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Off the sand and into the classroom to set goals for our sporting future
13 February 2016


VOLLEYBALL, Advanced Core workshop; 13 February 2016

Department of Sport and Recreation

story by Andrew Ford, Water Polo WAIS scholarship holder



On Saturday 13th February members of the Volleyball participated in the second core unit of the Developing Champions workshops. As this was my first session involved with the program I couldn’t have wished for a better group of engaged young athletes. With two previous seminars under their belt, they were more than comfortable with the format of the program.



To begin we spoke about sources of stress in and out of competition. For athletes stress is a part of our lives but the source of our stress can vary from person to person. The group discussed where expectations for performance can influence them and where they might arise. Familiar sources such as coaches, team mates and family were common answers. The group was taught to be cautious to focus on how to perform rather than what the result shouldbe.


An important skill to learn as developing athletes is the level of arousal which results in their best performance output. Techniques of stress management are invaluable to this and the athletes were familiar with listening to music and deep breathing. A new experience to the group was a progressive muscle relaxation session which can be used to calm themselves before competition. Also unfamiliar was the use of visualisation. Personally I can vouch for how valuable this in my training and competition and the group was keen to incorporate into their routines.


The developing champions program is keen to deliver skills to assist the athletes on the sand and/or court but importantly outside of the sporting arena. Time management was a large part of the discussions to begin the day. All athletes were either juggling significant training requirements with either school or university. Sources of time wasting that the group identified ranged from their phones to cooking. By the end of the day everyone had pledged to the group something that they would either give up, or reduce in their daily life to allow for better sleep patterns and a more balances schedule.


The athletes were lastly asked to set some short term and long term goals. Most young athletes will know of goal setting but the important lesson learnt was that knowing where you want to get to is only half the process. The group was encouraged to think of the processes they might take to improve their game to the next, elite level.

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