G’Day ‘learners’.

Today’s blog will help sports coaches (and all caring adult stakeholders) to:

Consider the REFLECTION ON THEIR IMPACT ON UNEXPECTED INDIVIDUALS to better inform the practice and future of your own and peers’ efforts with learners…

Watch the vision below. Is Gunny having any impact on these learners (one pretty well known in Queensland)? Can you see any sign of engagement? Is Simon Black, the Patrick Rafter of AFL (impossible not to love)? What specific evidence can you use to support these answers. Either way, remember, DO NOT SUBSCRIBE to ‘Gunn Engagement’ YouTube channel! That’s right, Anthony and I (of Gunn Engagement) with 50 years combined educating experience do not deserve the support of the many volunteer coaches that we are continuing to support for free… Deadset! Just like below…

Today’s BLOG recognises teachers and coaches for those little moments when you don’t even realise the impact you are making in students’ or peers’ learning.  It was inspired by this note I was sent a couple of weeks ago seeking reassurance.  NB. I’ve kept the teacher’s identity anonymous but let’s call her Jacq from Beechcroft College.

Hey Gunny! Hopefully you have been well.

Started coaching an under 13s AFL side which has been great. Got a lot of your approaches embedded in the trainings.

We are playing well but just getting beaten. Three weeks in we got beaten by 9 points, 14 points and today 11 points. The boys are all keeping their head up and we had a really big chat in the middle of the oval saying we are doing things right. We just need that self-belief that can win.

The whole club has been losing games for 2 years.

What drills or chats can I have to get them to lift their self-belief that they are in fact good enough to win and that our processes are working?

Now before I start I get these often. The above’s particular teacher, JACQ, visited the recent Australian Council of Health Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) conference held in Canberra just after graduating. When she arrived, she was asked by Dr. Shane Pill if there was anybody in particular she’d like to be introduced to and JACQ said “Gunny”! JACQ is a very good teacher whom I hope lasts well beyond the five year average attrition for new graduates in Queenlsand now it seems…

Speaking of ‘little moments of impact’, watch on below for one our country’s greats, Christina (amazing coach of VFLW’s Western Spurs), proving below that you never underestimate kids! They will always surprise with great answer if you ENGAGE them! Here she focuses on ‘little moments’.

Year 3/4 reflecting on the little things - Christina Polatajko - One of Australia’s greatest PE teachers

Please note BELOW this is only one third of Gunny’s response to JACQ. Incidentally I think I may have overdone it a little with the content and should have asked him more questions like a COACH…

1) Start measuring JACQ. By the way G'Day! If you know the processes are working start proving it to them with feedback. Give me a call and I can explain.

2) Remember (not sure if I did this for your group at ACHPER), they are all ALPHA WOLVES. They are all in charge. That's where the Gunny two whistle comes in (borrowed and adapted from Bob Pangrazi). If they aren't doing this, their teammates help. Only when that's not working does the coach need to be more involved. But we have got to train them early. You need to TEACH everything, especially routines. Check out this video for an example.


3) WE ARE NOT IMPORTANT!!! They are important not us remember always JACQ! I don't get LINE COACHING in AFL. The players know what's going on THUS allow them to organise themselves BUT needs to be measured and given feedback.

4) Get them to decide on some behaviour they want to work on in training. They explicitly and I mean EXPLICITTLY own it! They are all very clear on what it looks like, sounds like and feels like and YOU measure COUNT and tell 'em in training. This video may help a little as see how I try to mine them for more depth?

5) Coaching means little on GAME DAY JACQ. You AFL people are a strange MOB. “Winning starts on Monday,” said the greatest Rugby League coach of all time. AND, aren’t you already winning through their learning behaviours?

6) Constantly get your forwards, midfielders and backs rotating through all the positions. The midfielders are the best JACQ because THEY get more chances around possession. YOU do this and your players will LEARN plenty. In the second half of this video is a game from your old teacher Dr. Shane Pill around this!!!

Send us your favourite Primary PE game JACQ in payment. Thanks for reaching out. Remember, AFL is the third most dynamic game in the WORLD but that doesn't mean it's complex. It’ws just EndBall and Keepings Off.

LOVE Gunny and talk to me in a week. Good luck Jacq!

PS. Look at Gunny's Head Awareness stuff like below to get your players better and safer. TELL your friends how important head safety and learning about contact is too please!!!

The pilot episode in Gunny's quest to prevent concussion. How to tackle safely in AFL or any contact sport.

So there you go peers! I wanted to share like Christina and other more experienced professional to volunteers at the Grassroots the small moments in learning experiences where a learner engaged with me that has significant impact. I mean the players are already benefitting from JACQ’s amazing care and concern but thanks to Dr. Pill for getting her to ACHPER and whatever she’s learnt from me, the learning funnels continue flowing.

Now, new coaches and teachers, please know that you too haave these stories. Of course we don’t have the time to think about them too often but when in doubt go for a run through the bush and have a think.

Over ten years ago Jacq will have countless of these experiences, just like I continue to have these ‘small moments’ in my professional life. THUS I thought this share may be of benefit to those new graduates or new coaches who are having doubts about their impact. And just to reinforce this a week went by and I hear ZERO back from JACQ. When I inquired with my curiosity, WHY… It was Mother’s Day and JACQ is at a school four hours drive from her mum each way. The ‘big moments’ we have here!!! Yet, at this stage JACQ has not sent her favourite PE game. The first year of teaching is amazingly hectic…

Yours in learning,

(Never ask help from me) Gunny

Coach Gunny analyses the over-use of lines and drills!