On Thursday 23rd May, Team Mintridge had the pleasure of joining the South Northants and Daventry School Sport Partnership, for their Leadership Conference. It was a fantastic event for the sports leaders from the local schools, who had been involved in the Sports Leadership Programme over the last year. We were excited to join them at this event with our amazing Ambassador and Commonwealth medallist in badminton, Liz Cann.
The morning began with a welcome from the organisers of the event, explaining the power of sports leaders and the difference the young leaders could make to the behaviours and attitudes towards sports participation across the county and the country.
In a day full of reflection, recognition and highlighting the key qualities for success, Liz began her presentation all about her sporting journey and what it takes to compete at the top level. It was a highly relevant presentation for the sports leaders as Liz mentioned those who had inspired her and mentored her along the way and the power of those support networks in her journey. As well as this, it was an extremely important presentation for the young leaders in the room, who would be facing many challenges in the upcoming years academically and personally. Liz was trying to get them to understand that the road to success and the goals you want to achieve, will be tough and take lots of turns, disappointments and difficulties, before you reach your end destination.
As part of the day Liz had some key messages for the young leaders involved, including how to deal with pressure and cope with stress. The useful messages from Liz included the need to focus on the process and the task in hand rather than the outcome, that might seem to far away in the distance. As an experienced competitor at the top level, it was also necessary for the students to understand that pressure can be a positive thing, if used in the right way. Liz wanted them to consider that thinking about those people putting pressure on you or the thoughts of those people may negatively impact your performance. As Liz said, “you want to be able to look back and say that you did the best that you could, with what was available at the time.”
After Liz’s introduction to pressure and stress, the group were put to the test in a decision-making exercise that would apply pressure to their decisions. The group played ‘Bank or No Bank’ and another team exercise that would force the group to work under pressure as part of a team. The discussion that followed these activities were extremely valuable to the students involved, as they recognised the external pressures and feelings of responsibility that were associated with the activities and their outcomes.
As our morning with the Sports Leaders drew to a close, the group would go on to spend the afternoon taking part in a range of activities.
Thank you to the South Northants and Daventry School Sport Partnership, for inviting Team Mintridge to be a part of your day. A big thank you to the sports leaders and staff for getting involved in the morning’s discussions and activities.
One key message from Liz’s morning was, ‘Unwavering belief + Extraordinary effort = Exceptional results.’
We wish the young leaders the best of luck in their exams and future endeavours.
If you would like to see the photos from the morning, please contact David Hanson at the South Northants and Daventry School Sport Partnership.
You can see the video from our morning at our YouTube channel via this link: https://youtu.be/TuRgtUZbgJQ