Tackle Your Feelings jets to The Alice

words by Guy Little, Wednesday 14 August 2019

Apparently, Alice Springs got its name from Sir Charles Todd, who named a local watering hole, which was adjacent to the telegraph station he constructed, after his wife, Alice. Alice never came to visit her spring or the town, and boy-oh-boy, did Alice miss out! In July we headed to the Red Center to deliver the Tackle Your Feelings in the incredible Alice Springs. We had 20 local coaches engage with the program over the weekend at Traeger Park, which consisted of our one hour face-to-face program on Friday night, The inner sanctum experience with Melbourne’s senior coach, Simon Goodwin (and watching the captain’s run) on Saturday, and, to top it all off, the nail-biting game between the Dees and West Coast on Sunday. Let me tell you some more! 

Friday: Face-to-face program – we all speak footy!

On Friday night we saw 20 coaches from the surrounding communities attend the one hour face-to-face program. From the conversations with those who participated in the night, the program hit the spot (and so did the great catering)! Many of the coaches had experienced dealing with mental health issues with players in their clubs and the program added value by providing a footy-specific framework and a common language for them to understand, recognise, and manage mental health in their players; a language all footy players, coaches, administrators, and fans speak. I had an amazing conversation with one coach after the session who asked me about some considerations for challenging conversations with players (I have written a blog post on this very topic). The coach paraphrased what I had said in football terms and I related what he said back to the football analogies in the program. We were speaking the same language of mental health through football. This is the essence of the program!

Saturday: Inner Sanctum experience with Simon Goodwin

Simon Goodwin spent some time with the TYF participants before the captain’s run on Saturday and he spoke about his personal experiences as a coach helping players manage their mental health. Simon spoke authentically about the challenges some of his players have faced as well as giving participants an insight into what he does to stay mentally healthy and manage the pressure of being a senior coach. This time was truly a sensational sneak-peak into Simon’s experiences and knowledge that was greatly appreciated by all who attended. 

Sunday: Dees v Eagles

The TYF team handed out 1000 Tackle Your Feelings T-shirts to fans for the game on Sunday. The stadium was filled with the red T-shirts, displaying one of our program ambassadors, Neville Jetta’s, No. 39 and our Fit Minds Kick Goals slogan! The team was thrilled with the support for Nev and the program at the game! It was great to have fans endorse Tackle Your Feelings and ask questions about the program. Over the weekend, the team had many requests from players, parents, and coaches for us to run the program in their local club!

Guy Little is the Tackle Your Feelings Program Psychologist.

Need Support? If you know someone who requires urgent assistance or support, please contact:

Suicide call back service: 1300 659 467

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

Emergency: 000

Support for AFL Players: If you are a current or past AFL Player and would like to know more about our specialised wellbeing and mental health services please contact the AFL Players’ Association at wellbeing@aflplayers.com.au or Tel. 03-8651 4300 (Mon to Fri, 9am – 5pm).

Click here to read our disclaimer.