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Effective communication – an emerging force in high performance
6 February 2017

Rugby WA: Advanced Elective Workshop

6 February 2017, RugbyWA
Story by Cruz Hogan, WAIS Athletics (Javelin) Athlete 
To enhance their communication skills the Emerging Force development squad attended a Developing Champions ‘Advanced Electives’ workshop at Rugby WA headquarters at HBF Stadium on the 6thof February, 2017. Lead facilitator Jesse Phillips and myself initiated discussions on what constitutes positive team communication and the importance of recognising and utilising different communication strategies depending upon the context of the situation. To further appreciate the importance of communication strategies, athletes were provided behavioural style questionnaires to understand their own communication style, before recognising the other styles that exist and the strategies that could be utilised to effectively communicate to these people (I.e. their coach, support staff, team-mates, teacher, boss etc.).


Whilst communication is essential in a successful team environment, this must coincide with effective relationships among all members of the team. Athletes discussed the importance of interpersonal interactions among not only the players in their team, but the coaching and support staff, and how these relationships will inevitably lead to a dynamic, cohesive team environment. To demonstrate the importance of interpersonal interactions within a team, athletes were given 20 marshmallows and 40 pieces of spaghetti and were split into teams with one instruction; build the tallest free standing structure in 10 minutes. It was refreshing to see all athletes taking a very task-orientated approach, where leaders emerged within each group and all athletes worked cohesively to build the highest tower. As you would expect from a group of competitive teenage boys, this activity brought some fierce competition and plenty of enjoyment!


The session finished off with discussions on personal branding and promoting yourself in a way in which creates a positive image and reputation among peers and the wider community through social media platforms.

I wish all the best to the young athletes involved with this workshop, they should be commended for their high level of respect and team unity that they displayed. Good luck for the future!

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