A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Sport Development and High Performance - Edition 5 - 2019

High Performance Workshop Overview and Key Messaging

Application Form and am I invited?

This question has popped up a lot since our High Performance workshop held on Wednesday 27 March. We had some good numbers show up to hear about some lessons learnt along a high performance journey, specific information on what high performance behaviours are and how to replicate them, and finally how to manage both school and high performance careers including preparing for life after school and after sport for high performance students. It’s really important to note that high performance behaviours are applicable to success across many if not all fields and are not specific to sport. It’s about aspiring to perform your best in any endeavour, setting and holding yourself accountable to goals and being resilient to the obstacles that get thrown your way. It’s also about maintaining an attitude of growth and positivity, having pride in your performance through best effort, and celebrating success while remaining humble. Finally, there is a lot to be said for the ability to recognise and accept our individual responsibility for any action or outcome, which in turn gives us ownership and the ability to make new decisions towards better outcomes.

We had guest speaker Mark Gregory, South Australian Sports Institute and Cycling Australia personal excellence provider, in to share about his professional and strategies for optimising performance behaviours.

Mark’s area of expertise really hit home with our parent community and the feedback has been fantastic. It seems there is a real appetite from our parents to learn how they can best assist their HP student/performers so I am going to give a very brief overview of some of the key take-homes from the presentation.

Mark’s speciality lies in the management of student/performer life, specifically transitions both into sport/education and out of education/sport and into the workplace, helping our students get through school well and prepare for elite athlete life while planning for university careers or other best fit option. With extensive experience in the university space, Mark gave overviews on how to pick the right university for you, knowing what questions to ask at open days, and also indicated which universities are elite athlete friendly.

Some key messages that really hit home were around what good time management actually looks like. We all lead busy lives and our students are running from classroom to extra curricular activities to homework to bed, so having strategic decision making capacity is really an essential skill to their schooling lives. Mark provided us with the 4D Matrix assisting us to make those decisions around activities to ditch, diarise, delegate and do!

Such a simple but effective model to really make an impact in daily life. Other information discussed was the influence of your phones blue light filter, how to manage and thrive in a live social media world, and the Australian Olympic Team’s ASPIRE values as a starting point for performance behaviours.

If there is a body of interest in the above information and you are now kicking yourself you weren’t there, then there may be an opportunity later in the year to revisit the presentation. If you were at the presentation and have some more feedback or there is something you wish we touched on, please reach out via email and let us know. Your feedback is a necessary part of creating a successful and targeted program.

With that in mind I’d like to ask the parents of our high performance or on the cusp of high performance kids, what are three things (topics/areas of interest within the sporting context) that your young person could benefit from most over the next year?

Please note that the workshops will be advertised through the School App and also HP mailing list. Also, keep watching this space in the eNews for confirmed dates.

The next HP workshop is scheduled for May (date TBC). Tickets will be free for students and parents of students. The speakers are high quality professionals and experts in their fields, and this is a real opportunity to gain access to some excellent resources who would usually not be available to the general population. As the concept of high performance being relevant to many across different disciplines, I would like to open up the high performance workshops to any student and their families who are interested in the topic or feel that they may benefit from the information being shared. RSVPs for the evening will be a must.

High Performance Application Form

For all students please be aware that in the coming weeks there will be an application form for the High Performance Program going up online. Please do not assume you ARE or ARE NOT included, just complete the form. If you are high performing in any sport regardless if it is a sport which is currently offered as a school activity or not, we want you to apply.

Why join the HP Program?

Firstly so we know who you are. We can’t follow you journey, celebrate your achievements or offer any assistance if we do not know who you are and what you are doing.

Secondly to assist you to access any elite athlete friendly services which you may require to make managing your sport and schooling as easy as possible.

To help optimise your performance through strength and conditioning in our Golden Keys Training Centre with our coach Gerard Dutton, or increasing speed and agility and fitness with our Running Club coaches.

Lastly load management and case management. For those athletes that are at the pre-elite stage of their careers and may need a little more help balancing their weekly calendar, training commitments and planning into major events and liaising with external coaches and/or service providers.

Even if you are in a well structured environment with all the support you feel you could need, we would still love to know who you are to celebrate your successes along the way with the entire Westminster Community.

Staff Highlight

This week's top highlight has to go to our very own superstar – Prep PE teacher and Professional footy player, Sally Riley, for being part of the premiership winning AFLW Crows team. Our sincerest congratulations to Sally for being part of this history making side which has been pushing the boundaries for women in sport week in and week out, culminating in an epic event which packed out Adelaide Oval.

Student Highlights

Congratulations to Katie Natt for an outstanding performance at the recent Surf Lifesaving State Junior Championships.

She won gold medals all round in the 1 km beach run and all individual water events, board, swim and iron person. A truly fantastic effort.

She also combined with her team mates including fellow Westminster student Gjsovaun Brijmohan to win silver in the beach relay, in what was we are sure a very satisfying end to seven years as a nipper.

