Yes, everyone loves a winner, but a ‘win at all costs’ mantra comes at a cost.


It creates unease and distress, translating into:
  • Excessive pressure on coaches
  • Unnecessary, unfair pressure on players (especially juniors)
  • Unbalanced playing time
  • Unfair team selection, particularly at finals time
  • Compromising player wellbeing (playing injured players, for example)
  • Disregard for club values and it’s mission.


A ‘win-only’ measure of success is a narrow lens through which to measure all the amazing things your club can achieve.

When your club aspires to be a place of deep respect, safety and fair play, people are more likely to taste success both on and off the field. 

There are significant success outcomes for clubs which create a culture where people are encouraged to show positive regard for one another, prioritising community above all else.


These outcomes are:
  • Increased membership
  • Fewer breaches of the club’s Code of Conduct
  • Greater financial security
  • Volunteer retention 
  • Regular supporter attendance 
  • Positive community-wide regard for the club.


These outcomes, and winning, are not mutually exclusive.

Clubs which prioritise creating respectful culture also are more likely to achieve the on-field success sought by every club.




They become a ‘destination club’; a place well known for connection, belonging, collaboration, safety, enjoyment and respect.

One where people, including high quality players, coaches, and volunteers, want to be. 



To translate this idea of success into a reality:

  • Step 1- Identify and articulate your club’s measures of success

    Make sure that they sit comfortably with your club’s mission and values.

    Here’s a checklist to start the ball rolling.

  • Step 2- Promote them
    • At the beginning and end of each season.
    • To new coaches and officials, volunteers, players and their families.
    • At your annual club event(s).
  • Step 3- Celebrate and reward success

    When members achieve success, individually or as teams, celebrate and reward them!

    • Have weekly awards for performances that align with your success criteria.
    • Monitor for milestones (length of membership, length of volunteer service, number of new members).
    • Celebrate these awards and their recipients across all of your platforms; on noticeboards, in newsletters, and on your social media.