade – were ranked in the top four for their player welfare programs.

It’s further proof of a principle that’s becoming increasingly understood throughout the AFL; sustained success is achieved through much more than just good football.

You can find out more about MAX360 by watching the animation below.