Speaker 0 00:03 Welcome to the culture of things with Brendan Rodgers. This is a podcast where we talk culture leadership and teamwork and plus business in spoon.
Speaker 1 00:21 Hello everybody. I'm Brendan Rodgers, the host of the cultural things podcast. And this is episode 10. And today I'm speaking with Joey Peter's. Joey is a Matilda's legend who coincidentally wore the number 10 shirt. She's the fifth most cat Matilda of all time having represented the national team 110 times between 1996 and 2009 scoring 28 goals. Joey played in FIFA women's world cups in 1999, 2003 and 2007. She was an Olympian at the 2004 Athens games. She's an Asian cup farmers and has played in professional football leagues all over the world from the USA to Brazil and Sweden. Joey was the winner of the Julie Dolan medal in 2002, 2003 women's NSL or national league season, and was inducted into the FFA hall of fame in 2010. Joey's a mum, she's a media football commentator and analyst. And after a time from playing professional football in 2009, Joey has continued her passion for football in the coaching space with experience from grassroots right through to the professional levels. Joey has now developed her own coaching methodology called game play, learn, which hides learning in fun and provides dynamic motivating learning environments aimed at inspiring and nurturing players. The focus of our chat today is the culture of youth development. Joey, thank you for joining me. It's such an honor to have you as a guest on the culture of things podcast.
Speaker 2 01:50 Well, thanks so much, Brendan. What a coin introduction there.
Speaker 1 01:54 Well, look, Joey, thank you for raising that. And when I was putting that together and reading, I'm thinking, well, there's so much you achieve in so much. You've done. Can you just, just for me and the listeners out there so that they could get some perspective that you're a real person, what do you suck at?
Speaker 2 02:12 There's plenty. Let me tell you, although I probably could get my teenage daughters particularly to tell you what I suck at because they, uh, they're more humbling ground level as they are. I, um, I, I'm actually not good at multitasking to be honest, you know, I kind of missed out on that natural woman trait. I think I find it difficult. There's plenty. I'll have to get you a list, Brandon, because there's certainly a lot.
Speaker 1 02:41 Maybe we can talk about that in another row, in another episode, but like any humble leader, you know, you're able to, to share that. And that's fantastic. So look, I just, just want it to level the playing field a bit and know that we are talking to an everyday human here. So Joey, this journey you've had unbelievable, as I said, those accolades, Apsey fantastic. Just us a bit of perspective on how this journey has shaped you over your time through professional football and to where you are, where you are today.
Speaker 2 03:07 It's interesting when reflecting on my journey, I feel like if I could put it into a couple of words, it was in a sporting sense. And also that will be a lost sense. It's moved it's in moving from performance to participation. So we talk a bit about that in the sporting realm, performance, being all about winning and results and participation, being more about the joy of the journey. And I would say that that is really sums me up, how it shaped me. I, you know, from when I was a young girl, I just had such a drive to, to compete, to, to want to win, which, you know, actually came from the backyard with my Bravo, but also just looking at how my family, the family culture there, it was, we strive a lot to, to succeed and perform and get really good results. And that is carried me probably to where I was, but it also had its cost as well.
Speaker 2 04:07 You know, I found it very, very difficult when I retired from the professional playing and I wanted to go straight into coaching and had a bit of a devil early on in the elite spices coaching. But I essentially burnt out, I experienced mental illness and, and just the real graving of my identity when I retired. And, but that actually helped then give me a shift and more of appreciation for what I call leads, but being a participant, you know, whether it's in loss, but particularly sport. And when you're a participant, you just there to enjoy the experience with others. And you start thinking more about, you know, the social connections that you make and you start valuing that a lot more. Um, you start finding out a bit more about yourself and things like creative expression, which I really, um, valued all my loss as well. So, you know, I guess if I, if I could sum it up, it'd be that I've, I've really now I'm feel so much better in myself. Now this is 10 years on since retiring and the more I, the more distance and the more I take this, well, it's not that I've kept this focused. It's just how I've changed. Really. It's more about the fun, the joy of, of sport, but also of loss of relationship and letting go somewhat of the pressures that can come with being result focused,
Speaker 1 05:31 That journey you'd describe it. It seems to me to be reasonably common journey. I mean, again, there's specific elements to that that will not be common, but just that hardship, I guess you could sum it up as retire from elite football or elite sport, having those pressures, having that regimented process in an environment around you all the time and then that transition. Can you just tell us a bit about that and how real, how common is that in professional sport?
Speaker 2 05:59 Well, it's very common that the outcome focused. I mean, we're always trying to look for a tick box. You know, how can we measure something? How can we analyze something with numbers? And I think it's not just sport, but I think the education system and probably business as well, influences that highly, we want to measure things and we have this obsession with controlling things. So being able to control the outcomes. So we do a plus B equals C, or would it be, you know, the equation we're trying to work out, but what I love about sport is that it doesn't let us get away with that. We have continuing, I guess, that's, that might be almost the Holy grail of why we're continuing these, these passion and his drive in sport to, you know, to achieve, to have longterm success is very, very difficult, especially when we're looking at that as outcomes first.
