MELBOURNE’S David Neitz Academy (DNA) is designed to help the club’s up and coming players reach their potential.
Consisting of youngsters in their first three seasons on the list, the DNA has weekly sessions run by Development Coach, Mark Williams.
And the individual growth comes in many ways, shapes and forms, with the activities challenging a variety of skillsets.
“Each time [the players] move up they take a leadership role and start to evolve their leadership,” Williams told Melbourne Media.
“I think that really works for the entire group.
“Leaders are built through the system.
“We do some things in regard to getting up and speaking in front of people.
“They certainly learn how to use the Champion Data [program] and edit their own tapes.
“They learn to speak in front [of people] … and get given feedback on how they present.
“We use the other people in the organisation, whether it’s the psychologist or dieticians.
“Last week we went and talked about takeaways and went to a food court.
“They could choose some stuff and come back and say why this was appropriate or not to eat.”
These sessions help build the players’ knowledge around becoming a complete athlete and person, while also developing their football IQ.
“It is like a classroom, but obviously I’m respectful of how old they are and what they’ve done already,” Williams said.
“Goody (Simon Goodwin) is always pushing the fact that when he comes and watches the twos, they’re playing the right way so that when they finally get selected, they can just cruise in ... and do the role the person before them was doing.”
To hear more from Williams about the growth of the club’s youth, watch the interview below.