Whilst this week has been quite disrupted in terms of classroom teaching and learning, there have been some wonderful events celebrated by the staff and students. On Tuesday morning, the whole College gathered upon the shores of the bay in front of the College to participate in our Anzac commemorative service. It was a magnificent setting with weather to match. Our ceremony also included students from Cadet Corps forming a catafalque party as a part of the service. They were very good. We were also very fortunate to have Major Siobhan Trim from the Australian Army as well as...
Whilst this week has been quite disrupted in terms of classroom teaching and learning, there have been some wonderful events celebrated by the staff and students. On Tuesday morning, the whole College gathered upon the shores of the bay in front of the College to participate in our Anzac commemorative service. It was a magnificent setting with weather to match. Our ceremony also included students from Cadet Corps forming a catafalque party as a part of the service. They were very good. We were also very fortunate to have Major Siobhan Trim from the Australian Army as well as Mr Doug Warden, Mr Cooney and representatives from the Sandgate RSL, Mr John Lakey and Mr John Caruana (Past Servicemen and Grandparents), as well as The Hon Stirling Hinchcliffe (Member for Sandgate) and Ms Anika Wells representing Hon Wayne Swan’s Office. Mr Adrian Jager gave the Anzac address to the students. He was a naval officer for eleven years in many bases across the country and is currently a parent within our community. Adrian gave an excellent speech connecting the Anzac legend and attributes into our everyday lives. The following day, we had many students march and attend the local Sandgate service. The College Drum Corps also played during the local dawn service as well as the march. Mitchell Bell, one of our Year 10 students, played the last post during our College as well as the Sandgate service.
After the College celebration on Tuesday, staff and students walked to Curlew Park for our Inter-House Cross Country meeting. Once again, this was a very enjoyable occasion and all our young men participated and seemed to enjoy the day. I would like to particularly thank Mr Doug Locke and his team from the sports office for planning the day and the Property and Services team for all their assistance with the team at Curlew Park in setting up for the events.
This Saturday night, our Year 12 students have their formal. I hope that each of the young men present, and their partners, enjoy a great night.
On Thursday morning, we held our Spirit Assembly for Chess, Football and Rugby. During the assembly members of the Open Chess team, the First XI Football team and the First XV Rugby team were introduced to the students and teaching staff. Ben Peachey (Chess), Daniel Champness (Football) and Cruz Alexander and Morgan Prendergast (Rugby) were also recognised as captains for their sports or activities.
During the Assembly I spoke to the students about our standards and expectations around sportsmanship and their responsibility to model these standards each week. Student representation of our College is not something to be taken for granted or seen as doing the College a favour but rather an important part of being a member of our community. I reminded the students that these teams are our College teams and I would hate to have to ask them not to play anymore due to their behaviour on the fields. Once again, I ask all adult spectators to model these standards to the young men in the way that we respect the officials and opposition players and supporters.
During the Assembly, I also spoke to the young men about “coach-killers”. These are players with great talent, but squander it in a team environment because they cannot work with the other members of the team or the coach. I read an excerpt from as letter written by an American College Football Coach to a school player that he declined a scholarship. The messages for our young men include:
- Joining a team is about working with the coach and others NOT about them working for me;
- The coach makes the decisions and I listen and learn;
- Being a good team member is a lot more than being a talented athlete – teams thrive on positive attitudes and comradery;
- Respect is the key to what we do – respect officials, coaches, opponents and teammates;
- Leave your ego on the sideline NOT your values and intellect!
I have included the excerpt that was read below.
Our staff have reviewed your stats and you-tube highlights. All are impressive, but of course we had to see you compete. Unfortunately, the highlight film you left us with that was edited to perfection to omit mistakes, was unhelpful.
I made the trip to watch your game live, so I could determine if your resume matched your talent. After observing only a few minutes of the team warm-up, I noted that you were clearly the most gifted on your squad. However, your talent was unfortunately overshadowed by the lack of energy and effort you displayed.
At halftime, the team huddled up and as always when observing recruits, I honed- in carefully on your demeanor and body language. I watched you walk in the opposite direction of your teammates and take a seat on the bench away from the group. You did not return to the team circle until prompted by your assistant coach. As the head coach spoke, I observed you break off into a private conversation with another teammate, rather than offering the coach your attention.
