Camp 'fail': Crows part with Collective Mind

Adelaide will no longer use the services of external leadership consultants Collective Mind after the two organisations decided to part ways.

The Crows coach Don Pyke described the now infamous pre-season training camp as ‘‘a fail’’ with players being left disillusioned and questioning why some things happened on the camp.

'Didn't hit the mark': Adelaide coach Don Pyke.

‘Didn’t hit the mark’: Adelaide coach Don Pyke.

‘‘We did some really positive work in the mental performance space and the players were really engaged, as we saw last year,’’ Pyke said.

‘‘This year, we moved that to the next phase and, it’s fair to say, some of those sessions didn’t hit the mark and didn’t resonate with the players.’’

The Crows called a media conference yesterday to attempt to end the speculation that has surrounded their football program since March when reports first emerged of the camp.

The club acknowledged that players complained about features of the camp, which included an Indigenous artefact being used as a talking stick. However, football manager Brett Burton argued the issues were resolved soon after the camp ended.

Pyke and Burton also confirmed players were blindfolded on a short bus trip between locations and listened to the Richmond theme song in an activity that was intended to build resilience.

Pyke said, contrary to reports, players were able to contact loved ones during the camp.

He said that in hindsight they should have communicated more to their players about what was likely to occur in the camp to avoid some of the issues that eventuated.

Several sections of the club felt they benefited last season from Collective Mind which have spoken in forums about giving players tools to reset their focus within games using a variety of triggers.

The Crows lost to the Tigers in the grand final last season and have failed to bounce back, winning just six of the first 13 games and denied any problems until last week when they acknowledged parts of the camp had not worked.

‘‘We want to make sure programs we’re running inside our club have complete buy-in from everyone,’’ Pyke said.

‘‘There were enough concerns in this space to take the action we took.’’

Some at the club, including captain Taylor Walker, reacted negatively to Jake Lever’s departure to Melbourne and key players suffered soft tissue injuries after an arduous pre-season early in the year, with star forward Eddie Betts being ruled out recently for a month with a hamstring injury.

Collective Mind was the program behind the Crows' 'power stance' last year.

Collective Mind was the program behind the Crows’ ‘power stance’ last year.

Free agent Rory Sloane remains unsigned, while star forward Tom Lynch is still out of contract.

Fairfax Media has also reported that injured forward Mitch McGovern, who signed a new deal late last year, is also keen to leave the club.

Burton said the Crows were continuing to evaluate their program and maintained there were no lingering issues with players as a result of the camp.

The Crows have a tough run ahead after this week’s bye, with games against West Coast, Richmond and Geelong in the next three weeks.

They began the round in 11th spot on the ladder but expect key players to return from injury.

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