“If you keep doing what you always did, you will keep getting what you always got”


Why is it that players of all ages attend trials for selection into elite teams such as NPL/QPL/SAP?

Is it because they feel that they are good enough to earn a place in a team of players considered to be the best? Is it simply an ego thing, something for parents and players to boast about amongst their friends and work colleagues?

Do they realise that when attending trials, players are committing to very stringent demands on their time should they be selected?

Do they realise that it is a three to four days a week training regime and a game on the weekend for 10 months of the year?

Do they realise that if selected they are part of a team of 16 players where any absences for whatever reason will have an affect on the others in the squad? Have parents and players considered how their actions and/or inactions can affect others in the squad?

It is bad enough that these so called elite players are missing around 10 weeks per annum because of school holidays; 10 weeks per annum because of school sport, and a few weeks here and there due to school camps and a myriad of other activities.

In a 52-week year these so called “Elite Players” are missing around 22 weeks of practice and playing.

One should not kid oneself and state that he/she is an elite player when clearly one is training and playing for just 210 hours per year! This compared with the “Elite” players in most Countries in the World who train and play an average of 15-20 per week

Further an “Elite” player must dedicate himself/herself to one sport if they have the dream and desire to be “Elite” There are too many distractions for players who often prefer to watch another sport rather than play/train/and attend football related activities. This is why Australian players competing in the top leagues of the World are very few and far between. As a nation the Australian “Culture” of wanting to be everything will prevent us from ever really being competitive on a World Stage in Football. Sadly, we are bringing up our children to be “Jacks of all sports but masters in none”

The problem is that players are playing in sports that they are not devoted to. This being the case coaches; committees; parents; and players need to better understand why some players achieve and others do not. Firstly, if one has any ambitions to play “Elite” football one must be single minded about it, if not then parents need not invest any large amounts of fees in their children. They should let the children play social football and enjoy a kick around with mates and participate in other sports whenever they feel like it and turn up for training just once per week allowing them time to support their real passion like State of Origin Rugby League which Mum will not let them play in case they get injured.

Would a parent invest in a child’s education in a Private School and then permit them to attend only half the school terms? Would that same parent paying big $$$ permit their child to skip classes so they can be with their mates at a Public school? Why then do parents pay $2000 per season for their child to play in the NPL/QPL/SAP if they are only going to attend training and playing for half the season, and why would a parent force a child to play football when clearly, he/she would prefer to watch/play the Rugby League.

It seems to me that the football community need to be much more like the Private school community where the school activities come first and foremost and attendances are compulsory. Until then I urge parents to rethink their strategies because they will not get “Value for Money” playing NPL/QPL/SAP.

I will be very surprised if “Elite” coaches will want to waste their time coaching players who clearly have not got “Elite” football high on their list of priorities. I for one would not want to keep flogging a dead horse, and certainly if one keeps banging ones head against a wall one will get a headache. In other words, “if you keep doing what you have always done you will get what you always got”