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Positivity Breeds Success

Earlier this week I spoke to our rugby and football players and cross country runners about their progress thus far this season and identified a few trends across our sporting program that I wanted to celebrate and some that I wanted to challenge.

I am inherently a positive person, so I began with acknowledging the may great things that our boys are doing well, and in particular acknowledge our Under 16 rugby team and our Year 10 and 11 Football teams for their attendance and participation in training. I also commended our Under 16 rugby team on the positive team culture that has been created by coach Will Findlay and the boys in this team.

The areas that I challenged our boys in are essentially attitude, commitment and pride. There are many boys who demonstrate these characteristics day in day out. Boys who turn up early, stay late, wear their uniform with pride, tackle every task with determination and resilience. Boys who conduct themselves on and off the field in a manner that promotes positivity and team cohesion. The fact that there are essentially two different dynamics within our teams and squads isn’t a problem. In fact, it is the very reason that we offer a wide and varied co-curricular program. Within this dichotomy lies opportunity for both growth and leadership. Every single one of our boys has huge potential. Some are further along their journey to realising it than others. Some are still learning exactly what it is they can uniquely contribute to develop a positive team environment.

Sport, like music isn’t the objective in itself, rather it is the vehicle or platform that provides us with the opportunity to learn, to grow, to experience success and failure, to form strong relationships and to experience the thrills, passion and excitement that cannot be found in any other context.

The standard you walk past, is the standard that we accept’

I challenged the boys to take responsibility for educating each other and holding each other accountable. By upstanding rather than by-standing and challenging each other around training attendance, on field conduct, attitude at training, treatment of their brothers and the pride they in they way they present themselves, the boys take ownership of setting and maintaining a high standard. As ever with our boys, I know that they will rise to the challenge.

At the risk of possibly putting people offside, there is one area that I would like to gently challenge, because I would be “accepting the standard that I walk past” if I don’t. I would like to name the number of absences this weekend from sporting teams. As a person who chooses to work long hours outside of work hours, the value that I place on time with my family is huge. Those who know me, know that any chance I get the camper is hitched up, the rods go on the racks and I head away for some precious family time in the bush or at the beach. I have also been guilty of parking a fully loaded ute and boat next to a cricket field on the last game of the year to allow for a quick getaway!

I am also cognisant that each family’s opportunity to take those precious moments away together differ greatly and this weekend may well be the only opportunity for a long time. With this in mind however, I am also very conscious that teams who usually have 2-3 reserves are in many cases this weekend playing with the bare 15, 12, 11 or 9 players (depending on the sport and format) or in some cases, a player or two short. My intent is not to point fingers, lay blame or create guilt, rather to flag the impact that this does have on others and ask in future that if possible, parents park the boat, camper, caravan, car, trail bikes or jet ski next to the field and make a quick getaway after the game!

I came across this YouTube clip a few weeks ago and it resonated with me. Regardless of the context, the 10 points covered in this very quick video summarise perfectly how we can achieve positive team culture in co-curricular life at the College.

As a reflective person, my initial thought was “How well am I doing these things myself?” I have a couple of six-hour bus rides ahead with our Jazz Orchestra this weekend, and I intend spending a fair bit of time thinking about this!

Last week a couple of our quality sportsmen Mitchell Densley and Tim Geers represented Queensland at the National Triathlon Championships in Penrith. Racing in the bottom age of his category, Mitch experienced some of the challenges that elite level sport and triathlons can throw at you and still managed to place a very respectable 15th in the country. Tim had a sensational race coming 6th in Australia. Through individual races and relays, both boys contributed to QLD taking out the championships for the 13th year running. Both boys have come back from the event with a fire lit in their bellies to train harder and smarter and go back next year even better than before. Congratulations to both lads – enjoy the off season!

Six ATC swimming club swimmers attended the Australian Age Group Swimming Championships in Sydney last week. All swimmers did themselves proud with personal best times under the pressure of a national competition. ATC students Josh Nowland and Daniel Woodrow were part of this group and Josh improved from 34th seed to place 22nd in his 50 freestyle. Daniel made the finals of both the 50 and 100 freestyle finishing 6th in the 100 freestyle and 5th in the 50 freestyle. Daniel’s time in the 50 freestyle was only 0.2 seconds behind the gold medallist in what was a nail-biting race. Congratulations go to all swimmers at this meet.

Best of luck to everyone this weekend and enjoy the family time that comes with the public holiday!

Dave Capra
Director of Co-curricular Activities
caprad@atc.qld.edu.au