5 Strategies to overcome  the disappointment of not being selected in your preferred position

5 Strategies to overcome the disappointment of not being selected in your preferred position

With the junior sporting season kicking off this weekend, we are going to look at how young athletes can overcome the disappointment of not being selected in their preferred position. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, therefore plans you may have had, may have not gone perfectly.

This is a fact of life and completely relates to sport, school and life.

Below are 5 strategies to overcome selection disappointment:

1. Do not kick stones

The biggest mistake a young athlete can make is to drop their head. Because, just as that head drops, so does your attitude. Yes it does hurt - you have worked hard for months trying to secure that position. Rest assured, it is a long season and you will get an opportunity if your attitude remains high and you are continuing to put the team at the forefront. 

2. Take it one week at a time

As just mentioned, it is a long season. You never know what may happen week to week. Do not believe for one second that just because your coach has chosen a particular team in round 1 that it will be the team in round 16. Go into each training session and game with an open mind and a good attitude ready to work and be a great teammate.

3. Work harder.

Really think why one player may be in your position instead of you. What are they doing better? Begin to work on what they are doing well and devote time to it. If you are unable to find a difference between the two of you, work on elements such as fitness, communication, technique and fundamental skills. Finally, ask yourself if your two training sessions per week is getting you to a point of properly challenging their position?

4. Talk to your coach

Coaches unfortunately can't read minds - they may not even know that you want to play in your preferred position. Politely, have a quick chat with your coach before or after training and just let them know that you would like to have a shot at that position at some point and that you are doing extra work to make it more of a reality.

In the case that your coach knows you want to be there, politely, go and ask what you need to work and improve on in order to be in contention for selection. Most coaches will respect the courage it takes to talk to them as opposed to giving them the cold shoulder for the rest of the year.

5. Do not play the blame game

It is so easy to point the finger at everyone but yourself. 

"The coach doesn't like me, I didn't get good ball, training wasn't great" are all common excuses heard from junior players. The sooner you accept that at this point in time someone believes you aren't the right position for the position, the sooner you can begin moving on and putting the proper work in practise to be where you want to be. 

Good luck to all this weekend, go out there an enjoy the beginning of a huge year ahead!

5 Important Tips When Trialling for Season 2018


5 Important Tips When Trialling for Season 2018

The 2018 sporting season is just around the corner, with many sports commencing their pre-season trials in the upcoming weeks. This is a really exciting time of the year as each season gives players the opportunity to restart and strive for greater heights than they reached in previous seasons.

Whether you are joining a new club, looking to make the team higher than you were in last season or just trying to retain your spot in last season's squad - here are 5 tips to remember during this upcoming trial period.


Whether you are trying to gain selection in a new team or your team has a new coach, it is crucial you learn everything about the way the team works as fast as possible. Learn their standards, protocols and procedures. Learn the warm up pattern. Learn everybody's name. Be told something, execute what you are told and remember it for future reference because coaches love nothing more than players who can retain information. It saves time and confusion. And once you learn it, you can begin to lead and teach other teammates who have forgotten or haven't got the grasp of it just yet.

This makes you indispensable to the team and goes a very long way to ensuring a final selection. Continue to the next point to understand more on how you can become indispensable. 


An honest question you need to ask yourself during the trial period is; if I wasn't in the team, would my absence be recognised?

This refers to a whole range of factors, not just referring to your physical talent. These factors include:

- Would my absence bring down the mood of the team?

- Is there less talk in the squad without me?

- Are drills being performed at a lower level without me?

- Without me, are we making solid progress in becoming a better side?

If you can tick of just one of these checkpoints, you are on your way to becoming indispensable to your team and your coach will keep you in their squad regardless of how talented you are.

Further, if you make a genuine effort to make connections with teammates and coaches - it would be hard to lose a place in the final selections as most coaches want a cohesive, united squad.


So often we have seen young athletes blow their opportunity to make squads due to their lack of flexibility in changing positions. In trials, they are often quite disjointed with a lot of stop-start play and large amounts of player rotation so coaches can give everyone a go. 

If you are asked to move into a position that you have not played before; suck it up, move into that position and give it a go. Everyone has to learn at some point.

You can almost put a line through your name if you tell your coach "I haven't played there before, this is my position and I am not changing."

This shows a level of selfishness as you are putting yourself in front of the team. Remember, as junior athletes, a coach may see something in you that you can't see just yet. Be open to new possibilities as you never know where it may lead.


irrespective of your talent on the field, if you put in maximum effort in everything that you do - you will succeed. You only have a limited window to impress, so put everything you have into every session and game. Do not sit back, fearful of what others may think because at the end of the day it is your selection on the line. 

From a coaches perspective, how hard would it be to not choose a player that gives maximum effort every single time they enter the field? You are in full control of your effort output so turn it up and earn that selection!


Thankfully in junior sport there are a number of trials players can participate in before a final selection is made. However, do not become complacent and think that you have a number of opportunities to stuff up before you have a stellar performance.