Speaker 2 06:57 And we feel like waking, we have control of the outcomes for me, it's more about, more about that journey because, and it brings in this sense of complexity and I've enjoyed researching the science of complexity and it's that sense of, you know, what we can't control. And it comes back to, we cannot control the end result in a, in a game if people are still trying to control it, but sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose, that's sort of say some foams, the bowl hits, hits the crossbar. Sometimes it goes in, there's a lot of factors that we can't control, but we think to still have such an obsession to think that to, to live and die by the results are that same loss. So that means that the coach must be doing a bad job. And you know, that becomes a focus. Whereas again, I'm trying to shift it more from the school on to the experience.
Speaker 2 07:52 You can learn so much more about the interactions within the game and the school on, and perhaps that's why, where it comes from when people say, well, I don't lose you either. You know, you learn and you learn more through losing if you like, because they don't have that final results of restaurant. You have to go digging and looking for other reasons as to why that was a good experience. So, you know, I think we'll be continually be wrapped up in the performance and winning world cups and being well best till we die. I think that's unfortunate because we're really missing out on so much more than, than just the outcome.
Speaker 1 08:28 Since I first met you back in 2012, I think it was. And there's one word that has always summed it up for me. If somebody said, Oh, what's Joey. Peter's like, and I would just say passionate. I hear that in your voice today, I knew that would come through. What's driving Joey Peters over this journey and to where you are today with gameplay loom,
Speaker 2 08:47 I've always been a question of Brendan and I love that the courts are mine stolen, you know, above all else is question everything. And it's just driven me to this curiosity. And I think the passion for me is that we just seem to settle so much in life. You know, we, we settle for assumptions. There's so many assumptions that are kind of even think of a good example right now. Cause everywhere I go, it's where assuming things. And I just want to say let's take, because it's for example, this sense of awe, do we want to go back to normal or do we take this time to actually question our lifestyle question, our cultures question, the what we're doing to the environment, questioning how and living every day, why we leave our house and go traveling an hour to sit in an office, you know, rather than spending, I need to spend that time with family.
Speaker 2 09:40 I feel like that's been a wonderful, there's so many opportunities that presented to us that I feel like pastas boy. And I guess that's where the passion comes from, but I just feel like we can make the best that we can make the world a better place. And so I do get myself into a lot of trouble with people because perhaps my tone isn't as calm and can be quite confrontational. I've been set in the past and, um, argumentative, you know, I I'm quite happy to be that person that puts up my hand. So why, why are we doing this? Why did you say that you want to do this? And, and I guess now I've done a lot of research. I've had a lot of experience. So the passion is only growing because I'm finding out so many things. I'm a lifelong learner. I learn every day.
Speaker 2 10:28 And I don't understand people that are just satisfied with doing the same thing, jumping on the treadmill every day. So I guess I'm wanting to be able to, you know, ruffle the servers and it comes with a damn side because you can offend people, but I'm willing to take that cost at the opportunities that present us to be better to people, individuals to nurture our potential. But now I think perhaps as I talk, my passion is now towards the next generation and, and being a mom as very much the influence, you know, how can we help and nurture our generation? That's growing up in this social media obsession, these mental illness disorders, a life that is so structured. There's no time, we're all busy. There's plenty of problems in the world to fix Brendan. And that's why, you know, I guess I wake up in the morning and, um, particularly, you know, throwing good energy at the moment with this COBIT I can't help, but say, because it's giving us that opportunity to change.
Speaker 1 11:33 Let's go into the gameplay learn process and the methodology and the, and the community that you're building over recent times. What's the background of that. Tell us a bit about gameplay or learn. And, and how is that curiosity driving you to help the culture of youth development and improving the culture of youth development?
Speaker 2 11:52 Talk about passion I've every time someone mentions gameplay learn, I just get this excitement because first and foremost, because it's bigger than me. I've been the one probably driving it since it started. And it did start as a collaboration between people. And that's what I think was the initial energy behind it. There was a group of us who were in this project of this new football school. That's actually where I met your Brendan, you know, this new project we could want the slight claim with. Um, what would you do if you had kids every day that you could do sport with basically, or in our case football, but it quickly moved to sport because when you have every day, if you do the same thing every day, it becomes quite mundane and you start finding problems with burnout and your injuries and what have you.
Speaker 2 12:40 But anyway, we had this clean slate with the reference of, of the football national curriculum. We weren't to respect that, but we also wanted to just bring the experiences and the backgrounds of those that we were working with in a clock and mentioned nine. But I think it's Andre, Gumpricht from Germany or calling the German genius. You know, he told us what he'd been doing in East Germany as a child and his wonderful journey. He had Bradley Porter who was a local, you know, a great Australian play grew up in our NLS system, which is getting a lot of air time at the moment. Patrick's fine. Five came along, he has his own, that's a little bit different in these methodologies, but it was this diversity then I can't, I can't miss out on that. Matthew O'Neil, the Scott is just amazing. I don't quite know where to start with Maddie.
