The secret is to get creative with how to connect! Fortunately, everyone is isolating. This means people are open to new ways to connect with families.
With the more time on their hands, people are spending more time browsing their social media news feeds. This makes social media a perfect tool to engage with your junior families. Be conscious that not all junior players will be on social media.
Many clubs have had success and a lot of fun engagement using #stayathomechallenge.
Other ideas include:
- Posting videos of training sessions at home
- Host a "Club Shirt Friday" and get families to post photos of themselves wearing club merchandise
- Online quizzes or posts asking 'iso' questions like "What's the strangest thing you have done to pass iso time?"
- Social media take over - think "An ISO day in the life of XXX"
- Minute to Win It Challenges - how many handballs can you do in a minute etc and post results. Offer a sponsor product or club merch as a prize.
Think about posting non-footy related content like "Who has the cutest pet?" or "Who did the best iso baking?". Ultimately, you want to generate conversation to keep families engaged.
Be sure to create a Covid-19 Communications Plan to help streamline your content.
CoachAFL ‘Coaching From Home’ Facebook Group
CoachAFL has created a free public Coaching From Home Facebook group to support coaches, parents and players during the footy shutdown and to bring new ideas to life that connect and engage our community. Join the group to access and share videos of footy drills and training tips for parents and players to do at home in isolation.
Footy at Home
The time has finally arrived, for FOOTY AT HOME!
Join hosts, Caden and Austin in this awesome new series where they team up with some of your fave footy stars, grab the footy, have some fun with their mates at home and brush up on their skills along the way.
Auskick at Home
Club captains Joel Selwood and Katie Brennan will host the new NAB AFL Auskick at Home online clinics designed to keep kids connected to the game.
Current and former AFL and AFLW footballers will join them for the live-streamed clinics and provide tips for backyard drills, exercises and skills-based learning.
Give the kids a whistle and let them lead the family in a fitness or footy session. Parents can record a video or the training program and tag the club online to share the results. You may find some great coaches in your junior playing groups!
Coach and Team Video Calls
A number of coaches are making great use of the various video calling platforms available. Coaches are setting up regular video calls to check in with players. This is a great way to touch base and ensure players are looking after themselves physically and mentally. It also shows the club cares about the players' well-being and creates a greater trust and sense of belonging.
You can also host regular team meetings so everyone can check-in, get season updates and connect with the team.
Remote Team Dinners
Send around a Facebook event, share an easy recipe everyone can cook and host a remote team dinner. This can replace the usual team dinners your club may run during a normal season.
Virtual Game Night
You can host virtual game nights! There are many platforms to host your game night. Jackbox Games is just one of them. A quick Google search should help you find a platform to suit your needs.
Go old school! Set up some pen pal pairs with players within the club and get them to write emails or letters to each other. This is a great way for players to get to know each other and pass the time. You could also think about doing this with another club.
Battle of the Clubs
Join forces with another local club to muster up some healthy competition! Create challenges for the playing groups like:
- Total Club KM covered in a week
- Fastest individual KM time
- Most handballs in 2 minutes (filmed)
- Most push ups/sit ups/squats in 2 minutes (filmed)
Get players to post results on social media to generate conversation.
If your club has had success engaging junior players during the COVID-19 pandemic, please send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org to showcase your success and ideas to other clubs.