Editor’s Note: The following was adapted from a list created by David Lynch, trainer for 8- and 9-year-old soccer players at Stockholm soccer club AIK.

Here are 24 tips for parents raising young AFL players:
1- The kids pack and prepare their own football bag.
2- Always be on time for practice.
3- Make them put their dirty training clothing in the wash.
4- Tell them to give 100 percent at practice and games.
5- The kids carry their own footy bag in and out of the training or games. That’s carry, not wheel.
6- Teach them how to clean their own boots.
7- Play footy with them, where they want and when they want to.
8- Make them wear their equipment until it’s been outgrown, then buy new equipment.
9- Buy them new boots when they need them, not when they want them.
10-Teach them not to hate other teams.
11-Win or lose, remind them to love the game, and the game will love them back.
12-They will respect teammates, the opposition, the refs, the other team’s coaches. If you don’t teach them this, the coach will have to do it.
13-Let them dream they can be a Garry Abblet Jr, but don’t give them any expectations.
14-Blaming teammates, blaming the umpire, blaming anything is out. This goes for the players and parents. Set a good example.
15-Take them to football games and let them watch the pros.
16-Tell them footy is for fun. Practice is for fun. If it isn’t fun for them, talk to the coach/club or move to another club.
17-Encourage them to watch footy training videos on YouTube and let them try and perfect some of the moves.
18-Encourage them, support them, but never ever shout out instructions from the sidelines.
19-Don’t car-coach after practices or games. It sucks the fun out of the game. They know if they played well or poorly.
20-Encourage them to play other sports.
21-Don’t try to “train” your kid. Take them out, ask what they want to do and let them do it.
22-Tell your kids that you love watching them play.
All the best,
Joey Hayes