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West Perth Leads the Way with On and Off Field PerformanceThursday, June 13, 2024 - 8:43 AM

The launch of West Perth Football Club’s Personal Excellence Hub has seen positive results both on and off the field.

Through Healthway’s Think Mental Health initiative West Perth has taken further steps in addressing player welfare and wellbeing with the Personal Excellence Hub powered by Oasis People & Culture.

This initiative is designed to provide comprehensive development for players, significantly enhancing West Perth’s Women’s program. 

Players benefit from several key resources, including:

  • iYarn for weekly mental, physical, and emotional check-ins. 
  • They also have an online program for season-long goal setting, where they learn effective goal-setting methodologies beyond just SMART goals. 
  • Coaches can monitor and comment on their progress, with players setting comprehensive goals that are reviewed mid-season and end-of-season to ensure accountability and clarity. 
  • Weekly to twice-weekly development sessions are integrated into training to help the team and coaches leverage mindset and emotions for improved performance.
  • Additionally, players have access to confidential coaching conversations to address off-field issues or conflicts affecting their performance.

West Perth’s Head of Personal Excellence and Resilience and Wellbeing Coach, Travis Fitch said the program looks beyond the usual on-field measures and reaches both League and Rogers Cup players.

"The West Perth Personal Excellence Hub is committed to cultivating a psychologically safe environment that cares for the whole person first, not just the athlete,” Fitch said. 

“We know that individual and team performance significantly improves when investment is made into creating an environment that fosters genuine care, learning and development, honest reflection and feedback, and courageous authenticity.”

The early results from this program have seen improved results for the League side who have jumped from sixth position on the ladder last year, to second in 2024, having won eight games so far.

Head of WAFLW Development, Luke Richardson says the results speak for themselves.

“We’ve seen exponential improvement in overall player satisfaction within the program,” Richardson said. 

“It’s been a privilege to see individuals take such impactful steps forward towards taking genuine responsibility for their needs and behaviours as semi-professional, high-performance athletes. 

“A crow-bar for conversation, if you like, has encouraged nurturing AND challenging. When a balance is found in these two areas wonderful things can happen as we are seeing in 2024. 

“Credit must be given to Fitchy (Travis Fitch) for his unwavering, incomparable commitment to player welfare and development. He is supported by an incredible coaching group who remain aligned to our premiership model and list management strategies.”

Falcons player Taylor Ferguson highlighted the benefits her and her teammates are experiencing using the Personal Excellence Hub.

“It’s been a significant change, culturally for us at the Falcons,” Ferguson said. 

“The much-needed changes presented opportunities for us to have robust conversations about player development as teammates and peers. 

“Fitchy (Travis Fitch), Deggers (Clint Degebrodt – WAFLW Head Coach) and Richo (Luke Richardson) shared a vision for us as high-performance athletes that we needed to focus on showcasing our strengths and to trust that our club will resource us to the best of its ability to enable us to just perform. 

“I have enjoyed using iYarn, 4Boxes Goal Setting and our weekly sessions – they have encouraged conversation and they have helped us cultivate an environment of good human beings aligning to our club’s values of trust, selfless, resilient and spirit. 

“I truly believe that without our club’s significant investment in such a ground-breaking space for the WAFLW, we wouldn’t be looking at finals in just our third year, we would not be performing as we are now.”

This year the WAFL/W has re-introduced the Healthway Wellbeing Ladder, an initiative designed to create a competitive pathway to further implement mental health and wellbeing practices within the WAFL/W community.