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




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


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

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 Kick Off...Mental Health for Rugby League

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The Problem of Behaviour





The issue of behaviour has been identified as the primary issue of concern for Rugby League and one for which ‘Kick Off’ is particularly dedicated.

Behaviour, or more accurately, ‘misbehaviour’ has been associated with a variety of factors that have been tagged as the cause, rather than something more deeply ingrained in the individual player.


Examples of these causes so readily accepted by the general public and promoted by the media are:





  • Rugby League ‘Culture or Sub-culture’




  • Misogynist mentalities



Whilst all of these can be noted in many of the player’s indiscretions, the methods employed at present aim at the ‘symptom’, not the ‘cause’. This is understandable, particularly when a ‘short term’ immediate response is required.


The error in continuing this approach is that it will only result in the need to repeat the process each time the inevitable occurs. Inappropriate behaviour cannot be solely attributed to any or all of the afore-mentioned examples.


‘Kick Off’ attempts to identify those personality traits that provide the foundations for manifested behaviour; viewing many of the associated factors as being the catalyst for what eventuates.


We do not ignore any of the issues relating to Alcohol, Drugs, Culture, Poor attitudes to women etc. and endeavour to address these through education. The behavioural aspect, however, is the key to change. As such, we undertake programs that specifically deal with behaviour. These programs target such aspects as the following:




  • What behaviour is


  • Where behaviour originates


  • Why individuals behave in certain ways


  • Personality types


  • Problems associated with differing personalities


  • Strengths & weaknesses of personalities


  • Methods of controlling behaviour & ‘behaviour modification’


  • Alternatives to unwanted ‘negative’ behaviour


  • Recognition of factors that contribute to inappropriate behaviour

The educational approach to behaviour entails:




  • Developmental Processes





  • Problem Solving & Coping Skills



  • Physiology of Behaviour



Each of these can be seen in underlying causative factors for behaviour that might be considered inappropriate. Having a basic understanding of why individuals behave in certain ways, under certain conditions and in certain situations better equips the player or other individual to undertake alternative strategies in order to avoid succumbing to negative unwanted behaviour.


Education is essential, though is not the complete answer. It is necessary to follow up education with practical counselling for those who might find ‘self control’ or ‘self restraint’ difficult.


Counselling sessions are conducted in two (2) ways. Smaller group sessions of no more than ten (10) enables interaction between facilitator & players. The 2nd method is that of ‘one on one’ counselling for individual players considered to be particularly ‘troublesome’; the recidivists of the game.


It is hoped that the latter form of counselling might be used infrequently, should both education & group sessions prove successful.


As with all counselling conducted by ‘Kick Off’, we do not subscribe or adhere to any specific style or type of therapy/counselling. We believe strongly in adopting those strategies that are best suited to the individual concerned. In this way we believe we can more successfully facilitate the effective & efficient achievement of our goals & that which is needed by the client.


Behaviour will always be an issue that confronts the league, for a variety of reasons. Whilst the aim, ideally, is always to eradicate errant behaviour, there will be instances, situations & particular individuals for whom this is decisively difficult to achieve. This does not mean it is a hopeless cause; it simply indicates the reality of life.


‘Kick Off’ has realistic objectives in relation to behaviour modification & believe that the team’s increased presence, ease of contact, privacy in contact & counselling, on-going education & pre-emptive interventions will increase the likelihood of definite amelioration of this most significant problem.


As with many issues, identification & treatment of underlying causes for behavioural & mental health anomalies is better than ‘symptom’ treatment.






©2008 Waldel Pty Ltd

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



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Michael J. Salamon, Ph.D., FICPP
Senior Psychologist/Director
ADC Psychological Services, PLLC
1728 Broadway, Suite 1
Hewlett, NY 11557







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