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Clarko; "None of us are perfect"

Clarkson: Fire burns for everyone Alastair Clarkson spoke with Fox Footy's Ben Dixon ahead of the 2018 season.

Heading into his 14th season as coach, and already with four Jock McHale medals to his name, Alastair Clarkson could be excused for resting on his laurels.

However, ‘rest’ is a term seemingly unfamiliar to the busy Hawks’ coach, who regularly travels overseas and studies alternate sporting codes in pursuit of new ways to develop and adapt his coaching style.

“None of us are perfect,” Clarkson told SEN on Tuesday morning.

“If you ask any of our players and certainly some of our coaches, they’d say that I’ve got plenty of [imperfections].”

“The important part is to acknowledge the things that you’re not so good at, and you’ve either got to improve them… or get other people to do those things.

“That’s why I travel a lot and keep studying and learning and trying to get better… because I’m fully appreciative of the fact that I don’t know it all, and my biggest failure as a coach will come when I think I do.”

Read: Clarko hungry for more

Whether you’re watching on TV or listening to his post-match press-conference, Clarkson’s passion for the game is undeniable. 

While such passion can contribute to success, the coach admits he regularly walks a fine line between educating and lecturing his playing group.

“Like most coaches who are so passionate and enthusiastic about the game, our biggest weaknesses will always be over coaching, because we watch so much vision and we’ve got so much knowledge about the game and other sports.

“But the real art of coaching is to be able to select the one or two pieces of vision to demonstrate your point, rather than five or six.

“To try and be as efficient as you possibly can in their learning, and to have the players in an environment where they don’t feel they’re being lectured, but rather included in your decision making. 

With so much success across his coaching career, it would appear from the outside that four-time premiership coach has the process perfected.

But, according to Clarkson, there is no secret formula for coaching success, rather a series of trials, errors and learning curves along the way.

“You get better at this with more experience, but I still don’t think that I or we at our footy club are there yet, and I’m not sure that we’ll ever be there,” he said.

“It’s like trying to search for the perfect game plan or game style, you’re searching for utopia but you’re never going to get there.

 “The important part of it is that you keep trying to get there, because you can still have success without reaching the perfect utopia.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs