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How to get drafted to the AFL

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Fewer than 150 young men and women were lucky enough to be chosen in last year's AFL drafts. That’s only 150 out of the thousands of football players around the country. So how come those players were chosen over the many others who were nominated for the draft? What makes those footballers good enough to be drafted while everyone else is thinking “why not me”?

Some of you might say that they are lucky enough to be blessed with genetics or talents which others just couldn’t compete with. While this is partially true, there are many amazingly gifted young footballers who have more talent than 99.9% of the population who never end up getting drafted. On the flip side, there are many stories of footballers with significantly less talent who end up on an AFL list. The people who are on an AFL list didn’t get there by accident. There are reasons as to why they are the ones getting their names read out on draft night while others are devastated that they missed their chance.

Genetics aside, there are many ways in which you can significantly improve your chances of getting drafted. Things that don’t require any talent at all and just require you to be willing to put in the work to get the most out of yourself?

7 Ways to improve your chances of getting drafted:

  • Improve your physical abilities - Everything from running, jumping and endurance can all be trained by working in partnership with a Sport Performance Coach. If you’d like help with your training or want a program click HERE.

  • Work on mindset - The mind plays a bigger role than you think, working on your mindset can have huge impacts on your performance. Ask us how we can help with mindset training.

  • Develop elite recovery practices - Recovering better means you can train and play better.

  • Seek feedback - ask as many questions as possible from coaches, athletes you look up to and those in your support network.

  • Sacrifice something - what are you willing to give up in order to reach your dream?

  • Learn as much as you can - “knowledge is power” and enables you to develop a growth mindset.

  • Develop habits of an elite athlete - good habits are what will help you supercharge your athlete career. Get our eBook “The Athlete Life - Top 10 tips for developing elite habits” HERE.

If you want to get drafted, and I mean really want it, then the biggest thing standing in your way is yourself. The limits we put on ourselves as athletes and humans is why so many people never reach their full potential. Just because you might miss out on being drafted at 18, it doesn’t mean that your chance is gone. More and more players are getting drafted at a mature age these days. We all develop at different rates and some people take a little longer to show just what they are capable of.

Don’t ever give up on your dream. Never take no for an answer. If you want it badly enough, then go out there and make it happen, because no one’s going to put in the work for you.

Join our NEXA Sports Performance Telegram channel HERE to get a whole lot of content to help you improve your football performance on and off the field.


Ben Haren

Former Sydney Swans AFL Player

NEXA Performance Coach

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