Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Over the weekend, mainly owing to the excellent weather, I spent a lot of time watching sport. From fully

professional athletes to teenagers in a preseason warm up match and most levels in between.

All in all I watched six sports and there were obviously a number of similarities in the attitudes shown. In all cases the athletes played to win. In all cases their approach showed respect, in all cases a large amount of preparation had obviously gone in and in all cases the participants were enjoying the contest.

My daughters 12th grade football team (they are an all girls team) won their ‘B’ section of the competition last year and they played a friendly against the ‘A’ section winners. The girls competed hard but the others an all boys team was just a little too skilful. But at the end of the game the girls chanted loudest, happily shook hands and posed for team photos. They enjoyed the contest.

At the other end of the spectrum I don’t really think the Warriors enjoyed their visit to Dunedin. The Warriors are fully professional athletes. Sport is their occupation. It’s what they do.

The girls mostly all play other sports and for most football is only a small part of what they do. That doesn’t mean they don’t train and play hard. They want to win, but they know that in sport sometimes you lose!

The real strength of the ‘Silver Streaks’ is the range of abilities in the team. They have a hard core ten or eleven

serious players. Some are probably the best in their position in the grade, girl or boy. But the other four or five

players are not quite at the same standard. But they are a part of the team and they contribute the best they can. They always show up, they always play their best and because of good supportive coaching they improve. They have improved to the degree that on most days it’s difficult to ascertain who are the rep players and who are not.

But the key thing is they are a team, they play as a team, they take their results as a team, they are coached as a team.

Studies show that overwhelmingly girls play sport to be a part of a team, so the most important way to measure the success of a coach for children is how many of their team play the following year. If the number is high, they are

enjoying the experience and want to continue in the sport. That is the most important success.

Have a great week

-Mike Brosnahan

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