Speaker 2 13:28 O'Neill he just the ultimate creative God is living on the edge. And so with this collaboration we started researching and that might sound like, Oh yeah, you do that. But that's actually different for sport and football coaches. It can be very, very insular. So just by adding God Versiti researching, we stumbled across a God called Mako Sullivan. And there were others in that space as well, who were looking beyond just football, actually looking into child development, looking into human behavior, looking at the science, as I've mentioned, complexity, um, this science that was fascinating called ecological dynamics, which can get crazy as well. But if you think of the basic science of ecology, it's the relationship between each other and the environment. And so this thing of relationships was came to be at the heart of what we articulated as game play, learn. And then I said, look, guys, I'm going to start a website.
Speaker 2 14:29 I'm going to stop blogging. I'm going to stop putting all these ideas down. And then I started looking into, you know, what people were doing online. And it became a place to be able to collaborate with people around the world because it was started because it was quite a minority that was thinking this way, you know, different to the winning outcomes, train kids from when they early pick the best with the best, you know, cause we could say, that's not, that's not working and that's not healthy for kids. And it wasn't family friendly. It was just creating too much pressure. We'd had our own experiences of the pressure. Like I said, our burnout and this obsession with, with coaching, surely there's gotta be a better way as a set up question. So I began through collaboration. It's now evolved probably formally. I've had the website going since 2016 for four years, I've taken it probably on my own a lot with it.
Speaker 2 15:25 But at the same time, still connecting with those relationships relationship being at the key and it just evolving, just giving it some freedom to brave. I've been experimenting with this research, you know, doing different things with kids outside the organized formal context. So my first little adventure was to put on a footstool competition with the word competition just to attract people. But really it was just playing games. This game play learn. There's so much to it, but you could perhaps say the basis of as is learning through playing games or learning through play. And then again, there's research about play and how we've lost the art of play and our history of kids now not getting the opportunity to play and have that time to explore. And we're just putting them straight into structured environment. And that brought in this fun elements. So we've lost fun and kids are dropping out of sport.
Speaker 2 16:20 And this sense of we're losing retention now, and kids are telling us is because it's not fun. They get to their teen years and say, I've been through this system long enough. I'm not over it. It's not fun anymore guys. And we know that it's not the game. That's not fun. It's actually as adults and the ones running it that are stuffing it up for the kids. So then it took me to this child centered approach where we actually stopped asking kids, what would you like to do? That's the opposite of the coaching culture? Because the coach is set themselves. You know, we set ourselves up as the expert, we've done all this formal education where I've got my, this license and that license. So I need to tell you what to do. And I need to organize this session for everyone. But you can say there's, there's so many elements that are tying in now.
Speaker 2 17:09 And of course, like I said, it comes back to moving from this performance mindset, treating kids block players, like many adults from performance to participation, enjoying the journey, letting kids be kids, letting them have fun and growing that passion for the game through actually playing the game. Let's not complicate it. Guys. Let's actually start with the game and start with place. What would you like to do kids? Oh, we want to play that gig. Well, that's piped up and actually valuing other factors other than performance, other than getting just football skills were facilitating loss skills here with we're setting up environments that exploratory and creative. And I think that was the other thing too. It's a facilitative approach. So we're not coaches we actually facilitate. And, and that's where it extends across context. So it's not just for sport and it's not necessarily just for kids. It's actually challenging us as late as when we are leading a group of people. Are we telling them what to do? Are we starting with that point or are we actually going to them and saying, what are your needs? What would you like to do? Because from that point of view, then we start actually nurturing and we start maximizing the potential of each individual.
Speaker 1 18:32 I love the terminology used around the child centered approach. And we've spoken about this before and the facilitation mindset versus that coach and the, I guess the tail do and having control. What are the barriers that you've come up against in this fantastic philosophy. And again, you've experienced both, you know, you're living and breathing this game, play, learn and Charleston approach, but you, you know, you grew up in a different environment. So what are the challenges that people have in taking on this philosophy and that the conversations you've had with coaches around this, why don't some get at what's the barrier to them taking this on board?
Speaker 2 19:07 The Socratic question, because I've had plenty. And like I said, this is a minority that believes first off in the value of, of learning through play. That play is not only valuable for self and social aspects, but it actually brings a powerful learning element, which people, I guess, if you can think of the school and the school playground, there's the classroom. People think, well, you learn everything in the classroom. And then you go out to the playground for the break. Well, my model Lake would actually be value. Yeah. I would value them playing in the playground experience more than the classroom. There's all the reasons that come behind that. But people initially find that very difficult to believe because we've been indoctrinated or our society and culture is very driven towards, will you learn by someone telling you what to do as opposed to being able to discover it for yourself.
Speaker 2 20:01 That's a big barrier to start off with. That is some again, that assumption of what learning actually is and what teaching is that sense that you need to be taught by someone what to do. And that certainly comes into it. I don't want to dismiss that at all, but I do. I do feel the need that I am someone that goes to the other extreme to explore to then come back and find a balance between the two, because there are some tasks, mundane tasks that you did. This is how you do it. And it just helps for time sake. Do it quickly. I'm just going to show you real quick so that we can get on with it. No worries at all. But when we're talking about raising a child, when we're talking about, you know, development, which is a longterm journey, that's when we need to give value for time.
Speaker 2 20:51 And that's where people are strapped for time. And they're actually looking for shortcuts. We're looking to get more efficient. We want to shortcut that way. So that's a barrier is people are willing to put the time in that we need to give, to create these environments, but also the time to give to our root that we're working with. We don't have much time guys, we're going to have to do this, this and this today. Imagine if we had time, which is what we found with this environment, we had plenty of Cohen that then gives us that opportunity to say, okay, well, what do you guys want to do? We've got a bit of taunted to chat about this ma'am and to collaborate. And now the challenge would be, and this is coming from a former professional player standpoint as we value expertise. So, you know, people could that awkward say I was of the former Matilda.
Speaker 2 21:37 Actually I was one of the best Matildas or whatever. All I did was really good. So you should actually listen to me because, and you should do what I did. And that's where we put ourselves as the experts. Again, I think that's a bad assumption to make and it's a barrier. So those that are actually have achieved a lot, I feel like it's, it can be a big strength. And I feel like it is a big strength of mine that I've experienced, but it can also be a huge weakness because then you're relying on your own experience. You don't actually value research and experimenting as much. You don't value the person in front of you. And in fact that they are the expert of their own life. So there's a barrier there when we want to set ourselves up as experts to then thinking, well, actually I'm just going to facilitate, which means I'm not actually just playing in the background or actually even more so from a coaching perspective, which can be very, a big hit on the ego and kids don't need me.
Speaker 2 22:36 I could actually go and leave and the kids would do quite well. And again, it's that sense of the playground teachers are there just to supervise the kids do quite well at making up their own game, changing the rules, collaborating problem solving. That's the big hit to the ego. I'll add one more. Is this again, this performance mentality that I want to win such a, when you, again, it cuts out that development sense in giving it a long term journey. If you want to win, it's usually short term. So that's when we see the examples of the coaches standing on the sideline and the professional league or national teams, trying to fix problems very, very quickly telling clients what to do. We need to solve this very quick, as opposed to if you had a longer term approach and you feel like actually, if I can give these guys time to work it out themselves a little bit, then we're going to say longterm, sustainable benefits, long term wins.
Speaker 2 23:34 And in fact, you know, there's so many people now that value. If we focus on learning more, then eventually we're gonna win anyway. Or if we focus on having happier people, then they're going to be better performance. So for me, it's a win, win, but yeah, the barriers are certainly there I've come up with a lot. And then probably the last thing I'd say is tradition. People just want to do what I always want to do. Change is scary. That's why I'm trying to actually introduce experiments and say the word experiment, because I'm not sure what you think, Brandon, but experiments can be fun. It can be a little bit safe and then saying, Oh, we're changing something. Cause chain thing, definite. So that's helping people to dip their toe in the water. It's not that scary guys. And actually it's fun. And actually we're going to get longer term sustainable happiness and a lot of wins
Speaker 1 24:27 Once again. So many great points are, I think a couple that I want to point out is you didn't use the word humility. You use the word ego. Humility is such a key thing in this child centered, centered approach and facilitating and not feeling like as the coach, you need to be the center of attention. The other thing, I really think again, that curiosity experimentation is critical. Again, that that requires a level of humility to say, Hey, you know what? We're going to try something. And the thing that I contrast this in my own business environment, to what you're saying exactly that happens in the youth cultural and sporting barn is those short term decisions happen in business as well. Leaders make short term decisions because you know, they need to hit a target. Like you said, we've got targets, we've got tick boxes, we've got KPIs and they're not making decisions for the longterm. And quite often those short term decisions actually have a really bad impact longterm. What I'd like you to just also touch on for our listeners. Cause again, there's a, there's a bit of football talk in there, but you mentioned earlier around specialization versus non specialization. And I think that's really important for you to just explain what that is given. Actually specialization is such a foundation in, I think all sports of, of youth development. So can you explain that a little bit for us?
Speaker 2 25:40 Yeah. Look early specialization eats a big thing. Now it's this sense of getting kids as early as possible. And we look at some examples like tiger woods, who were these child prodigies, who, as soon as he could walk, had a golf stick in his head. And they sense that, you know, the earlier we can do something, it's also mixed with a mess and I'll call it a mess because they've been the, the author of the book that mentioned the 10,000 hour rule in terms of, you know, you need a certain amount of hours to master something and you know what, again, the assumption is we take that as that's true and it's half true, isn't it? It does take a long time to be able to master something. And that's, I think what people are chasing in terms of specialization spend as much time as you can on one particular thing and you will get better at it and you will then be able to hopefully move on to the upper echelons of being the best at it.
Speaker 2 26:38 The opposite to that would be the sense of, for me, it's diversity people also call it a generalism in sport. We can call it multi-sport. Uh, but so mainly it's the value of diversity. So if you're going to specialize in something, you're going to do something, you know, every day to get better at it, then that becomes the cost. As I mentioned before, you know, you have the, the, the sense, the sense of too much of a good thing and a good thing, that sense that we're specializing maintenance. It comes as a great cost and we don't look at the cost as well to what that means by spending all those hours on that one particular thing. And that brings in loss balance as well. So the sense of diversity have many things, try many different things, and eventually you you'll be able to in a kid's development sense, give them plenty of things to try.
Speaker 2 27:34 Eventually they'll they'll work out what they, they love, how unfortunately, if we put a goal stick, you know, target towards his hand and he never had the opportunity to stay, maybe he might've liked cars or ball games or music, but even if he was given those opportunities to have a more fuller experience of loss. And that's what I love about diversity, it's a full experience. And I think it's becoming a little bit more well known that diversity and learning is valuable. I think we need to push it even more so, especially because this specialization is happening, the other benefit of this goddess, and some people call it a sampling approach or being general is actually that we can develop some people call it skill acquisition. I'm actually more enjoying the term skill adaptation. That sense of if we can adapt the skills across, whether it's across contexts or across sports, you know, that sense of adapting to the environment that is actually where skill comes from. So the sense of having a more diverse and varying experience, rather than specializing, you're actually going to develop quicker, the ability to be skillful in the moment of weather, whatever context it is again. So we often dismiss that, Oh, we need to practice more and more and more and more of the same thing. Actually know the varying experiences can actually improve performance as well.
Speaker 1 29:09 It's fair to say that you've had enormous influence on the field with Australian football and particularly women's football. And I think that influenced now is starting to spread into the, using your words, that upper inch launch of football society. And because you've recently been appointed as one of the FFA starting 11, which is a new initiative by the FFA a fantastic initiative. I was looking at that in some of the research when we were, yeah. When I was preparing for this and you know, the likes of Mark for Duker and your sub and Mark Bosnich Frank Farina, there's Heather GORUCK, there's Claire Polkinghorne, uh, Vicki Linton yourself. I mean some fantastic names of Australian football, both women's and men's football. So I have to say that, that, that to me says your influences growing in what you're doing and your beliefs and how you're starting to make an impact. What I'd love to know from you though is first of all, what is this FFA starting 11, you know, for you and how has this been put to you and how can you make an impact in that team?
Speaker 2 30:12 Yes, I still, uh, I do feel very privileged to be in that group because I know that there's plenty of others that could very well be in that group. And it was a huge encouragement to me because I did feel like I'd been shut out of the game somewhat. I put my feelers out there and because perhaps through game play, learn it wasn't seen to be specialized in football. You know, I didn't feel like it was really sad in that my own country and my own sports didn't see the value in what I was bringing. So to be recognized, you know, I know, I do know that there were a few people that understood, I did not miss things, to what extent I'd been doing research and then I've actually been right out there on the edge, but they certainly valued my past. And also what I'm doing at the moment in terms of the grass roots space.
Speaker 2 31:05 So trying to connect with clubs, local coaches, to equip them essentially in trying to make it easier for them, which I feel like gameplay learn does, and then make a better experience for, for everyone and inclusive approach from, you know, from beginners to experienced clients. So I do feel like that was a huge boost to me. And it has been a huge boost to then increase those connections with people saying, Oh, Joey. And then they know that I'm batting for grassroots in there because it's been interesting. We've had our first meeting recently and there was about 20 to 30 of us, including obviously the starting 11 national team coaches and the senior management team. Most interesting thing for me was it was still very performance driven. I was quick to kind of go, Hey guys, appreciate that. We all want to win a world cup.
Speaker 2 31:55 We want to be the world's best, you know, there's performance gaps. But you know, one little weakness that I saw was the lack of diversity in relation to, you know, we're all from that 1% that have made it. And so I'm advocating for the 99 outfit. That what is their experience that provides in itself for me is going to be a long term discussion to try and get people to say from that performance perspective, how crucial a participation is. I'm not saying that they don't value it, but it was interesting that, you know, the first meeting that we had was based around performance aims, but also, you know, there was encouragement there that the FFI have realized, you know, they've been through a tough, had been through the ring up, they realized that they need a new, they called it the new SSI, you know, something that, that we can be proud of as a sport, as a country, you know, everyone can enjoy this game.
Speaker 2 32:59 Everyone has the best of intentions at heart. It is a two year journey apparently with, you know, the starting 11 they've said that. So it's only at the beginning, I am hoping to focus and bring the grassroots to it will be, might continue to be my primary focus. And from that thought, because I believe if we focus on the participation needs of the individuals experience of it being family friendly, then we will see greater performance outcomes. I'm really enjoying just seeing the inside of such an organization like the SSI because of the turmoil they've been through, because they're trying to desire to do the right thing. Um, it also is interesting if we look at, from a management perspective, this top down culture that, you know, we've got to implement things at the top for things to change at the bottom. I don't believe that.