Student Feature

Alyssa West – Water Polo

Your name, age and years playing your sport?
Alyssa West, 17 years old. I’ve been playing Water Polo for 5 years

How did you get started in your sport?
I came from a strong swimming background but was beginning to find it boring being an individual sport. My previous school offered it as a co-curricular sport so I decided I would give it a go. I loved it and never stopped playing moving through to club, state then national level.

Have you always been sporty?
Ever since I remember I have always been in competitive sports. I’ve competed in a range of different sports from athletics to rowing, swimming, soccer, basketball, softball, you name it I’ve played it.

What are your highest sporting achievements to date?
Representing Australia in the FINA Youth World Water Polo championships last year (2018) where we finished fourth in the world.

What is it like balancing performance sport with your schooling?
At times it can be really difficult. It can often get very overwhelming with the amount of training on top of trying to finish assignments and study etc. However, I have found it really beneficial to figure out a routine where you can give yourself a set time to do homework but also be able to rest and recover. For me, school and my sport are just as important as each other but there are different periods during the year where school is the main focus, then sport is. It is important to have good communication with teachers, to let them know when you will be away for your sport and informing them about training schedules so we can work out when I can get homework and assignments finished to the best standard I can.

What are your current hopes and dreams for your sporting career?
Short term, I am currently in the U20 Australian squad who are trailing for the Junior World Champs in September this year, so to make this team would be an amazing experience as it is two years above my age group. Long term, I want to achieve the highest level I possibly can in Water Polo and am aiming for the 2024 Olympic team.

Can you share with us what a “normal” day in your life might look like?
I get up at 4.30 am, have something to eat and be at the pool at 5.00 am. Train until 7.15 am, go home, have more food and get ready to go to school. I get home from school at 4.00 pm, eat more food, do some homework and rest. 6.00 pm I’m at the pool/gym to train. I get home at 8.30 pm, have dinner and go to bed.

How hard do you have to work to stay on top of your game?
I think that I work extremely hard, as previously said, school and sport are just as important as each other. I want to do well in both so work really hard to get good grades/perform in sport. It might look to others that I do slack off, not completing homework on the day, doing four subjects instead but of five, and missing a lot of school. However, I do get the work done and the teachers support me with this, just on a slightly different schedule to a typical student. I work hard at every training and am always looking for ways to improve myself to be the best athlete I can.

What can you share about yourself that people probably wouldn’t expect?
I’m terrible at racket sports. Even though with water polo you need to have great hand eye coordination, as soon as you put a racket in my hand it’s like I have a blindfold on!

Do you have any other hobbies?
Playing guitar and surfing.

What’s your next competition?
Travelling to Newcastle and Sydney next week for games in the Australian Water Polo league (AFL equivalent for Water Polo) which we are in the middle of our season for.

Lucy Austin – Netball

Your name, age and years playing your sport?
Lucy Austin, 17 years old, and I have been playing netball since I was 8, however I only started playing city/state netball when I was 14.

How did you get started in your sport?
I used to watch my big sister play when I was little and loved it, so I began playing for my school.

Have you always been sporty?
I have always played sport (basketball, volleyball and netball) however it wasn’t until I was at the end of Year 8 where I decided to specialise in netball.

What are your highest sporting achievements to date?
Being named Captain of the U17 State team in 2018, and winning those championships was a massive achievement for me, and also being picked in the U17 Australian Squad in 2018 which rewarded me with a SASI Scholarship. My most recent achievement was being named in the ANL Southern Force Squad.

What is it like balancing performance sport with your schooling?
At times it has been difficult over the past few years to fit in homework and school commitments with my netball, however the school and the school netball coach, Marg is very supportive of my netball and communicate with my other coaches to best balance my school/netball load. I have learnt that organisation is very important and I have to really utilise lesson time to complete my work, which reduces my homework load.

What are your current hopes and dreams for your sporting career?
A dream of mine is to one day play for a Suncorp netball team such as the Adelaide Thunderbirds, while enjoying a good sport-life balance at the same time.

How hard do you have to work to stay on top of your game?
I train seven times per week, this involves two morning weights sessions, three on court trainings, match play against the Thunderbirds, and pilates. In these sessions the expectation from coaches is that we leave everything on the court, and work very hard to constantly improve in different aspects on our game. As a Goal Shooter, I also have to do a few extra shooting sessions per week to stay on top of my shooting game.

Do you have any other hobbies?
If I had the time, I would love to play football along with netball, however when I have spare time I love going to the beach, and catching up with friends.

What’s your next upcoming competition?
I will be competing in the U19 National Netball Championships from Thursday 11 to Tuesday 16 which will be held in Brisbane.

Thanks to both Alyssa and Lucy for sharing a bit about themselves with us.

Yours in High Performance,

Lauren Soderberg
Head of Sport Development and High Performance