AFL Max Blog

Join us here for all things education, footy and fun.

We will share a range of articles to help maximise wellbeing, growth and happiness - from positive learning and growth mindsets, through to the best birthday party tips and school holiday ideas.

We will keep it short, informative and fun - sharing and creating meaningful info with you every month.

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Staying healthy this AFL season

March 15, 2021

The AFL season is under way, and many kids are in the midst of their school and club fixtures. And even though they aren’t elite athletes (yet!) here are some habits and routines that they can do like the experts to help keep themselves healthy on and off the field.

Here are some tips to keep on top of your game this season:

Drink Up
Hydration, before, during and after a game, is crucial to replace fluid loss through exercise. Dehydration can impact concentration and cause nausea. Water is the only drink recommended for children and adolescents.

Australian guidelines suggest the following water intake per day:

  • 5 -8 Year olds 5 glasses of water or 1Litre
  • 9- 12 Year olds 7 glasses or 1.5L
  • 13+ Year Olds 8 – 10 glasses or 2L

Pass on the sport drinks though; they are often packed with sugar and sometimes caffeine. The old school oranges at half time are still a good go-to.

Fuel Up
After a busy week of training and school it’s important to ensure carbohydrate stores are full. A pre-game meal should be eaten around 1-2 hours before the match. Grab a low fat, high carb meal or snack like:

  • Breakfast cereal or porridge
  • Smoothie
  • Toast with peanut butter
  • Banana

Gear Up
Being physically and mentally prepared may limit injury, and generally allow for a better game experience.

  • Boots: Support the ankle and heal. Well-fitted boots may improve balance and reduce slipping and sliding on a wet field.

  • Mouth Guards: Can be fitted by a dentist or purchased off a chemist shelf. At most clubs it’s a compulsory to keep those precious teeth in tact.

  • Sunscreen: Even in an Aussie autumn or winter, it’s important to slip, slop and slap!

  • Clothing: Wearing warm clothes and keeping them dry can help with the warm up/cool down process. Appropriate clothing will help to maintain body temperature. So have a jumper handy when sitting on the bench when waiting for field time.

Warm Up
Get to the oval on time for the warm up. A dynamic, active warm up gets the muscles and joints warm. It gets the heart pumping to get the blood moving around the body and increases oxygen to where it is needed. A simple jog and ball drills are a great start.

Now you are all set … get out there and have fun this AFL season!

Children participating in Play lu activities
Group of kids practicing kicks

Leadership in the School Yard

February 28, 2021

In schools the most talented and liked students are often voted as a leader. For example the best footy player is often voted as captain. Why is this so? It’s because kids don’t often know what good leadership looks like. So it’s an easy choice to pick the popular kid! Sometimes it’s a good choice, but it means others can be over looked. In an excellent educational setting all students should have the chance to lead.

Why is student leadership important?
A cohesive school environment whereby students have a voice in managing and directing others can:

  • Build relationships within groups
  • Develop individual identities
  • Improve communication skills
  • Build social skills
  • Resolve conflict
  • Create respect between students and teachers
  • Enforce school culture and values
  • Enforce positive actions and choices

What characteristics are required to be a good leader in a student?
A good leader may display:

  • Courage
  • Gratitude
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Listening skills
  • Vision

What are five ways to encourage good leadership within the schoolyard?

1. Encourage informal leadership. A student does not need a badge or a title to be a leader. Smaller roles of responsibility within the classroom can foster early leadership potential.

2. Encourage all students to have good habits. This can lead to excellent role modeling. When we all do the little things right, the bigger things can happen!

3. Give time and space for students to share their opinions and ideas at all levels. Be it in the classroom, to teachers or even the executive team.

4. Provide peer monitors. Students who monitor behavior, the school environment or equipment sends a more powerful message than if it came from a teacher.

5. Coach them! The quote ‘Students are not born they are made’ is well known because it is true! Students need guidance and feedback. They need support when they are challenged and praise when they are on the right track.

Check out more articles below!

Growth Mindset in the classroom

February 15, 2021

A classroom full of students who are optimistic and resilient, and who display a high level of emotional intelligence, would be the goal for any excellent teacher.

Students, who are not only learning knowledge, but also awesome life skills, is the focus of any modern teaching professional. This can be reached through those buzzwords – a growth mindset.

So what is growth mindset? Simply students with a growth mindset believe their skills can improve over time. Students with a fixed mindset think their abilities can't change, no matter how hard they try.

Therefore a growth mindset is the idea that, with effort, it's possible to increase talents and abilities. Students who demonstrate a growth mindset believe their abilities develop over time, tend to seek out opportunities to gain new knowledge and broaden their skills, and do not typically shy away from challenges.

How can a teacher encourage a Growth Mindset approach in the classroom?

1. Use positive language
Teachers who use encouraging words and feedback create a supportive learning environment where students feel it is ok to make mistakes.

2. Build resilience
When students have the ability to cope with tough times and can engage inner strength as well as appropriate support networks, resilience grows.

3. Build Self Awareness
Self-awareness is when a student can regulate their own emotions, thoughts and values and understand how they influence behavior.

4. Self Management
When a student can successfully regulate their emotions and behaviors, this allows them to build personal and academic goals.

And like most skills these need to be explicitly taught.

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