In the second half, when you scored I noticed you waited for the other players to huddle around you and celebrate. In contrast, when a teammate scored, you retreated to your position without acknowledging or congratulating them.
You added much depth in the scoring category with some impressive runs but when you made mistakes you became vocal and eager to point out where your teammates needed to improve. You had moments of greatness, but they were followed by sporadic lulls of half-hearted effort.
I found it disappointing that you did not seem interested in the half-time or post game team discussion but rather spoke to friends and your father instead. I also watched as your mother brought over snacks and saw that you made no effort to assist her in bringing those large containers of cupcakes from the bleachers out to your 40 other teammates. Last, as the rest of the team broke the field down and put equipment away, you found a quiet spot on the empty bench to text on your phone.
Perhaps as a high school-age athlete, these are behaviors you are simply unaware of. In a world where you are being taught about mastering a sport, so much practice and dialogue in character building is diminishing. I realize that you have been told repeatedly by many of your previous coaches that you are amazing in your sport. However, players like you, with similar demeanor are a dime a dozen.
Since you have been a star in your sport for quite a while with coaches and parents who have clearly allowed these details to slip through the cracks also, you are not entirely to blame. However, please bear in mind, none of this makes you a bad person only potentially, a bad teammate. The attributes I am judging you on happen to be far more important than any of your trophies or representative team selections.
There is no doubt you are talented. However, from my experience, here are the 10 things I know about athletes like you.
- Your incredible talent is the same talent that in your senior year will suddenly suffer an ego blow when a new and younger Year 11 or 10 students has equal or greater talent. Battling your feeling of ownership over your position and feeling threatened is inevitable.
- Rather than working hard to better your game, you are more likely to be the athlete that is constantly comparing your success to others rather than focusing on growth for yourself. This will become a tedious and exhausting process for your coaches and team to constantly have to reassure you of your self- worth and value.
- As those around you put in the work, rather than be grateful to be surrounded by a committed group of individuals who share common goals, you are more likely to resent them and seek out allies to split the team support in half and create locker room chatter.
- In the event you see time on the bench you may not be emotionally prepared, willing to engage or support the teammate who is starting over you. Also, it is likely you will find it challenging to support the success your team obtains when they win without you on the field.
- When you become unhappy with your own performance you are more likely to blame your coach, teammates or anyone other than yourself.
- Since your previous coaches and adult guidance have fallen short in emphasizing the importance of accountability, you will likely be that much more of a challenge for our staff and program to work with.
- Aside from your time in school, the end goal of being a student who is a good athlete is to get a good education while playing a sport you love. If your goal as an athlete-student is to get a starting position while earning an education you tolerate, your goals will be out of alignment with the program from the start.
- Athletes who truly work for their program become stronger people who work well with others and are able to admit their weaknesses in order to improve. If I am forced to spend your senior years trying to catch you up on late lessons of being accountable and respectful, it is probable you will feel that you have had a bad senior year because of the lack of respect shown to you.
- Athletes are treasured in the workforce and therefore, you are likely to land a job after you graduate. However, if you fail to get along with those in our program you are prone to carrying this over into your professional life. If you are unhappy with your boss or coworker you will be more likely to find yourself unequipped to work through your problem without soliciting complaining or quitting.
- By choosing not to recruit you, I am saving my team culture. On the bright side, perhaps if you are rejected this will be your first opportunity to face adversity and grow from it.
I recognize that it is possible you could change with guidance by coming to our program. However, the investment on my end presents high risk to the health of team morale, my livelihood and sanity. In my younger coaching years, I believed far too often that many like you were capable of transformation. Over time, without consistent support from parents, the administration the whole program I have watched colleagues, good coaches lose or leave their jobs when athletes like you or your parents are unsatisfied. I am a coach who is actively making the choice to choose ethics and attitude joined with talent over simply talent alone.
This afternoon we host Villanova College in Chess, and tomorrow we host them at Curlew Park for all Rugby fixtures and the senior Football games. We have a record number of students involved in these activities this year and I look forward to catching up with many of you on Saturday.
Live Jesus in our Hearts!