As a parent you may be nervous about your child starting NAB AFL Auskick. This is normal and there are a few things you can do before the first Auskick session to help prepare your child.
You could visit the ground with your child before the first session. This will give your child a chance to become familiar with the ground and will help them feel at ease during that first session.
Another great way to prepare your child is to get a football and practice together. This will get parents involved too! You don’t need to teach them anything Ð just let them hold and play with the football as much as they like. You can even get very soft footys which they can use rather than the standard footy – the size of the footy is important. Try and find a suitable place at home or a local footy field or a park where you can have fun playing footy with your child. If it’s not fun, it’s not going to be something they’ll stick with.
Some kids might be sensitive to touching wet or muddy footballs. If this sounds like your child you could practice gradually helping them to touch a wet or a muddy football at home so they can begin to be comfortable with how it feels. If you think this would be too overwhelming for your child, you could try them wearing gloves, or you can let them know that they can always play in another way when it is wet, for example, they could be the coach’s assistant!
If you know another child attending Auskick that your child already knows, this could be a great way to help them feel more comfortable during Auskick sessions. Having a buddy can help players and kids feel at ease. Maybe you could organise for your kid’s buddy to go with them to the first session.
Remember, there is no tackling at Auskick and the aim is to have fun! Coaches can give the kids lots of different roles rather than just playing footy. For example, they could be the scorer or be the coach’s assistant. They can help find something right for your child so they can be involved in the football community.
We also have AllPlay Footy Stories on the website which can help introduce Auskick to your child and help them become familiar with how a typical Auskick session runs. We look forward to seeing you and your child at the NAB AFL Auskick centre near you!