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Influence of Junior Coaches on Game Day

11 Jun Influence of Junior Coaches on Game Day

In our involvement with junior football clubs, The Modern Game are continually speaking with coaches about the importance of their role on game day and in the recent addition of the AFL Community Club Newsletter, Peter Schwab has written an article on the topic.

Below is a snippet of the article:

“….As a parent I fully understand the need to protect your children and comfort them if they have been hurt – it is a natural reaction – but for the sake of the game, no matter how hard it may be, the rules need to be followed or there is every chance of a situation escalating.

Of course there may be exceptional circumstances and coaches can decide that the safety of the players they are entrusted to care for needs to be protected and the only option they have is to call the game off, but that sort of decision needs to be made in the best possible manner.

I am not saying junior football does not have issues with on-field violence or poor spectator behaviour, but I must defend it through personal experience.

I could count on one hand the times I have been disappointed in the behaviour of a coach, players or spectators. On one occasion that I was, I followed the official procedures to voice my concerns and the outcome was exactly as I had hoped.

My personal view is that the coach is the person who has the most influence on the tone and behaviour of the match.

The players will play and behave in the way in which he instructs and rewards, and as a consequence parents are more likely to follow the coach’s lead.

That is why coaches are incredibly important at all levels, but never more than in junior football, and that is why they have an enormous responsibility to the game and their players. It is also why coach education is essential.

In this modern age where media coverage of AFL football is at an all-time high, junior coaches and their players watch a lot of AFL football and at times try to emulate what they see at that level.

Generally they follow the good aspects of professional sport, but sometimes they copy those facets we don’t want them to.

For junior coaches there are inappropriate leads they can follow from the AFL, such as applying a tag, instructing players to be overly physical when they tackle, or to attempt to apply a forward press. Coaches need to coach age-appropriately….”.

If you would like to read the full article, visit AFL Community Club

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