'Kick Off'
 'Tackling Mental Health for Rugby League'
Close Window

Kick Off




'Sports do not build character, they reveal it.'


'Kick Off''....Innovative, Proactive & Dedicated to Rugby League                                  

    sad man            Isolation

                     Mental Health Promotion Video

 Kick Off...Mental Health for Rugby League

                                                                                                                      Audio Option                     



Please click here for the 'Kick Off' education structure


“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child”   


George Santayana 


Audio Unavailable at this time


Education can be divided into two (2) basic areas; schooling & ‘ life-education’. With respect to schooling, it is not an option as to whether a child attends school or receives a formal education in some manner. It is compulsory and an essential element of life and future vocational opportunities. To disregard this area of a child’s development will automatically jeopardize their future with respect to occupational choices. Having said this, to assume that a formal education via means of schooling only, is all that is required for success as a member of society is both naïve & simplistic. Education in its true sense is much more than just attendance at school, passing examinations, achieving certificates, diplomas, degrees, doctorates & so on… Education is about life; about thinking & questioning; about discovery and passion. It involves understanding ourselves, the world around us and how we fit into that world. It should be a means of developing self esteem and self worth exclusive of academic achievement.




This may sound too idealistic and fanciful for some, however there are many great figures throughout history that would concur with, or illustrate, this basic premise. One might say they are the exceptions to the rule, the standouts, the gifted; and that education in a structured, formal manner is designed for the masses. They have a point, but most of these proponents to this belief restrict their attention with blinkered ignorance as to any other aspects of life education required for the sound development of the total individual.



“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”. 


Mark Twain 



Schooling can be beneficial for a child’s development but it can also create problems. Bullying for example has ruined many an individual child; leaving them scarred & psychologically weakened. Bullies themselves, despite their belief in power & superiority, have similarly be detrimentally affected, with their future often involving antisocial behaviour, problems with the law, criminal records and sometimes jail.


The poor achievers at school feel can less than successful, unintelligent, socially unacceptable, ostracized and alienated from the high achievers and even the average student. The coping skills they develop during this time can have a bearing on future relationships and social adaptation in later years.


Mental ill-health can be a consequence of a dysfunctional and damaging school life. Depression, personality disorders, anxiety disorders etc. can be traced to some extent to significant events that have occurred during these years.


As such, it is imperative that parents & parental identities view their children and their children’s education as involving much more than mere scholastic attendance & achievement.


Sport has provided many a student with less than average scholastic ability the opportunity to feel successful and confident; to achieve and forge an identity. Some are extremely successful and go on to make their chosen sport a career. Most do not. Despite this it remains a vital part of a child’s development and the physical exercise involved in sport participation addresses many of the health issues confronting our ever expanding problem of obesity. Team sports also encourage cooperation, camaraderie & ‘mate-ship’.


An unfortunate by-product of sporting achievement however can be the neglect of some of the basic & essential elements of schooling, though the more serious matters pertaining to interpersonal, social & psychological issues are of more concern.


Whether a student is poor scholastically or excels their successful participation in either individual or team sport may lift their profile and standing within their respective educational facility to that where a degree of adoration, relative ‘fame’, higher standing & status etc. affords them the acknowledgement, respect and attention from their peers, fellow students, teachers & parents. This is freely given, without the need to initiate any form of interpersonal skill or interaction, being based on their physical and sporting achievements.


This is understandable and occurs frequently. Unfortunately it comes with no effort of psycho-social motivation or anything that might be considered of an ‘internal’ origin. There are no conditions attached, no significant personality requirements (apart from being relatively well-behaved) and no expectations beyond continuing their sporting success; the latter applying particularly to fellow students & peers.


As an adolescent, relationships begin to be established and the sporting identities generally find it rather easy to form attachments & relationships with limited effort. Their profile makes them a choice target and the ‘games adolescents play’ in this developmental stage begin. At this point in one’s life, there appear no negatives to this scenario. Later in life, though, it’s a different story. School might be a type of microcosm of society at large, though in reality, the world in which the adult individual finds themselves in is significantly different.


Without the necessary interpersonal skills, appropriate coping mechanisms, sound & healthy self esteem (neither low nor of a narcissistic level), they can be found wanting; often anxious and uncertain. Their sport and the success achieved made them what they are. It is who they are. Outside of this one can feel uncomfortable and rather ‘lost’. Things that came easily, without effort, such as relationships are now more complicated and involve repercussions & consequences. There are responsibilities; personal, work, club, the league etc. There are also expectations & obligations. Choices for vocational opportunities outside the sport itself may be limited if basic schooling has been neglected.


The stressors experienced may result in the implementation of inappropriate coping such as alcohol &/or drug use and abuse. Inner frustration may result in irritability, hostility and antisocial behaviour.


It is imperative that education be implemented, not in the traditional ‘schooling’ sense but rather as a means of growth & healthy development in all aspects of the individuals life; psychologically, socially, emotionally & physically). The other truism is that one ‘never stops learning’. Education; true education never ends. It is a lifelong process. We learn from our successes and we should learn more from our mistakes. We also learn from others’ experiences and their successes, failures & mistakes. 



“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much

from his failures as from his successes”.      


John Dewey 






You do not have to have your head stuck in a book or re-enroll at an educational facility in order to learn & grow but you do have to allow life’s journey assist in your continued development, education & maturation.


Education is essential for the Rugby League player, particularly the professional or semi-professional. The idea is not to make the individual ‘smarter’ or more intelligent. It is to enable them to move closer to the attainment of wisdom & commonsense. A comprehension of psychological and social needs will enhance their prospects of survival and provide the opportunity for a contented life where relationships are sound, expectations, dreams and aspirations are realistic, where physical & mental well being is assured and sound healthy self esteem provides satisfactory social integration and adaptation. 



“It is 1,000 times better to have commonsense without education

than to have education without commonsense”.     


Robert Green Ingersall 



Society has standards, values and principles for which the majority hold as sacrosanct. To deviate from these will bring natural consequences. You can still remain unique and individualistic, but there needs to be an acceptance of these values & standards and a concerted effort to maintain them in your private and public life.


Play the game as tough as you like, but leave the footballer persona on the field where it belongs. As most sportspeople who have conflict in the sporting cauldrons say; “what’s said & done on the field, stays on the field”. Apply that to your life and you’re on your way to a better existence.




“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school”. 


Albert Einstein 






 Please click here for related News Article


©2008 Waldel Pty Ltd

This page last updated: 

 kickoff logo


"Kick Off' is a 'world first' program & service dedicated specifically to a sport....in this instance; the great game of Rugby League.



Bookmark this page
Twitter Google Bookmarks Facebook Yahoo My Web

Latest mental health news, articles, facts & information.

(please click)






Shane Webcke 'Hard Road'







Beyond Blue

beyond blue




bravehearts logo

Men of League

men of league

Mensline Australia

mensline logo

Alcoholics Anonymous

aa logo


quit logo

The Black Dog Institute

black dog logo

SANE Australia

sane logo


lifeline logo






Comments & Feedback




 Supporters & Sponsors

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed

sponsor needed