Lessons from Finals week for your son


With the AFL Brownlow Medal awarded last night to the fairest and best player in 2016, Paddy Dangerfield, and the Grand Final this Saturday, it’s a great time to think about what footy and footballers like 26 year old Dangerfield can teach your sons.

Here are 3 of the best


Talent is all well and good but what separates ‘stars’ from the rest of us is consistent hard work and practice.  They always believe they can do better.   Whether academic, artistic or athletic, talent may get their feet in the door, but their work ethic is what sets them apart.


In footy, you are playing as part of a team. As Dangerfield was recently quoted “I play my role for the team and help us improve as a team.” The best players hold themselves accountable for their actions.  The best leaders in AFL keep their teammates accountable. They don’t accept blaming and shaming other players, the umpires or the opposition. They know that every player on the field has a job to do, and that the other players are relying on him to do that job so the whole team can succeed. “Ultimately, as footballers, team success is the most important thing,” Dangerfield said in his acceptance speech.


It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be under the scrutiny an AFL player has to deal with. From the moment players are drafted (and even before)  every move they make is judged by coaches, the media, the general public and fellow players.  Thankfully, most of us will never be under such scrutiny.  

However, through school, uni, sport, work and at home, your son will experience  criticism and failure. While this can be challenging,  learning how to use criticism and failure as opportunity for growth (rather than quitting or having a temper tantrum) will make him a more successful man.  Look at the Bulldogs.  They have dug deep and learned from failure and now will play their first Grand Final since 1961.  

It is unlikely your son will ever win a Brownlow. Or even play in the AFL Grand Final. But his interest in footy, at whatever level, allows you to teach him some important lessons.

Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

This article is about