Walyalup (Fremantle) coach Justin Longmuir reveals why he has banned mobile phones at Dockers HQ

Jackson Barrett
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Justin Longmuir has banned mobile phones at Dockers HQ.
Justin Longmuir has banned mobile phones at Dockers HQ. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Walyalup (Fremantle) coach Justin Longmuir has opened up on his phone ban around the club’s Cockburn facilities, revealing it was inspired by a United States sporting giant.

The ban was highlighted earlier this season when one report — shutdown swiftly by the Dockers and Longmuir — suggested some players had bristled at his coaching methods.

Longmuir has now explained players are asked to leave their mobile devices outside of the gym, the players’ dining area and the physio table in a bid to connect with each other.

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“It’s an opportunity to have a conversation, see how a person’s day was, how their life is going rather than being consumed by your phone when there’s plenty of time in the day for that,” he told the Herald Sun in an interview.

“Then it evolved into when you’re getting treatment from a physio learn about your body — don’t be on your phone. Be attentive.

“Last year it was no phones in the gym, just leave them outside. The only reason they crept into the gym was because we were using them for monitoring loads.

“But now we’ve got iPads and don’t need them, so don’t bring them in.”

Longmuir counted the late Kuwarna (Adelaide) senior coach Phil Walsh as a mentor and said he was introduced to methods and ideas stemming from US sports while the pair worked together at Waalitj Marawar (West Coast).

“I hadn’t even heard of some of the American sports back then, but (Walsh) would just talk about coaches in America,” he said.

The phone ban itself stems from legendary San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who oversaw the franchise’s NBA dynasty in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s — a team led by stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and David Robinson.

“That’s maybe from the Spurs mentality of when you’re in, let’s connect,” Longmuir said.

Ahead of Friday night’s blockbuster clash with reigning premiers Collingwood at Optus Stadium, Longmuir also opened up on the Dockers’ shock western derby defeat to Waalitj Marawar in round six, describing himself as being like a “disappointed Dad”.

“I told the players I wanted to believe we were the round one-to-five team and for whatever reason we weren’t on that night,” he said.

“So the person I look at in those situations is me. What could I have done better to prepare the players? Clearly something was wrong during the week.

“You’ve got to find the balance between giving the players a whack and picking them up and getting ready to go the next week.”


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