Kids 6: Quitting

There will always be a kid, or two, who want to give it away. I would always go and visit them and ask why? Usually, they wouldn’t say as much, but they couldn’t be bothered. I’d never accept that. Sorry.

I’d always tell the team at the start of the year, “Footy’s not for everyone. It’s for me, I live and breath it. But that doesn’t mean it’s for you. No worries. Tell me what you’re going to replace it with, what is the thing for you, and you have my blessings. Motor cross, music, surfing, theatre, comic drawing, funnycars, ballet for all I care! Tell me what and I’ll do whatever I can to help you get there. But you don’t replace something with nothing.”

We had very few drop outs, winning or losing, and those few that did, most of them were worded up by their mates to come back. One of them helped win us a Grand Final.

Him and his mate would sit out pre-season training. “Couldn’t be stuffed,” he said. Honesty. So I returned some.

When we went for a pre-season run, the entire team knocked on his door. “Can’t win without you…” He got his sneakers on and had a killer year. Enjoyed himself the whole way. He was good in the Grand Final, and knew it. We won by a goal.

Don’t ever, if you can, let your players replace something with nothing. None of us are superstars, or we’d be in the AFL system. Only by quitting, though, do we lose.

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