Speaker 2 33:53 And that's why it's not just, I really appreciate people are saying, come on, Joey, you can get in there and change things. And I, trust me, I'm taking that very seriously. I'm signing to do what I can, but also I want to encourage people that they, you know, it's this whole sense of be the change you want to see in the world. It's by peer to P influence it's by doing things and then on the front lines, and that we're going to see the biggest change it's not going to be. And it seems to me, Brandon, I think we're moving away from this sense of a top down hierarchy that the boss makes all the calls and then everyone else has to follow. I'm hoping we're moving away from that. But there seems to be more of this, you know, the sense of facilitation, certainly there's big decisions that do need to be made in a governance level.
Speaker 2 34:42 And I am hoping that we can just tweak a few things, lock the word experiment, bring that word in there so that people don't have to get scared of change, but certainly, really, I mean, going to be enjoying this, this opportunity and seeing what changes come about, but I'm hoping they're not going to be too scary for people that are, might be more of an experimental way of bringing people forward in the game, which is much needed. We're sitting way too. We've been sitting stagnant for quite a long time. So I think that's a good intent of if I did to have this initiative to move forward.
Speaker 1 35:18 I'm really glad you mentioned a point there early on around the, what I could say that the limited focus on grassroots and as a football enthusiast, when I looked at the starting 11, my first thought was fantastic initiative. Then the mind starts to move forward. And as I'm looking at any, and I don't know any of these people on the yeah. In the starting 11, as well as I know you, I know your passion for grassroots, but that was the thing that stood out for me is that I'm not seeing a lot of evidence of them spending a lot of time in that space, like when they finished their career, which is what you've gravitated to. And you've seen the benefit and the value you can draw out in that space. So I really think you've got the biggest challenge on your hands with that end. It's probably the disappointing side for me, as I said, just a football enthusiast to say, I would have loved to have seen far more grassroots representation in that group. So with that in mind, like how do you go about influencing? Because that's a, that's a massive task for you. You are representing a massive part of the Australian football population because that sits predominantly in grassroots football.
Speaker 2 36:22 I do take it very seriously, Brandon, and I feel like he needs to come to some peer to peer influence. So talking with you today, sharing these assumptions and hoping that people will be more open to valuing participation more over performance, even because even, you know, at the grassroots level, we still see it, you know, going to my local club, you know, one of them I had to step away from because they had such a performance mindset of, we want to win as a local club, which has fallen to want to win. There's no problem. Let me tell you, I love winning, but if not, that's what we're saying. It's not all about that. And by focusing on this win and it starts coming as win at all costs, the short term wins affect the longterm. So that's one trying to say, guys, actually, let's focus on the experience, the individual first, rather than looking at teams and results.
Speaker 2 37:18 So we're seeing it, even in glass roots, it's a barrier for people. And so I'm the biggest thing for me for change is to relate to individuals like you. And I'm starting little circles of people. If you like little groups where I'm saying, okay, so what can we do to introduce something that's going to be participation based? And then from there, you know, those people are going out to their connections and saying, Oh, do you guys want to see if we can experiment a little bit with this and focusing on participation, as opposed to the performance breading, this where they feel like of P to P influence with may still then going back to FFI and starting to make sure that I make relationships with people there, because it's just through these conversations that we can start actually looking at things differently. So there is that sense of being able to feel real relationships and they from person to person, and then for the people that are all ready, I've been for that. And perhaps the already dabbling in experimental putting the child first and it's then really encouraging them and doing things with them. But then they go out and influence their network. And they're joining up with people that have the beliefs and values such as participation and individual expression and creativity. So then that's how I feel like we build a network that starts going from being the minority to being hopefully one day a majority
Speaker 1 38:49 From what I'm seeing. And again, our interaction you're making so many right moves. What I want to go to Joey is your ideal outcome for youth development. Is that utopia? What does that look like for you with youth development, particularly in the football culture.
Speaker 2 39:07 There's so many people in the front line that are amazing in terms of their knowledge, their experience, that applicant is the front lines that we should be listening to. Really this top down approach is, is silly. We should be actually looking at the front line. What are you very experienced guys? That's my starting point. What are you experiencing? This is what I feel the problems are. And does that resonate with you? You know, this is the experiment, does that resonate with you? And that tear, we change things. You know, what the best use development would be that the kids are running it themselves. And I guess it fits in with that, the front line. Yeah, kids. What do you want to do? Getting the answer from the front lines, getting the answers from the kids. What do you want, know, how can we set up an environment that is so fun for you?
Speaker 2 39:53 That is enjoyable. That is competitive. That you can be as passionate and competitive as you want, that you can design have drains to be whoever you want. What do you want? And I, and for me, it would be that the kids would be running it, that we would have kids on these starting 11 initiatives advising the FFA or participants, you know, it's participant driving it. But in relation to, you know, the outcomes of the next couple of years, there's a couple of projects that I'm starting already with people. One of it is that transforming that the competition format. So this culture of competitions, I'm always experimented with, go and head on at it. You know, because if you've got, if anyone has experienced sport, where you go down to your local game, you hear a lot of adults yelling, basically be interested if, if anyone goes down and I don't hear any adults yelling and there's more kids noise than adults, that would be cool.
