Kids 14: Follow-Up

Coaching kids is a privilege. You have to care to do it well, and they know that. It will teach you things about football and about yourself you had no idea of. The least you can do when you stop, or after a kid gets too old to be coached by you, is follow-up.

Show it wasn’t just sweet talk to get another win out of them. Show you give a shit. On a week off, go to one of their games, wherever they are now. Try and hook them up with work/employees. If you hear they’ve broken a leg, stop in at the hospital. The amount of kids I gave driving lessons to over the years…


“Nah, she’ll be right, Dog.”

“For now. What about when you want to get a job and can’t drive? Or you meet a girl?”
“Righto. Let’s do it.”


You’ll never capture every kid. It’s a shame, but that’s what it is. Don’t try too hard to appease the stroppy alpha. Stay positive and strong and fun.


Doing this footy book I asked almost every one of 170 legends of the game, at the end of our talk, “If you had to sum it up as one thing, above all else, what is football about to you?”

They almost all answered something different. Only two of them gave the answer I would have. Character – you learn about that and everything else, winning, respect, personal pride, falls in behind it. The answer Luke Power gave threw me. I was so not expecting it, and it so said so much about the man, and why he was assistant coaching such a young team in the Giants.


I never, ever tried to be their parent. But if they needed a hand, I’d want to give something back for all they gave me. I’d try to be their friend.


  1. Malby Dangles says

    Took me awhile to realise this, but you have given us something wonderful with these posts that you have written from your heart. Cheers, mate.

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