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Minding Your Manners in Mandurah
13 September 2018

Peel Regional Academy of Sport: Communication Workshop

Story by Kat Downie, WAIS and Australian Swim Team

13 September 2018, Mandurah


It was great to be back down in Mandurah, this time with the enthralling Jesse Philips (an incredible athlete turned coach) for the second installment of the Developing Champions workshop! I love working with these kids. As a facilitator it’s so great to have a diverse, engaging crowd of young aspiring athletes. It makes the workshop fun and exciting.


This particular workshop was about communication, specifically why it is important and how to do it effectively.


I find communication to be a key factor in helping find a balance between your sport and your life (education/career/work). If an athlete puts in just a little more effort, plans ahead and communicates effectively, people (ie teachers/parents/coaches) are more likely to offer assistance with any complications and overlaps.


The athletes had a couple of different activities to participate in. During the first activity, they were required to line up in order of birthdate without communicating verbally. They were the fastest, most successful group that I’ve seen! Congrats guys. This taught them that body language and non verbal communication is also a great tool in effective communication.


The second activity was centred around how to be respectful when communicating during emotionally challenging situations. Sport, by default, is generally a physically and emotionally fueled activity. During sport athletes will have to engage with teammates, referees and opposition. Jesse and I had the room brain storm ways on how to be respectful on and off the field of play. It’s a great way to get the kids to think.


We also had a great discussion around the impact of social media on athletes. Discussing how it can be a platform for sponsors and athletes in a symbiotic relationship but also how it can be detrimental to an athletes reputation if they aren’t careful. I, for one, enjoy having two separate accounts on most of my social media platforms to help keep my private life separate from my public life. Jesse and I stressed how important it is to always keep updating your privacy settings across all social media platforms.


All in all the kids did a really great job and even laughed at some of Jesse's jokes. Wishing you guys all the best in your future endeavours!

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