As we move into a new phase here at the Academy, I've spent some time reflecting on the last few years and how we've grown to where we are today.
I'd like to share a story............
Several years ago i was asked to take over the coaching of a representative side that were having some trouble.
With some trepidation I accepted.
On Day 1 of training I laid out my ground rules.
1. Look around these are your team mates, they are your new best friends. I don't care if you don't like them, whilst ever you are on this team you are each other's everything.
Without a bond a team is nothing more than a bunch of kids without direction.
2. You can be as half smart as you like but for every time you are, that's a minute you'll spend on the side line on game day.
The girls in that team will recall several 'bums' on sidelines on game day.
3. Whilst in my team you listen to ONLY Me.
My tolerance for a thousand opinions is ZERO.
Parents of the players I coach know well the protocol of producing Elite, Well Rounded, Athletes.
4. Make Healthy Choices.
I mean Food, Friends, Life.
5. Behave Professionally ALWAYS!
5 Simple Rules - Yes?!
Yet still we had a couple who wanted to rock the boat.
As the initial tournament went on I had a couple of young ladies come to me with concerns that their opportunity for advancement, in a sport they love, was being shaken by some negative folks. (By Folks, I refer to Parents of Other Children)
We talked for a long time and some tears were shed...........
Dreams were discussed.
I asked what THEY wanted.
To Play for Australia was the response.
I laid down some further guidelines and I made a promise that if hard work and commitment was given then I would work right along with them to get them on the pathway to their dreams.
In just a few short years, 4 girls from that inital troubled squad have been selected to play for Australia as well as a 5th we've picked up along the way.
To you 5 young ladies,
I could not be prouder, you are so much more than just my players, you are my friends.
You have achieved great things while others sat by and doubted.
Hold your heads high young ones, you'll do your country proud.