Principal's Address: Summer Sports Assembly 2010

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Principal's Address
Sydney Boys High School
at the annual Summer Sports Assembly
Held on 5 February 2010

Good morning and welcome to our summer sports assembly for sports whose competition commences in term 1. Tennis, water polo, swimming and sailing. To our special guest, John Curzon, coaches, parents and staff – thank you for your attendance. We have so many people to recognise in sports teams that we have dedicated this assembly for the first time solely to summer sports celebrations.

Summer sport at High is benefitting from some revitalised management. Mr David Deep, principal of Indeep International, has taken over the role of MIC tennis as well as coach of first grade. He has brought a new level of enthusiasm and professionalism to the sport. His recruitment has also helped to lift the overall standard of the squad. High won GPS Premierships in tennis in 1997, 2001 and 2003 but we have had several lean years since with uncompetitive teams. There is now a more optimistic atmosphere and boys are training hard to be competitive this year.

Sailing has moved to Double Bay Sailing Club since last year and through Sydney High School Sailing Association Inc. has access to not only the club facilities but also to the very strong Laser racing program conducted by the club. Some Old Boys have joined the Association and are using the school boats for Sunday and off season sailing. Recent graduates of our sailing program, Tom Petty and Phillip Kurts have gone on to compete in the iconic Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Sailing is a sport that you can compete in throughout your life. I have been disappointed by the small number of boys attracted to the sailing program in the last two years. Our coach, Old Boy Adam South, along with Ms Collignon and Mr Moody, run an excellent program. The Sailing Committee, headed up by Richard James, is very effective. I encourage boys, particularly in Years 7 and 8 to consider joining sailing for sport.

Water polo was revived a few years ago by Mr Ayre and is being run capably by Ms Evans with assistance from Sydney University Sports. We have a good coach in Lachlan Hollis. Old Boy James Menzies has helped out very competently. We need more players in this sport too, to maintain its viability.

Thank you to Mr Loizou for his organisation and promotion of High swimming in 2009. I trust that everyone will support the school swimming carnival on Monday. Our swimming program needs all the best senior swimmers we have to make the effort to compete for the school on Friday nights. We have half a dozen highly talented junior swimmers who will win in a variety of events but we need more commitment from seniors.

Commitment is a persistent theme in sports psychology. James Bennett, in ‘Profile of a Winner’, suggests five mental tasks towards better performance. Detached sensory observation involves an honest identification of current strengths and weaknesses: present skill level required; reviewing past performance; and looking to the future to develop new techniques. Situation evaluation involves asking yourself: How is my current performance compared to my goals? Errors need correction, not self-recrimination. Conscious goal setting generates a desire to achieve the goals and builds motivation. Objective planning is required during the process of achieving goals. The final step is to implement the plan through imaging and directed effort. Imagine your performance targets successfully achieved. Discipline yourself to make a realistic timetable to implement your plans. Success in sports comes from your mind being powerful enough to get your body to systematically develop its skills. All of you could improve your sports performances by applying these five steps to your sport. Plans can be simple and short term or complex and long term. The point is to make one and implement it. Congratulations to all boys who have been selected in GPS teams to represent their school.