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The Club's Dilemma

How behaviour affects your club, coaching staff & the league.


“Committed to the club, committed to your sport, committed to yourself – to be the best you can be, both on the field & off the field”.  



This is a difficult section  because it deals with your commitment to your club, your expectations of the club & conversely, the club’s commitment to you & their expectations. 


Each club is different and each administrative individual within the club will view you in a different way. This also applies to coaching & conditioning staff & senior players. 


The one common thread between the different clubs is their requirement for you to perform and for you to be a positive reflection of the club in everyday life. This brings with it certain pressures & possible stress. How can you be yourself? Why can’t you do as you please and behave the way you might feel? The answer is that you are endorsed by and representative of the club you have chosen to play for. Every person in the home stands wants to be proud of their club & their players – both on & off the field. The sponsors have the same wish, and their money is largely what keeps the club afloat. 


It might seem harsh, but it is necessary to, not only fulfill your obligations as a player, but also to the club & the league. 


No one is suggesting for a minute that you take some sort of ‘monk-like’, spiritual vow declaring you will never err. What is needed is an awareness of how & where you can ‘err’ & where you can ‘let your hair down’, safely. It is also necessary to acknowledge you have made mistakes & more importantly ‘learn from those mistakes’.  


When you are at work, your employer expects certain things. If you don’t meet these requirements, ‘repeatedly’, you can’t expect to be kept on as an employee. The same applies to your sporting career. Sure you may be given chances, disciplined & so on, but if you continue to transgress, there will be consequences. “For every force (action/behaviour), there is an equal & opposite reaction (response/consequence)”. This is basic physics & applies to most things in life. 


How many times can you 'transgress'?


Now that the hard stuff is out of the way, it's time to balance the ledger.  


Most clubs, the CEO’s of these clubs, the coaching & conditioning staff, the board, the sponsors and the supporters are very forgiving for ‘honest mistakes’. Your life and your career is not over if you ‘slip up’. That’s life. These very people have most probably done the same, sometime in their lives. Even Bill Clinton admitted to smoking marijuana (& other indiscretions) and Kevin Rudd acknowledged he’d ‘had a bit too much to drink’ when explaining his reported behaviour in a New York club. You need to forgive yourself and learn from your errors. You also need to be honest and ‘up front’ with the individuals involved in your league career. You will find that most are very accessible and understanding. As a point though, do not continually behave or act in a manner for which you have to explain to, or front these people, or else you will ‘wear out your welcome’.  


Each one of these people mentioned is employed, engaged or volunteers to ‘do a job’, as are you. Everything works well when each discharges their duties as required. If someone fails to do so, the whole organization will suffer; either in a minor or major way. 


The clubs & their officials care about your well-being, your overall health, your future, your financial stability, but they also need to concentrate on the task of running a successful football team & club. To this end, performance is a focus. The maximization of performance of the team & the players involved is the aim.  


To the clubs, concentrating on aspects superficially not related to the game itself, such as matters pertaining to a player’s personal life are in fact directly related to performance. Ignoring these aspects of the player’s lives can contribute to decreased performance and poorer results than would normally be expected.  


Discipline and punitive measures are certainly effective, up to a point, however taking the more flexible and individual approach to the players will achieve much better results. Most would quite rightly say that this is ‘time consuming’ and not what their employed or trained to do and that's absolutely true. If this is the case and you, as a club coach, conditioner, CEO etc., find it difficult, engage those who can monitor and assist in this area. Any expense is well worth it; for the sake of the club’s & player’s performance and the mental health of the individual player. 


The dilemma confronting our clubs and the league is the balance between human understanding and empathy and the needs of the pertinent governing bodies with respect to the games’ image & reputation. Compassion can only extend so far. Repeat ‘offenders’ will often bear the consequences of playing the ‘sympathy card’ for too long.  


If both players & administrators work together for the common good and with a common goal, then much can be achieved in maintaining the game as a genuinely professional, hard but clean, body contact sport. It's almost certain that both parties would agree that the combination of better performance output and favourable image in the community are the two (2) most desired aims. This is what the fans, the general public & the media will see. 


Working together will achieve optimum results.



“The game is my wife. It demands loyalty & responsibility, & it gives me back fulfillment & peace” 


Michael Jordan


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