Damien Hardwick admits he was working too hard last year, saying it was out of control as Richmond dropped out of the AFL top eight.
The Tigers coach has opened up again on those woes, which led to intense pressure on his future and fuelled an unsuccessful boardroom challenge in the off-season.
While they suffered another narrow loss on Saturday, overall Richmond are playing better this season and are sixth on the ladder.
Hardwick said with three or four weeks left in the season last year, he realised things had to change.
He was working too hard and only making his problems worse.
'It was out of control and you're at your worst,' he told Fox Footy of his self-imposed workload.
'You're locking yourself away and I wasn't in a good spot.
'Deep down, I wasn't happy in myself and the way I was going.'
Hardwick added he was not the coach he wanted to be.
'I was working harder than I had to, I was trying to find the solution myself,' he said.
'But in effect, I was the problem. I was looking for things and creating things that weren't actually there half the time.'
Saturday's loss to Sydney was the fourth time this season the Tigers have gone down by 10 points or less but Hardwick noted they have also won some tight matches.
He blames their problems on 'the cream', or capitalising better on their scoring chances.
'Ahead of centre, we're probably not quite as clean as we would like and that's probably what's costing us, these games at this stage,' he said.
'Most games we've lost, we've had significantly more inside 50 entries than our competitors and just failed to take our opportunities.
'But that's probably what happens when you have four or five teenagers in your forward half - they're going to get better.'
'The great thing about our footy club at the moment is I reckon our fans come every game and know they're going to get a fierce contest from our boys.
'We're still really confident with the style of game we play.'
Hardwick also remains confident that Dustin Martin will stay at the end of the season, when the star onballer becomes a restricted free agent.
'I'd love to say he is (staying), but I can't be 100 per cent guaranteed,' he said
'He's having a fantastic season and if he keeps playing the way he is, he can be a free agent every year as far as I'm concerned.'