Keep it simple this weekend.

The vast majority of us are unable to personally convey messages of support to those closest to Phil Walsh. We will put messages on social media, we will wear club colours with pride, and we will put scarves outside our doors or perhaps lay tributes at the club. Everyone deals with tragic events such as this in their own ways.

Much will be said about Phil Walsh over the coming days and weeks. Tributes will continue for some time and rightly so. I find it incredibly moving to watch and listen to the sharing of support. Certainly seems just like yesterday that I was glued to the TV and the twitter feed as tributes and messages of support flowed from around the world for Phil Hughes.
As a sports coach and a sports parent I am always keen to learn about the newest coaching methods, to listen to the best coaches and then impart what little knowledge I personally have to my kids and those I coach. This weekend, however, I think it best to keep any messages very simple. Kids, go out there and enjoy yourself. Play that game you love as best as you can and have fun doing it.

As adults it can be easy to over-complicate things especially when it comes to our kid’s sport. This weekend, as your child plays his or her sport, look for and celebrate the little things. On a weekend when many people will have so many unanswered questions, when sport takes a back seat for Adelaide’s professional footballers, when the sporting community reflects on the shocking loss of a widely respected leader, seek out and celebrate in our young people the virtues that are a constant in sport. Two of my favourites that I have written about recently are team work and courage. What little I knew about the intricacies of Phil Walsh’s coaching philosophy I am pretty sure that Teamwork and Courage would have been right up there as priorities. Showing examples of these and celebrating them, however small, is just one more way that we can use sport to tackle the challenges that life throws at us.

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