PORT Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams wants senior coaches to attend compulsory health retreats to help ease the pressures of their jobs.
Williams, who steered the Power to their only AFL flag in 2004, has put forward the concept to the AFL Coaches Association as a way to help coaches deal with the scrutiny stresses of their role.
The 62-year-old spoke with the AFL and the coaches' body after attending the Eden Health Retreat in Queensland last year, which was the third time he has headed to the centre to focus on his wellness.
The previous two times were while he was coach at Alberton Oval, including at the end of 2002 and again in the latter stages of his time at the helm before he departed midway through 2010.
"I did suggest to the Coaches Association that over the time I was coaching I went up twice to the health retreat and spent a week or two there doing yoga and all those things and I felt fantastic,” Williams told AFL.com.au.
"Only last year I went back there again and I felt this is exactly what coaches need to do.
"I put them in contact with the Coaches Association and the AFL trying to say clubs should invest some time and almost make it compulsory for coaches to go there and spend some quality time for themselves and maybe their partner."
Williams, who was an assistant at Greater Western Sydney and then Richmond following his success at Port Adelaide, said the retreat gave him a chance to take his mind away from football.
The daily rituals included yoga, mindfulness exercises, massages and tai chi lessons.
"These aren't usual things for me but it was a complete break and gave me an opportunity to get your eating right, you exercise all the time, and there was also opportunities to chill out and sit next to the pool and read books," he said.
"You'd not have to talk to people and not have to be anywhere at any particular time.
"Having been in the bubble of high pressure footy, and in Adelaide that's for sure, I found it to be a wonderful way of relaxing. Last year doing it again it reminded me [of how valuable it was]."
The pressures placed on senior coaches, and their support after leaving the game, continues to be a hotly debated topic after former North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley's arrest last weekend for stalking and other offences. Laidley was also an assistant coach at Port Adelaide under Williams.
Last year five senior coaches were replaced at AFL level, with Brendon Bolton (Carlton), Brad Scott (North Melbourne), Ross Lyon (Fremantle), Alan Richardson (St Kilda) and Don Pyke (Adelaide) all departing their positions.
Williams, who coached Port to 257 games between 1999-2010, said the retreat offered a getaway from the game that should be enforced to ensure the wellbeing of coaches.
"There's no internet or papers so it's really detoxing," he said. "The [first] year I was there was when the Bali bombings happened and I came out of it and I didn't even know it happened."