..... the second level is when the space is exploited as a result of a verbal command from the support player. This scenario is more desired because it gives 12 other players the license to create options and also keeps the pressure off of the player in possession. The third and most highly-sought state of play exists when there is recognition and reaction from all players without a word being spoken.
Waite refers to this final scenario as the ‘ultimate test of coaching ability'.
To reach that zenith, the prescribed course is plenty of designer games, games for understanding and game-sense drills.
Evaluating which space-creating skill you wish to teach, how you want your players to recognise the right time to use the particular skill and then the finer points you will coach are the first steps before plotting a designer game
Then there is the method of delivery to consider. Do you tell the players precisely what you want and then give a visual demonstration before they have a turn?
True to his nature of wanting to see what makes people tick, Waite is an unabashed fan of letting players jump in headfirst to an exercise and letting them find out what works best through trial and error.
He also encourages them to communicate as a group, discussing obstacles and solutions.
"Ok let's say we have a square grid marked out with four hats, two attackers and one defender. The attackers have to make it over the tryline, but for the purposes of this example, they score three points on the right half of the tryline and only one point on the left half of the tryline," he says.
"Ask the players how they will create space and why things will happen before they even give it a go. Get them thinking and talking. Then let them put it into practice and hear their feedback.
"When they have finished ask who they thought was the best in the group at creating space and why? Then ask the standout player ‘What did you see that made you want to do that?'"
By investing a significant amount in the opinions of the players, Waite not only creates team harmony and boosts the feeling of self-ownership among the playing core.
He also ensures that the lessons of the session are not lost in any short space of time.
It all comes back to a saying the enthusiastic listener first heard from one of his own mentors, super analyst Warren Ryan.
Ryan's axiom went along the lines of the following: ‘Tell me and I'll forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I'll learn.'
The hands-on approach favoured by Waite also dictates that every member of the squad should receive equal opportunity to hone their skills.
While the tendency has always been to lump the pressure of creating space upon hookers, halves and five-eighths, the reality is that 13 skilful men should always beat three skilful men.
And who is to say that on Grand Final day, when you take a three-on-three blindside option in the last minute, that it isn't going to be a prop.....