Speaker 2 40:49 Please contact me because you know, it's adults feeling, it's this pressure of winning the short term. Are we going to win today? How are we going to win today? Let's do everything we can to win today. And a lot of parents putting that then pressure on their kids as well as, as the coaches. So I want to hit that, you know, hit on. I want to start at the bottom with the first entry point for footballs, which is usually five-year-olds and change the competition format. And there's plenty of examples around the world. We don't have to reinvent the wheel currently our experiences for before with no goalkeeper. For me, it would be things like a simplest, smallest little detail. But for me it would just mean changing from four before two to <inaudible>, there is a lot, obviously you think of our organization, that's twice as many fields and all the rest of it.
Speaker 2 41:39 And that's where my experience in six cities came, come into it because I see a lot of things that we don't need to worry about in terms of, to burden people with an organization perspective. There's a lot of things we don't have to do such as have sidelines, but that's going into specifics. So even just making small changes like that in a competition setting, we'll then take the focus off the team results onto the individual. So there's always reasons behind the outcomes that I'm looking for. But I want to experiment with hitting at fonts on that competition format, obviously from there, from under five, right up to the kids' experience anyway, which I'm hoping we can link them to 14. That's, that's another on that back end, you know, w we go straight to the adult game to 12, you know, extending that because we basically want to fit the game to the kids.
Speaker 2 42:35 It's like, you know, any analogy, really bicycles, you know, you, don't just Chuck a kid on a big bicycle. You know, we modify the box and actually I'm loving the balance box. Now we say, I take the pedals off because I realized that the importance of balance. So, you know, it's really modifying it to suit the kid. We want to go too quickly to the out version. That's the big one. I've got some other things like the whole coaching culture around, over coaching. So the sense of trying to bring in free play free play would mean setting up an environment where there's no coaching. The kids literally comply. And that's again, offends people that are what we don't need coaches, or that's when I'm saying let's shift to being facilitators. Sean Douglas is the advanced coaching manager in FFA is actually trying to overhaul the whole coach education system because it's finding a lot of flaws in it. There's a lot of synergy between his values and my own as well around, you know, making it more relational to the coach, not just getting them to go through a course and get the accreditation.
Speaker 1 43:43 I can't think of any better person to shine that grassroots torch than yourself. Again, just that passion that comes through what you're doing, you're living and breathing. It, it's a big torch to hold. And I think you're making the right moves to bring the support around you, to help hold that torch and to drive that through the organization. And hopefully Tommy's right. You know, there's a lot of things there it's two years will go really, really quickly, but I'm confident in a person like you. And what I understand and know about you, that if anyone can make some significant inroads in two years, if someone like you. So I think you've got a great opportunity to set that framework and the basis of some great things. If you could share one piece of advice in relation to your space, particularly that youth development and the culture of youth development with parents and coaches, what would that advice be?
Speaker 2 44:28 I stand up quite formal, but to research play more, and this idea around play as learning all, they've encouraged us to find, play for ourselves again as adults, because I feel like we are just missing so much when we move away from this dynamic of PLI. And one of the definitions applies that is self directed. There is autonomy in play. You can do whatever you want to do. And obviously when you start working with others, you need to then negotiate what you're doing. If as parents and as coaches, we can actually research more about play and any fucking point, you guys, to a reference dr. Peter Gray, I call him the professor of play. He's an evolutionary psychologist. So he's going into the whole history of play, but play, it really is to me, the foundation of how we could almost live our lives in terms of what we could learn about loss as self others, and also the missing, which I still like is becoming extinct is the sense of creativity and how structures and everything that we've set ourselves up in society is opposite to this playful.
Speaker 2 45:44 And I wanted, that's what I want to say. Fonts buy for ourselves as adults, because we feel like it's such a, such a kiddie term. So that means don't go and play with your kids and we'll go and play with someone or go out and play, you know, riding your bike, just have that sense of time, either see yourself or connecting with someone else in a playful Stipe. And clitoral means there is no outcome. It is just the sense of being in the moment, the sense of connecting and exploring, you know, yourself, the other person in the world around you. Can we please come back to valuing PLI as a loss online, and then from there also as an actual powerful learning dynamic. So that's what I would point people to let's let's CLI
Speaker 1 46:33 Joey based on today, I reckon there is so many people that would want to get in touch with you. If it's just for, Hey, keep shining that torch officer support, or maybe some people they want to get on board and do some help in the background, if they can. How can people get hold of you?
