People who are committed to their environments and the people within them

Tribal qualities can be developed through the incorporation of:

  • Team-building
  • Relationship-building
  • Mentoring


Team-building can be achieved through the creation of rituals. Rituals are a way to make people feel like they belong to a tribe. They also create a sense of connection and safety.

Many NWSF clubs have consistent traditions that are passed on from team to team. Here is an example of North Epping Rangers singing the team song in the changeroom after a win…

…but rituals can also be smaller, more personal moments, like this NWS Spirit coach developing a secret handshake for his U9s team.


Relationships can be fostered in a team environment through careful care and attention. Purposefully developing these can help players feel supported and cared for, potentially creating more positive experiences in the environment.

A great way to build relationships is to find time prior to the start of sessions (or even at the end) to speak to players. It can be very powerful to ask questions about their lives outside of football; for young kids, this may be asking about school or their interests. For older players, it may be about their families or work lives.


Mentoring is a powerful way to personally develop individuals. This can be done through formal and informal programs within the environment.

An example of an effective mentoring program is NWS Spirit’s leadership teams. Each team within the Spirit and AYL programs votes for a four-player leadership group. These leaders are then provided with ongoing mentoring from age groups above, as well as the First Grade leadership teams.

A potential way to develop mentoring in an NWSF club is to utilise Premier League or Super League squads to support younger teams.