Winging it: Making the grade

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.

Game Day

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.

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