FREMANTLE coach Ross Lyon says he's less anxious this Grand Final week than in the lead-up to previous deciders in his time with St Kilda.

Lyon came desperately close to leading St Kilda to a flag, the Saints falling 12 points short of Geelong in the 2009 Grand Final and drawing with Collingwood in 2010 before losing the replay.

The coach said a lesson from those experiences was not to let a sense of how much is riding on the outcome cause anxiety leading up to the game.

"At the end of the day, it's the ultimate distraction, which is the outcome," Lyon told the Nine Network's AFL Footy Show on Thursday night.

"But it is another game of football.

"On a personal level, I've been calmer, less anxious and (had) a real understanding of the week and really encouraged the players to enjoy it.

"As we did then (with the Saints) but it's probably allowing them to do so more.

"But you need to take your opportunities.

"If I'd ask them to do one thing, it would probably be kick straight."

Lyon said the way the Dockers were able to stifle the Sydney Swans with their defensive pressure early in Saturday night's preliminary final had not surprised him.

He said the fact that the Dockers were coming off a weekend's rest, against a tired, injury-hit Swans had helped.

"They were sitting ducks a little bit Sydney," he said.

"There was pent-up emotion and (we were) just ready to go when that ball was bounced.

"And we can't underestimate 45,000 Dockers fans there, it was an amazing atmosphere."

Lyon said the Dockers' form had been strong for the past six weeks, with a particular lift in the ruck and midfield.

"We understand Hawthorn have been the best home and away team," he said.

"It's a massive challenge, but the form we're in, we think we're going to be right in it and it's an exciting time."