As part of the COE U16’s program in 2019, the squad came together on Tuesday January 22nd to enjoy a day at the West Adelaide Football Club and experience some fitness testing, skills testing and an afternoon of some educational and team bonding discussion. It turned out to be an incredibly successful “responsible footballer day” for the U16 squad.
The feedback from the boys has been extremely positive and the balance of physical, skill and educational components was wonderfully received.
We believe it to be an essential day in the COE program calendar and a day that we as a football club can continually built on and improve.
This year’s program began with a 2km fitness test for the squad after returning from the Christmas and New Year break. This was followed by skills testing with goal kicking, a kicking test and a clean hand test providing the players with some feedback and information for their personal skills development as young footballers.
The afternoon sessions began with Andrew Marks presenting an entertaining and informative discussion on ‘ethics’ and Jason Porplyzia providing invaluable insight with his wealth of experience and the enormous respect he has. This was extremely well received and an essential topic of discussion for boys in this age group. With ethical dilemma’s being faced significantly more in today’s world, social media, drugs, alcohol, gambling, racism and sexual issues, education on these matters and how young men and in particular young WEST ADELAIDE FOOTBALLERS, learn to behave is a responsibility that we have as coaches and a football club.
It all goes to ensuring WAFC, as a brand, is developing players of high integrity and good character, not just great footballers.
Ben Braithwaite’s (U16’s and U18’s Strength and Conditioning coach) discussion on managing anxiety and stress was great with the area of mental health in our young players so important and something we would look to expand on further in the future. A recent U18 player shared some experience with “mindfulness” and using meditation to help manage stresses, aid performance and managing year 12 and other co-curricular activities.
The squad finished with some team bonding work and some positive reinforcement discussion.
A valuable and enjoyable day was had, helping us to develop successful young footballers at West Adelaide.