Speaker 2 46:48 Yes, thanks Brendan. Look, I'm really out of state where I do need help with so many things. I've talked to you a bit about the backend of gameplay learn, but even in sharing this, you know, the value of prayer and I mean, I call it game, play, learn, you know, the sense of value in participation. What I would suggest actually is if this, all this has really resonated with you, if you have already values and beliefs around this, and I would all would actually encourage you to go straight to my Facebook group, GPL facilitated. Now I know Facebook doesn't suit everybody, but that's something that is the easiest platform at the moment to really be able to share or go on almost daily and, and share thoughts around this space and encourage others to do the same as well. So it's a real community. They go straight to that and join it.
Speaker 2 47:37 If you already have similar values, if this is something that is new to you and you, but you're very curious that you want to know more about the sense of valuing PLI and, and participation and getting away from all the pressures of, of sport and outcomes and performance. I would encourage you to subscribe to my website, gameplay, learn.net. And that's where I'll want to be able to start introducing people to a journey that having little things like online courses, where you can really challenge yourself and apply it in your own context. And of course, there's social platforms. I love Twitter. I would actually encourage you to go on Twitter again, if this is very new to you, Twitter was where I did most of my research. There are guys on there, like Marco Sullivan and it's to Stuart Armstrong who, who are already in this space of sharing articles and research around, you know, their experiences.
Speaker 2 48:34 And you know, that, that gives us a bit more meat to understand a lot of, of where our culture is coming from and the culture of sport and people as well. So Twitter and other social Instagram, I'm still trying to reach out a bit more to the kids' space there. So if you know how to reach kids, cause that's important as well. Yeah. I'd love people to be able to in the end, look, if you want to send me an email, [email protected]
, that's cool as well. I'm finding it. I am getting more time for, to do individual work, but Hey, you know, I love at least reading them. I don't know if I can get back to them, but I love hearing people's stories of how they've been inspired, what they're doing and if I can at least connect people into this network. Yeah. We're really gonna looking at creating a movement, which is moving. We want to move forward. We want to move to society forward sport forward to make it, you know, a better experience. So yeah. Look forward to meeting a lot more people from this. Hopefully Brandon,
Speaker 1 49:37 Thanks for sharing those channels to get hold of you. What I want to say, just to close off again, that movement, you are a great leader in that movement. You're a champion on the field. And I think that you have a massive opportunity and I'm already seeing signs of, of the champion that you are and can continue to develop being off the field and actually change our game and particularly the grassroots foundation forever. So keep up the great work, keep up the movement and let's drive this thing forward. Well done, Joey,
Speaker 2 50:06 Thank you so much, Brandon luck. It really does mean a lot to me, everything you've been saying and the encouragement, it can get quite frustrating and seem a little bit lonely, but certainly at the moment there seems to be this ground swell of people that are anticipating change, whether it's because of COVID, it's an exciting time. So I really appreciate this opportunity to share people and, you know, encourage everyone else to do this. Cause it is just, it is so worth it. So thank you so much, Brendan.
Speaker 3 50:45 I was lucky enough to first meet Joey in 2012, she was coaching my son and daughter and her passion, her enthusiasm, her love for football and youth development was obvious. You could say she's a bit of a diamond in the rough. And I mean that as a compliment, Joey is honest, compassionate, and her drive to bring out the creative genius in each person, young or old is inspiring. I've been so fortunate to help Joey along in her journey. She has helped me look at my own work, through the lens of play and experimenting. I look forward to seeing what she achieves in the coming years with gameplay learn and her FFA starting 11 position. What I know is that every child involved at a grassroots football level is unbelievably lucky to have someone like Joey. Peter's going into bat for them to make their experience fun.
Speaker 3 51:41 These were my three key takeaways from my chat with Joey. My first key takeaway leaders are facilitators of learning. When we are leading a team, are we telling or asking? When we ask, we nurture and maximize the potential of each individual, we should be in the background and put people in the team. First, it's important to take your ego out of it. Teams do well. If you let them work it out on their own. My second key takeaway leaders get out on the front line. Real leaders will go to the front line and get a good understanding of what is happening by speaking to people. Joey says this top down approach is silly and I have to agree with her. It doesn't work. Leaders have to get out and ask questions, questions like what are you experiencing? What is working, what isn't working, how can it be improved as a leader?
Speaker 3 52:49 You shouldn't be stuck in an office. You need to be out experiencing the real world. My third key takeaway leaders will allow teams to play and create. Joey says the word play with such enthusiasm. She does an almost daily video on a Facebook page where she is just filming her daily walk with a little girl playing, watching. It brings such valuable insights to the value of play discovery and experimentation. I know through my own experience with teams, the great ones are self directed. When a great team is trying to solve an issue, it is like they are playing. Everyone is engaged in generating ideas. It is vital for leaders to create environments for play and creativity. So in summary leaders are facilitators of learning leaders. Get out onto the front line. Leaders will allow teams to play and create. If you have any questions or feedback about this episode, please feel free to send me a [email protected]
Thank you for listening. Stay safe until next time.
Speaker 0 54:13 Thank you for listening to the cultural things podcast with Brendan Rogers, please visit Brendan rogers.com to access the show notes. If you love the cultural things podcast, please subscribe, rate, and give her a review on Apple podcast and remember healthy culture is your competitive advantage.