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Fun weekend of workhops in the South West
8 March 2012
by Amber Bradley
Plenty of fun was had in Bunbury over the weekend of 25 and 26th February. So much so that I'm going to put in an application to have the town's name from Bunbury to Funbury!
Kate Bobridge and myself representing the Developing Champions program led three workshops over the weekend. All were held at the ECU Campus on the outskirts of town.

On Saturday arvo, Kate and I presented the core foundation units (Understanding Me, Managing Me & My Pathway) to 17 budding young athletes from a range of sports across the South West.

And on Sunday, Kate and I spent five solid hours working with six keen individuals (including two squash players, two swimmers, 1 cricketer and 1 hockey player), covering five core elective units, as follows:
* Managing My Body
* Communication
* Me; You; Everyone
* Mental Skills for My Performance
* A Positive Me

Managing My Body - This topic covered injury prevention and injury management and the importance of carrying out a proper warm up before every training session. We discussed the difference between static and dynamic stretching. We also discussed the importance of recovery, with the best forms of recovery being sleep, nutrition, hydration and stretching/self massage.

Communication - Active listening was described by Kate as a very powerful tool used by counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists to help others feel like they are really important and their needs are being met. Kate encouraged the athletes to use active listening in the future to help build effective relationships.

Me; You; Everyone - The topic is all about relationships. The support network for the young athlete may include family members, their coach, their teacher or boss, sports science and medical staff. It may also include staff from the South West Sports Academy or their State Sporting Association.
Mental Skills - All athletes were in agreeance that a huge percentage of one's sporting performance could be attributed to mental skills, as compared to physical skills. Yet the majority of the participants said they spent no time specifically devoted to improving their mental skills. We all train hard. At the end of the day, your performance will come down to your mental aptitude!

A Positive Me - While we had a fun time playing a couple of games of celebrity head, there was an important message to come of it. We discussed the importance of having positive role models (such as Oprah Winfrey, Cadel Evans, Chris Judd and the Dalai Lama). And while the athletes also said they looked up to the older people in their particular sport, I reminded them that they were in fact role models to those even younger than themselves!

We finished the session with some goal setting and performance planning. It is really important to set SMART goals, i.e ...


Kate ran a one hour session with some parents of South West athletes to conclude the weekend.
During this time, parents shared the view that it is really difficult for young athletes to juggle all the demands they are met with, including school, training for their main sport, training for other sports, family commitments and a social life.

Unfortunately their is no magic formula for this, but the Developing Champions program will continue to encourage young athletes to be organised and manage their time effectively and continue to work on their communication skills.

Well done to all the athletes and parents involved in the program over the weekend.

We wish you a long and successful sporting career!

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