A junior touch football coach in Wagga lives out the saying that actions speak more loudly than words.
Matt Shannon has been deaf from birth, but that certainly hasn’t stopped him from stepping up and coaching his daughter’s team.
Shannon has been playing and refereeing touch for many years, and so naturally when his six-year old was old enough to play, he took on a coaching role.
Initially the kids struggled to interpret his gestures, but with a bit of help from parents it didn’t take long before they knew exactly what he wanted from them.
They’re completely quiet when he's teaching, their eyes are glued to him.- Casey Eldridge
“I show kids how to play correctly, how to pass, touch, defend and roll the ball,” Shannon said via email.
“He’s unreal, he’ll show them how to do it, instead of trying to tell them,” parent Leanne Charlton said.
The kids look up to him, and always listen intently when he’s communicating.
“It’s changed the way they behave, they’re completely quiet when he's teaching, their eyes are glued to him,” parent Casey Eldridge said.
Shannon’s a stickler for good technique.
“He’s a fair coach, if they’re doing anything wrong, he’ll pull them up for it,” Eldridge said. “Considering his disability i think he does a terrific job, the kids love him.”
The under eights mixed team has had unprecedented success since adopting Shannon as a coach.
The team hadn’t dropped a game all season until their maiden loss last week.
“Last year we were losing quite a few games,” Eldridge said.
Though he has coached the NSW deaf touch football team in the 2004/5 National Deaf Touch Championship this is the most rewarding thing he’s ever done.
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