Last weekend was a big weekend for me in my football, and general sporting, development.
Something that has always mystified me was the process of team selection.
No, I don’t mean how teams are picked, I mean how the actual announcement.
Does the coach read it out position by position?
Do they just hold up a whiteboard for players to read?
Do they chat to people one-on-one, X Factor-style, to tell them if they’re in or out?
Our coach stood out the front and read out the names from back pocket to interchange, and I can tell you it was a nervous, albeit short, wait as he went through one by one.
I know it’s not exactly the AFL, but since most of my recent sports history involves social netball and touch, I am generally calling people to fill in, not waiting to see if I make the cut.
To my pleasant surprise, I was picked in the starting side on the wing.
As for the game, it was another week, another lesson.
This time it was more of a physical lesson than anything else.
Our opposition were not afraid to lay a bump, and we had to adjust pretty quickly.
I’ve watched plenty of footy in my life and bumping looks pretty simple, particularly if you’re built like Barry Hall.
Unfortunately I am not a 6ft bald man with a mean left hook, and I definitely underestimated the difficulty of laying a bump.
Just a hip and shoulder – sounds simple, right? Not so much.
I drew on some netball experience to try and make some contact (yeah, I know, rookie error) and it only took one hit from my opponent for me to figure out I was doing it wrong.
I had plenty of time to work my way into the contest, and better at responding to being bumped.
This weekend I’m getting a inside look at a semi-professional footy trip, travelling with the NEAFL Northern side to take on the SANFL in Adelaide.
This will definitely enhance my understanding of the demands of senior footy and hopefully I can take it into Sunday’s game.