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Balance in & out of the water: Water Polo session
4 March 2011


story by Fiona Boyce: Hockeyroos team member

Who would have thought that three hours on a Friday night of a long weekend at Perth’s home of Water Polo, the Sports Lotteries House, could have been so engaging, rewarding and enjoyable?
The Under 18 developing Water Polo champions arrived early, eager and ready to learn and develop into future champions. The Developing Champions program gave the athletes an opportunity to get relevant and invaluable skills for their future journey as elite athletes. The program gave the athletes a base to obtain a skill set to cope with the pressures and problems of elite sport.
The athletes were encouraged to maintain a balanced life after school and develop skills such as resilience, strength of character and persistence that are invaluable skills applicable both inside and outside of sport. Importantly, the athletes were also taught how to reduce and deal with stress. They were encouraged to use the resources available to them and be organised and time efficient in order to reduce stress and maintain a balanced, healthy life.
The program was a good mixture of practical and theoretical components ensuring that the athletes were engaged and interacting whilst also listening and absorbing valuable information. As well as an interactive presentation, the athletes played a version of "mood pictionary” and drew their weekly calendars to help with their organisational skills. Breaks in the program gave the athletes an opportunity to informally discuss important issues such as life after school and transferring skills developed during sport to a resume and workplace.
In summary, the Developing Champions program is an invaluable program that provides a base to obtain a skills set applicable to sport and life generally, and adequately prepares the athletes for the rollercoaster ride of a journey to becoming an elite athlete. Importantly, the program emphasised maintaining and reducing stress, having a balanced life and knowing and controlling your emotional state and needs.
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