These resources will help you learn how to be an inclusive coach so that all kids can play, regardless of ability. You can find information including tips and strategies on how to modify your program and approach to coaching to fit all kids. There are many simple changes that coaches can make to enable inclusion which will greatly improve the experience for all children and their families and the whole community.
Inclusive coaches provide all community members equal access and opportunities to be involved, removing barriers to participation and valuing all individuals, so everyone can live full lives.
Children with disabilities and developmental challenges might include those who have limitations in mobility (such as difficulty or inability to walk), the way they think or behave (e.g. intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, behavioural/emotional disorders), and sensory difficulties (e.g. vision/hearing). Some disabilities will be visible, for example, if a child uses a wheelchair, and some will not be obvious.
Finding out who the kids you coach are and why they are there is an important first step for any coach. This is the ideal opportunity to also find out whether any children might have a disability or developmental challenge before you start coaching them. You can send out the “Getting the most out of our Auskickers” form to families which allows parents an opportunity to comment on how their child learns and communicates and any strategies that help their child be included. The “About Me” medical summary can also be completed by the child’s parents and doctor before the season and given to you. This will help you understand any adaptations that might be needed to create a safe environment for kids when they play footy. If families wish to, talk to them before the season and meet the child. Remember that some families may not wish to disclose that their child has a disability which is their right.
Read about the basics of inclusion including the CHANGE IT coaching approach. The CHANGE IT approach teaches coaches how to observe kids, think about any areas of challenge and what to do, make changes, then observe kids again to see what’s worked and if any further changes are needed. It’s this type of flexible, thoughtful coaching approach that promotes inclusion!
You can learn about specific types of disabilities and how to get the most out of the kids in your sessions by adapting your program and coaching style.
Or click on one of the disabilities below to find out more.
You might observe some kids experiencing different types of challenges during your sessions. These might be challenges with following instructions, concentrating and so on. You can read more about these common areas of challenges for kids and find tips and resources to help modify your programs and coaching style to include everyone.
Or click on one of the areas below to find out more.
Watch these short videos to give you ideas for how to be inclusive in your sessions.
Footy Stories can be used to help kids participate in NAB AFL Auskick
AllPlay About Me – Medical Summary
Parent Handout: The importance of sport for children with disabilities