Mark O'Meley and a number of other high-profile coaches urged youngsters in Dubbo to think differently about decisions they make on and off the field during an New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) academy session on Thursday.
The NSW Blues under 20s coach promoted a more relaxed and less structured approach to the game on the field while at Apex Oval, while the day also involved a number of education seminars.
The ball skill sessions were paired with education seminars run by Quit B Fit, with a focus on healthy choices and living.
"Playing is education as well," the former Australian prop said.
"If we can help make them better people and make better choices, because they make choices on the football field too as they do in life.
"There's a lot of different aspects so we're just trying to give the kids as much info as we can so hopefully they make the right choices.
"We just want to show these kids different ways to think in the game of rugby league."
O'Meley is someone worth listening too, as well.
The former Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters prop brought together some of the best young talents in the game earlier this month as coach of the NSW under 20s.
His approach to that role was much more about team culture, putting an emphasis on accountability and working for each rather than structured play.
The focus on Thursday was similar, with communication with the players alongside you one of the things he was keen to promote the most, along with backing yourself when a chance presents itself.
"We're trying to get kids away from win-at-all-cost coaches, we want kids to play footy, enjoy it, and love it," he said.
"And the best part of footy is playing eyes up, getting the structure out, and playing what's in front of you.
"These kids have got the skill but they've been drummed into set plays that they don't play to their strengths.
"It's hard because you've got to strip them right back, build their confidence and then watch them progress."
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Structured play is something juniors focus on too much in training, according to O'Meley.
"We train for it probably 90 percent of the time and that doesn't make much sense," he said.
"Basic fundamentals and errors in the play the ball and forward passes, we don't work enough on that so my philosophy is about getting the basics and culture right and the boys will play for each other."
Roughly 50 juniors were in attendance for the academy session, with both male and female players taking part.
O'Meley was one of the main attractions, having played more than 200 matches in the NRL.
As well as that, he represented NSW 10 times and played 15 Test matches for the Australian Kangaroos.
He's now a rookie coach, having led a NSW 20s team featuring Dubbo product Matt Burton to a 26-10 win over Queensland.