Canterbury Training Hub

A Parent’s Guide to Junior Footy

March 28, 2019 Footy 5 min read BACK This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 5J-EWf_41F2DizjPeVTZxVITr3ny4a-dL1DGW_NYB8xBJnwjMq8LGq2GLFv_DjfbrepoZiT-Jjkbft73rsmGvzLfpabg35QWHvk4FAOqPHfRYoHCt8T9RS0Y_yLrXSEmvZqzPtmY Children’s sport is an important part of society. It’s from today’s children that our future top players will come. There’s nothing we love more than seeing the next generation of players develop a passion for the beautiful game of footy. That’s why we use our extensive design experience to give your child the comfort and confidence they need to perform at their best. Get your little one kitted out in the latest Canterbury gear and rest assured that you’re giving them the best introduction to what will hopefully be the beginning of a long relationship with footy.

Getting ready for the big game

Now you’ve signed your little one up for sport you can pat yourself on the back knowing it’s going to be a great experience. Sports are such a fun way to be active and footy can help your child grow in a number of ways. Your child will:
  • Learn new skills
  • Be part of a team
  • Understand discipline
  • Discover the value in practice
  • Enjoy competition
Sport is fun for all ages and all abilities. For kids starting out, it should be more about staying active and making friends than competition. For some parents, involvement in their children’s sport is viewed as a personal sacrifice so they demand a result (winning) for their efforts. However, it’s important that parents remember that simply being part of a team (regardless of a result) is supporting their child’s development. Ask yourself:

“What do I want my child to get from footy?”

Physical activity is about developing coordination and skills, cardiovascular and muscular strength, and social skills. If sport is approached in a positive and fun way, your child will learn skills that will be beneficial in other areas of life and later on as they develop throughout adolescence and into adulthood. This requires role model positive behaviour such as encouragement and a “Fun is Number 1” attitude.

Building a love for the game

If you want to keep your child in sports and build their love for the game, make it fun. Let them learn all positions and roles and try not to stereotype your child into a role based on their size, maturity or technique. Your child is an individual and it’s important to remember this. Improvement in performance should be measured against individual past performance rather than against other children. Help your child feel good about themselves and attribute a loss only to bad luck. Keep their confidence up by talking about future successes and by reassuring them that they are consistently playing well. The dropout rates in junior sport are sadly a big worry, so it’s important to make sport enjoyable and rewarding.

A focus on footy

Footy is simply the best – there’s no other way to describe it. From the mates and their banter, to training sessions and improving ability, there’s plenty to love about the game. Here are just five things you can look forward to now your child is signed up for footy:
  1. Friends: The bonds you make in a junior footy team with often last a lifetime. Developed on the field, they’re strong, supportive and encouraging.
  2. Respect: Whether it be their teammate, the referee or the opponent, respect is all around the footy field. Your child (or you for that matter) might not agree with every decision made but your child will shake hands after every game no matter what’s happened.
  3. Inclusiveness: Footy is a sport for every age, gender and ability. Within one team you can find a huge mix of kids, all special in their own way. No other sport in the world supports such a rag-tag mix of players.
  4. Camaraderie: Losing a game is never easy, nor is playing in the cold and wet. Seeing teammates lift each other up, however, makes even the toughest of games or training sessions worth it.
  5. Physicality: Footy players don’t have to be the fittest, quickest or strongest athletes but there’s no denying that footy breeds toughness. Kids put their bodies on the line each and every week for their team and that’s something to be proud of.
If your child’s passion is footy, let them follow it as far as it will take them.

Quality and Safety

Quality and safety goes beyond keeping footy fun. Mental health is one element that will keep them in the sport but another is injury prevention. Footy involves contact making it important that you kit your child out correctly. This means buying them the proper footy attire and equipment: Boots and socks: Boots are essential for grip and stability on the soft surface of the field. In rugby circles, ‘cleats’ are often known as boots and the ‘cleat’ itself is referred to as a ‘stud’. Footy socks are usually made of nylon and are thick to be hardwearing and protective. Designed to be pulled up to just below the knee, they keep your child’s shins warm and help prevent cuts and scrapes caused by studs. Shorts: Footy shorts are generally a bit shorter than those worn in soccer and basketball and are more fitted to the thigh. The longer and baggier the short, the easier it is for an opponent to grab your child and tackle them. Our Tactic Shorts are a great example of the shorts your child should wear, offering an internal drawcord for best fit, maximum comfort and movement. Jersey: Your child will likely be given a team shirt and may even be given clothing suitable for training. If not, our VapoDri Challenge shirt is ideal for training. Offering outstanding moisture control through our cutting-edge fabrics, your little athlete will stay cooler, drier and more comfortable when training on the field or having a much around with mates. Optional extras include protective guards for your child’s head and mouth.

Rules and Technique

Tackling: When tackling, the thigh area is the target area. This keeps the ball carrier’s shoulders and head out of the equation during a tackle. Remind your child that proper tackling comes from the knees. Hitting: A footy player is not allowed to hit a player from another team unless that player is about to receive the ball, is carrying a ball, or is directly involved in trying to gain possession of the ball. This means players need to have a good idea of when and where contact will come from. Training: Footy players need to focus on conditioning to avoid injury as well as strength, stamina and coordination. Most injuries tend to occur during the last third of a game, when players are fatigued. Engaging skills drills and trainings are great for footy, as are sessions which focus and specialise on achieving good technique. Ready to kit your junior out to grow a love of footy? Check out our best sellers, new arrivals, boys, girls and sale items. For the best deal, however, check out our Beginners and Protective Bundles which includes a tee shirt, shorts, bag, ball, water bottle and mouthguard. For those already in the game, get ready for another big year of sport.

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