Coaches play a key role in helping kids of all abilities become part of the NAB AFL Auskick Community. These resources will help show you how!

Why use the CHANGE IT approach for inclusive coaching?

CHANGE IT helps create an environment that caters for individual needs and allows everyone to take part in footy. It helps make sure that kids feel included, activities are safe and at a level that helps children develop their skills and keeps kids active and interested. This approach can be used for any child! It requires coaches to observe their sessions very carefully.

When do I need to CHANGE IT?

Use the CHANGE IT approach when:

  • Some kids don’t understand the activity or aren’t having fun
  • Some kids are not engaged or participating in the activities
  • Some kids may not be able to do an activity safely
  • The challenge is too big, too small, or not even between kids of varying abilities
  • The purpose of the activity is not being achieved


What is the CHANGE IT approach?

The CHANGE IT approach helps coaches think about their communication style and how to modify an activity to meet the individual needs of a child. It involves following these steps:


  • Be a player centred coach – modify the way you coach based on what each child needs.
  • Give information in multiple ways – spoken instructions, pictures, videos, demonstration, modelling, buddies, feedback


  • Change how the game is scored to include all kids. You can make the activity easier or harder by changing how it is scored. Participation is more important than who wins!


  • Change where the game is played to include all kids. Think about playing indoors or outdoors, the playing surface for kids with mobility aids, or making the area safe with fences (e.g., indoors/outdoors?). Make the area safe (e.g., fences, gates).


  • Some kids might need to work in small groups
  • Choose the groups so no one is left out
  • Match groups on skill level
  • Even out teams using ‘reverse inclusion’ (see ‘Game Rules’).


  • Change the activity not the child. Change the rules to make it easier or harder, and to keep it interesting
  • Try ‘reverse inclusion’ – e.g., have all kids play with blindfolds so they learn what it’s like to play with low vision


  • Modify equipment to suit kids of all abilities – e.g., use a brightly coloured ball, attach a bell to the ball, use a bigger or smaller ball
  • Kids can bring their own equipment (e.g., gloves, modified ball)


  • Be flexible and creative to include all kids
  • Modify the activity and the equipment, not the child
  • If unsure, ask the child or their parent how things can be changed to be as inclusive as possible. Parents and buddies can help.


  • Allow extra time to teach and practice new skills
  • Some kids might need activities to be shortened
  • Give a child a break if they are feeling tired, overwhelmed, or stressed