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Developing Champions workshops heat up with netball!
19 February 2011

By Brendan Murray: WAIS Rower

I was reminded of the training rides up Welshpool road as I drove towards the Ray Owen Sprots Centre. Needles to say, the ascent was markedly easier and made for a more valuable and enjoyable experience.

The first presentation in the new Developing Champions format kicked off favorably amongst the members of the Under 19 and Under 17 netball squads. The athletes came in fresh from a training session and had a real look of anticipation about them. As the excited chatter died down and the girls took to their water bottles and post-training snacks, Kate (Bobridge: Developing Champions Program Coordinator) started proceedings by introducing the new program. Shortly after the introductions, the athletes went to work on their sporting pathway, helping to identify where they currently stand, and the opportunities ahead.

We then moved on to examine time commitments and the need for balance. This coincided with some colourful calenders and weekly planners illustrating the different commitments required of a busy athlete. The pencils were put down for a brief time as Kate communicated the importance of moods, confidence and general self awareness in the ʻUnderstanding Meʼ section. The room came alive as a drawing competition was called, much like a game of pictionary. Shrieks of laughter and excitement were heard as the scribes drew various moods that were to be identified by bamboozled team mates. Despite the creativity behind a ʻbubblyʼ fish, the winner was the simple happiness of a smile =)

After a slight break, the workbooks again proved invaluable as the athletes undertook some self exploration which included identifying their goals. The girls were also shown how their sporting and professional careers influence each other, especially when it comes to writing a resume or applying for a job.

As the session progressed, the floor became the favored place to sit as it offered a better place to contemplate the issues surrounding transitions and decision making. Clearly, the floor came out on top when contrasted with the chair. This really added to the casual environment and offered a feeling of relaxed learning.

I think two of the most important messages from the session were the importance of organisation and balance in a busy young life and how - when these are processed and come together - it has a positive effect on sporting performance and life in general.

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