The Backpage Term 2 Week 6

The focus of this week’s Assembly was performance. The Principal began his address by saying “All successful people have the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.” A quote from Albert E.N. Gray’s book, The Common Denominator of Success. Gray’s, hypothesis is quite simple but highlights what from his research he believes to be the two most important elements of success.

1. Purpose

In Malcom Gladwell’s best selling book Outliers he simplifies the recipe for success in any activity to the direct result of training or practicing that activity for 10,000 hours. This concept has never sat well with me as a model of success for sport as it lacks probably what is the most important aspect of those hours of practice, which is purpose. I read Matthew Syed’s book Bounce directly after Outliers and instantly recognised that his hypothesis that success is a direct result of thousands of hours of purposeful practice, not talent, probably gets closer to what is the actual recipe for success.

2. A Habit of Doing the Things Others Don’t Like To Do

New York Times best selling Author Mark Manson hypothesizes that one of the biggest mistakes we make in reaching our goals is that we start by asking the question “what do we want?” rather than “what are we willing to struggle for?”

Let me use our lunchtime stretching sessions within the Mind Body Heart Pathway as an example of why this question is so important.

Every day at lunch I walk by the gym and have a chat with the handful of boys waiting to enter the gym to complete their stretching protocol. I have met few athletes over the years who enjoy stretching yet no one would disagree that it isn’t one of the most important elements of a training program. Only handful of boys choose to attend these sessions and from that group an even smaller few I see nearly every lunch hour. I make a point each day of stopping and having a chat with these boys, asking them their goals, always ending these conversations by saying “I look forward to watching you run onto the pitch representing our 1st XV or leading our Basketball Program or whatever Sport or goal they tell me they are working towards.”

You see, these boys have learned this important lesson early on. I would be surprised if any of them truly enjoyed stretching but they are willing and this is their commitment, their struggle and willingness to do the things that the others aren’t doing.

I would agree with Gray, Gladwell, Syed and Manson but from experience would also add one more key element to this success model and that is the importance of team. Pairing yourself with likeminded people who are willing to support and push you as you go on the journey together, and more specifically when they have a purpose bigger than themselves can have the greatest impact on performance.

It was a good round of Sport on Saturday and I would like to highlight the performance of our Cross Country team who competed Saturday at the GPS selection competition. Congratulations to Year 12 tudent and team captain Jack Freer who led the Open boys team to their fourth consecutive win while gaining selection to the GPS team. Congratulations as well to Max Freer and Ryan Lui who have been named first reserves and to the 20 boys from the team who have been chosen to represent the GPS at the upcoming NSWCIS championships.

This Saturday, we have home fixtures in Rugby on the main oval against TAS and Shore, and Volleyball in the Den against Knox. Rifle shooting is training at ANZAC in preparation for the upcoming GPS Championship, Football is away against Newington, and Cross Country compete at the Shore Invitational on a new course at Curl Curl. Good luck to our Prep boys who take on King’s in Rugby and Barker in Football.

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From Ed White, Senior Sportsmaster

Another fantastic day for Sport, with sun shining at all venues.

Cross Country are flying at present and had a great win and extended the lead they have over the rest of the GPS.

The U13s Rugby are on the move and won six out of seven games. This is a great result against strong opposition from King’s. Good wins also to the 16As, 16Bs and 2nds teams. The 3rds, in the first round of the GPS, ended up with a 12-12 draw. The 1sts can't fire at the moment going down in a close match, 31-28.

Football had some mixed results with the 1sts and 2nds both having losses and the 3rds, 16As, 16Bs and 16Cs team all had good wins. The 13As looked really good with a 3-0 victory.

Volleyball had a tough day against some great opposition from SBHS. The 14As are still undefeated and look strong.

Shooting continued training out at Malabar on the range and Mr Phil Cooney has told me the team is training really well.

This weekend we take on Shore in Rugby, Newington in Football and Knox in Volleyball.

From Brent Wilsmore, Prep Sportsmaster 

There is an expression in sport which says the name on the front of the jersey (team) is more important that the one on the back (individual). You will notice we don't have names on the back of our Scots jerseys. This may symbolise that when you run onto the field you are part of a team and are playing for Scots and not self. Henry Ford once said, “coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”.

No sports team is successful without working together to reach a common goal. A common saying in sport is that a champion team will always beat a team of champions. So often I see the teams that end up on the winning end of the score are those that work well together. Now that our teams are basically set, it is a great opportunity for them to develop teamwork. Integral to building teamwork is learning to cooperate with others towards a common goal. This can build character, friendship and important life skills for players who buy into this philosophy. The friendships built within a team can last a lifetime, and the journey of a team throughout a season is often memorable. Scots to the fore!

Scots Prep are participating in the McGrath Foundation’s Pull On Your Socks campaign. Pull On Your Socks is a fun and easy way for schools to put their best foot forward and make life that little bit easier for families experiencing breast cancer, by raising funds for the McGrath Foundation. This will take place on Saturday 3 June with all boys from all teams wearing pink socks for their Round 6 fixtures. Team coaches will be handing out socks to all boys in Years 3 to 6 boys to wear on Saturday 3 June.Click here

to donate $15 for a pair of pink socks or feel free to donate extra for this worthy cause. All funds raised will go directly to the McGrath Foundation. 

In Round 6 fixtures we play King’s and Riverview in the Rugby, and St Patricks, St Aloysius and Shore in Football. We also continue with Athletics trials for Years 4, 5 and 6.


It was great to have a clear and sunny morning to get the season back on track after some cancellations in Round 4. There were many strong performances and effort shown across all teams. Particular mention to Kobe Banks who scored the goal of the season against St Aloysius College to secure a 3-2 win for the 1st XI. I would like to encourage all boys to get behind the McGrath Foundation’s Pull On Your Socks day coming up in Round 6.

Mr Greg Clarence

Preparatory Football Coordinator 


This past Monday and Tuesday five members of the Prep 1st XV were involved in the NSWCIS Primary Boys Rugby trials and it’s great to report that two of the five boys in Finnlay Bartlett and Charlie Dixon made the team. The boys will compete at the NSWPSSA Championships to be held in Salamander Bay later in the year. Well done boys!

From the Director of Athlete Development and Pathways

The concept of sport specialisation is a widely discussed topic at all levels of junior sport. The bulk of the research and evidence suggests there is an increasing trend in middle school students specialising in one sport (year-round participation). Whilst most high performance coaches agree that some degree of sports specialisation is necessary to achieve elite levels, there is potential for an adverse impact on the young athlete physically, emotionally and socially. 

Most importantly, despite the evidence of sport specialisation, there is no evidence that intense specialisation in young adolescents leads to, or achieves, elite status.

There is no doubt that coaches are the strongest influence in athletes specialising earlier. Scots Sport embraces a philosophy of commitment and development in both a Summer and Winter Sport model. Whilst there are unique cases where students require a greater investment into their sport of significant interest in senior years, the majority of these boys feature and are managed inside the Thinking Sportsman Pathway.

In summary, for most sports, intense training in a single sport to the exclusion of others should be delayed until late adolescence to encourage sports participation as a lifelong journey, similar to the approach to lifelong learning.

Story of The Week - Jack Freer Selected to the AAGPS Cross Country 

Congratulations to Cross Country team captain Jack Freer, who has led the Open boys in every race this season and to a good lead in the Premiership points race, on his selection to the prestigious AAGPS Open boys team. Congratulations as well to Max Freer and Ryan Lui for being name first reserves.


That’s a wrap for this week. Good luck to all our boys this weekend.

Mr Graham Pattison

Director of Sport