In just 50 AFL games, Senior Coach Justin Longmuir is already having a significant impact on the careers of Fremantle’s players, according to forward Travis Colyer.
Like Longmuir, Colyer is a philosophical thinker around the game of football and he believes the continuity in message and opportunity he’s received has led to him playing some of his best football at the age of 30.
Colyer missed eight games in Longmuir’s first season at Fremantle in 2020 due to a mix of injury and omissions, but hasn’t missed a game since round 18 of the 2020 season.
Longmuir will coach his 50th game for Fremantle on Saturday against Hawthorn and Colyer believes his coaching style is bringing out the best in the players.
“Something that's not to be underestimated for me, is this is the equal longest time I've had with one senior coach for a period in my career,” the former Essendon Bomber said.
“To have Justin, and to be able to really build a strong relationship, knowing where that's going…I'm on that side of 30 and you really want to make every opportunity matter.
“The conversations that I'm having with JL, the relationship that I've built with him, the sense of trust that I feel I have in him and he has in me, has just allowed me to break things down to the simple basics and execution.”
With Fremantle sitting third with a 9-3 record, Longmuir has delivered strong messaging to everyone at the Club to remain level headed and present.
This is a mindset that Colyer has adapted and is having a positive impact on his performances.
“I'd be looking too far ahead and I've since worked a lot on the mental side of the game, which has allowed me to go in so much clearer, not expecting too much of myself, but having a minimum level of performance that I want to achieve,” Colyer said.
“That's where I've held myself to account, knowing that selection, contracts, all these things will take care of themselves.
“If I'm able to put myself in a mindset that allows me to bring my best, because I know where my best sits in terms of Fremantle and my career moving forward.”
Colyer wasn’t the only player to praise Longmuir’s work at Fremantle on Friday, with Nat Fyfe crediting Longmuir’s ability to analyse the game.
“The ability for him to be able to see football is like an economical discussion,” Fyfe told SEN WA.
“How does our offense, contest and defence all function as one? And what parts do you take from some to give to the others to make sure the balance is always optimised?
“I've never seen a person operate in this space (like) he does. After playing for 11 years, you feel like you know pretty much everything about the game, and for him to come in and constantly be surprising me with what he is looking at and seeing, compared to what I thought I was seeing - he's as good as I've ever seen in that capacity.”