Grab the opportunity from the very first trial and use the remaining trials to reaffirm to the coach that you are going to be a great asset for the remainder of the year.

Good luck to all everyone trialling, be safe, have fun and give it all you've got!



5 tips to help you achieve your footballing goals in 2018.

5 tips to help you achieve your footballing goals in 2018.

How to Make 2018 HUGE!


It is crazy to believe that we have just entered November; season 2017 is now a distant memory. The season may or may not have played out like you had anticipated. You may have done everything you could have or you are now scratching your head to figure out where it all went wrong.


Whilst the year has flown, the good news is that this off season period is a clean slate – a time to start again in order to make something truly special out of 2018.


Below are 5 helpful and easy to implement ways to ensure you achieve your footballing goals in 2018.


1.    Goal Setting


Without having a goal to work towards, how do we know if we have achieved what we set out to do?


This is by far the most obvious yet most important part in shaping 2018 but so often young athletes get it very wrong.


When we ask athletes what their goals are for rugby league, everyone always says, “To play in the NRL”. That is a wonderful goal to have, but how actually are you going to do it?


Every single player in the NRL has gone through years and years of achieving little goals in order to achieve the overall goal of the NRL. An example may have been:


-       Being fit enough to make a first division team

-       Gaining a starting position in the first division team

-       Being one of the top performers in my team

-       Being noticed by representative sides

-       Securing a spot in a representative side

-       Gaining a junior contract

-       Gaining a senior contract

-       Playing in the NRL


Whilst the above is a very simple version of what actually occurs - the key message is that without achieving the first small goal, every other goal that followed may not have happened.


Goals can be broken down into years, months, days, hours or minutes. However one thing leads on to the next.


So, what are your goals? And do you know how to create a long-term goal plan?



2.    Don’t Waste Time



The off-season is a gift. It needs to be seen as a window of opportunity where contenders are separated from pretenders. If you have hopes to one day carve a career out of playing sport but believe that you will get there by resuming training in late January and starting from scratch – you are well mistaken.


Sure, when you are young you can get fit very fast and have a good season. But, the older and better you get, your body is going to be asked to do more demanding work more regularly.


What happens when the time arrives that you make a representative squad, which requires you to train 3-4 times per week starting 3 months earlier than you have experienced before? It will be a rude wake up call to you and your body.


Physically and mentally you will not be used to the demands and you are at a much higher chance of mental fatigue, physical exhaustion and soft tissue injuries. However, if you have been utilizing your time properly since you were a young athlete, then your body has began to adapt over time.


If you really want it – you need to view additional training as not a chore but an opportunity.


An opportunity to get better from your last session.


An opportunity to close the gap between you and your competition.


An opportunity to widen the gap between you and your competition.


An opportunity to make 2018 the best it can be.




3.    Find Friends on the Same Page


Whilst it is all well and good to say “Get out and do something!”, the reality is that is does get tough to do it on your own. The thought of heading out to train on a hot summer’s day is much harder when you know you are doing it by yourself.


Finding someone who wants to achieve the same goals as you is a major step in ensuring 2018 will be the best year yet. Working with someone holds you accountable to your actions or lack of action. It is very easy to let ourselves down, however, we hate letting others down.


In the same token, if you hang around friends who discourage you from reaching your potential, you need to seriously reconsider whether these people will get you to where you want to be.


There is nothing sadder than hearing about a talented athlete who hung around the wrong people and turned into nothing in the end.


Choose who you hang out with wisely.


4.    Challenge Yourself Constantly


The term “working within yourself” refers to someone doing the minimum in order to get a task done. They may have done it much better if they devoted extra time, effort or care towards the outcome.


We see it all too often with young athletes who choose to “work within themselves”. They are perfectly happy to sit back and let others shine when they could if they really wanted to. This can be attributed from a couple of reasons:


-       They are scared of what others will think

-       Scared of failure and a lack of confidence

-       Fearful that they may not be able to replicate their efforts


Nobody ever achieved anything great from remaining in their comfort zone. So, if you want to be truly great in 2018 – challenge yourself.


Challenge yourself to be an athlete that shines through your time. Challenge yourself to not be afraid to put yourself out there. Yes, people may think differently towards you but it will only be because they feel threatened.


In the end - does it really matter if you were able to achieve your goal and the rest are wandering what could have been?


5.    Look After Your Body


Whilst there are many guarantees in life; we can guarantee that every year a young athlete plays sport the following occurs


-       Every athlete continues to develop physically and mentally

-       The game gets faster

-       The collisions are heavier

-       Soreness and recovery becomes greater

-       The chance of injuries increase


Understanding your body and looking after it are crucial to success, as how can you make 2018 the best if you are stuck on the sidelines?



The Kaizen Academy provides solutions to every aspect which has been discussed. Athletes learn the following:


-       How to set short, medium and long term goals and the best ways to implement them

-       How to maximise their time in the off-season to become better footballers for 2018

-       Create a group that are all on the same page to train and develop with

-       Be challenged and gain the confidence to not “work within yourself”

-       Learn how to understand your body and take better care of it for injury reduction.