Sanderson, in a dream debut as a head coach, took the Crows from a worst-ever finish of 14th to within one straight kick of last season's grand final.
But he refuses to dwell on the five-point preliminary final loss to Hawthorn.
"I would have loved to have won that game and expose our players to a grand final, it would have been an enormous experience for them," Sanderson said.
"But at the same time there are some benefits in a loss like that.
"We feel like we have got the right formula for how to play and how to win finals, it's just getting better at it."
Sanderson describes his second pre-season as Crows coach as bizarre.
He's lost star forward Kurt Tippett. He's lost a chief executive, suspended for six months. He's lost a football manager, suspended for two months.
He's lost his strategy coach and mentor Dean Bailey, suspended for 16 matches.
But he hasn't lost his focus.
"It hasn't really affected the footy department, to be honest - it has just been business as usual," Sanderson said.
"The biggest thing for us will be managing external expectations but I think we're OK because the expectations that we place on each other internally is really high anyway."
After last year's success, Sanderson realises his game-plan will be picked apart but said rivals won't find any secrets.
"We're a long-kicking side. We win contested ball. That is probably our game plan in a nutshell," he said.
"We don't overcomplicate the way that we play, we attempt to do the basics really well.
"It's a bit like Brisbane in the early 2000s when they were winning premierships: everyone knew how they were playing, it was just they were better at it."
Sanderson said Tippett's controversial exit to Sydney would create greater variety in an attack centred around spearhead Taylor Walker.
"There's different options that we can provide that can frighten the opposition," he said, naming Josh Jenkins, Shaun McKernan, Ricky Henderson, Tom Lynch and Lewis Johnston as potential replacements for Tippett.
Adelaide's defence would again be built around twin pillars, Ben Rutten and last year's Rising Star winner Daniel Talia, though the retirement of half-back Michael Doughty leaves a hole.
But the rest of Adelaide's playing list remained remarkably stable - apart from Doughty and Tippett, the only departures were Chris Knights (Richmond) and Brad Symes (delisted), fringe players who managed seven games between them last season.
Sanderson again has an ominous midfield, headed by dual club champion Scott Thompson, ruckman Sam Jacobs, young stars Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane, and the battle-hardened captain Nathan van Berlo, Bernie Vince and Richard Douglas.
"They're an A grade midfield and I don't mind saying that," he said.
But don't expect to hear much Adelaide trumpeting, as Sanderson demands humility.
"We don't promote ourselves as being one of the top sides, we're very business-like," he said.
"We know we came from a fair way back last year and we didn't want our success to just be a one-hit wonder.
"The good sides and the athletes who we admire are ones that just go about their business and are really humble in victory and defeat, like Roger Federer and Lionel Messi.
"It's important that when we win, we're humble. And when we lose, there are no excuses."