THE BACKPAGE Term 2 Week 7

On Saturday, our Football teams take on Sydney Grammar on the Main Oval. This is not the first time­­­­ that Scots has played Football at home but it has been a long time since we have last witnessed a match here.  Saturday also marks the start of the Socceroos 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia where they play against France. The World Cup website gives Australia just an 8% chance of winning this match. One of the things I love about Australia is that we are a nation of over-achievers, that normally punch well above our weight and I’m sure that our Socceroos will be taking this attitude into their first match.

Everybody loves an underdog story, where David comes out on top of Goliath. I’m most excited to watch Iceland’s team. Iceland has a population of just 330,000 people. To put that into perspective, the whole country has roughly the same population as the city of Wollongong. So, when Iceland beat England in the 2016 European Championships, I picture what Wollongong vs England would look like to try to get perspective on how massive an achievement that was.

With every underdog, there is always a story; these things don’t happen by chance. In David’s case we often think of him as the weaker appointment against the giant sent out by the Philistines. In reality, he was incredibly skilled and confident and had trained to use his sling with precision. With a deliberate action, he was able to overtake the giant and win the battle. In the case of Iceland, how they have emerged from football obscurity to a country feared by the “Giant” nations of football followed a very specific and deliberate strategy and one we should pay close attention to as quite possibly it gives insight into exactly what is needed to achieve success in sport.

How did they do it?

In 2000, the Government of Iceland developed a strategy to raise the profile of Football. They realised that they had a number of specific limitations due to the nature of the country and the weather. The first step was to build 7 indoor facilities and 200 all weather pitches. It’s important to note that the facilities are purpose build and not fancy. The goal here was to provide high quality pitches that would allow access to every kid in the country. They realised, with such a small population, that they needed to access everyone equally to ensure that no talent was missed. The second step was to professionalise coaching. They moved from a model where coaches were amateur and volunteer to a model where coaching became a profession. They subsidised the training of these coaches and ensured that they had access to the best professional development and qualification courses in the world. As a result, Iceland has a higher ratio of professionally qualified Football coaches to athletes than any other country in the world. Again, this strategy was to ensure that every child had access to high-level professional coaching. The next step was to subsidise players to ensure that they had access to the highest level of competition. As players developed, Iceland ensured that they competed in the best leagues in Europe. Finally, as the first group of players to come through this program reached an age where they could compete on a national stage, the country invested in a top level national coach who was focused on strategy and character to lead the team. The first group of players to come through this system was the team team that qualified for, competed in and beat England at the European championships. Four years later, Iceland is the smallest country in history to qualify for a World Cup.

Why is this important Scots?

Three years ago we took deliberate action to change the leadership structure of our sport program. We borrow from models around the world, including Iceland to determine how to implement this. We move from a model where we had MIC’s running an entire program to a model that more closely reflected what was being implement in the most forward-thinking national programs around the world where sports are now lead by a director who works with specific development age coordinators (Prep, Junior Development (7-10), and Senior (11+12). We have deliberately created a model of training within the key development ages, where ALL athletes have access to professional quality coaches during their PDHPE lessons and we created a training program with facilities and coaching that runs behind the scenes (Mind Body Heart), again, to give access to every boy at Scots. In our senior years, we focus on performance and have been strategic about ensure that our coaches are of high quality both in their strategy and focus on character development.

Playing the Long Game

This approach to sport focuses on creating quality programs over quick wins. The design and strategy is to provide every boy with the opportunity to improve and succeed. I would like to highlight the outstanding work being done by our Director of Football, Mr Andrew Goldrick on taking the approach to building the foundation of a strong Football program at Scots. I encourage you to take the time to come and support these teams at home.

Good luck to our boys this Saturday as we take on Grammar at home and Joeys away in Rugby. Come watch our Volleyball teams in the Lions Den at home before the 3rds Rugby and Football and good luck to the 20 boys who are competing today at the CIS Cross Country Championships at Eastern Creek and King’s Relays on Saturday.

Scots to the Fore!

Mr Graham Pattison
Director of Sport

From Mr Ed White, Senior Sportsmaster

Last weekend we had no sport due to the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

This weekend we take on St Joseph’s and Sydney Grammar in Rugby and Sydney Grammar in Football. The Scots Main Oval will see some big games with the 3rds XV playing Sydney Grammar 1st XV in Rugby at 10am and then later in the day the 1st XI Football are up against Sydney Grammar 1st XI at 1:15pm.

Cross Country are out at Kings early on Saturday morning and Volleyball are against Riverview in the Lions Den.

Shooting are out at Malabar training and Rehabilitation boys are all back in the Scots gym working on injuries.

Well done on the Pink Socks Day with $11,500 being donated to the McGrath Foundation. Thanks to all the sponsors for their support of the teams on the day. The boys looked great wearing the socks.

From Mr Daniel Markham, Director of The Mind Body Heart Pathway and Head of PDHPE

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. An easy road never led to a beautiful destination. An easy life never made a man of character.” (Unknown)

In order to grow you must be challenged, you must avoid being comfortable. Adaptation physically, occurs when the body has been challenged by a stimulus. The body then through adequate recovery processes (sleep, nutrients etc) will super compensate to deal with future stimulus. This leads to improvement and progress. The Mind Body Heart team understand the value of challenging athletes and applying stimulus to facilitate growth and development. There are a range of sessions on offer that target all the major fitness components that are a valuable currency in sports. I would encourage all students to get started on their journey and leverage off all the opportunities available to them in the MBH program. Take charge of your destiny and book into your next session using the MBH app!

Holidays are fast approaching and as always the MBH team will be offering opportunities to continue to get BIGGER, FASTER, FITTER and STRONGER. An abbreviated timetable will be available for all students wishing to continue making progress on their athletic journey. Please view sessions available during holiday period below:

WHAT: S&C Sessions and Speed Sessions

WHEN: 6.30am-8am (S&C) and 8am-9.30am (Speed)

WHERE: John Solomon Gym (S&C) and Main Oval (Speed)

WHO: All students years 7-12 (Senior school)

As always come and get ‘the STRONG advantage’!

Senior Sports News

Cross Country


Rifle Shooting




Prep News

From Mr Brent Wilsmore, Prep Sportsmaster

Successful performance in sport is based in part, on psychological factors. Athletes, of course, must have the relevant physical skills and capabilities to perform. However, some athletes are less confident than others in their ability to perform skills, cope with pressure or sustain effort to perfect their skills. Self-efficacy is a term broadly defined to describe an athletes perceived capacity to organise and execute the action required to produce results and has been shown to be an important factor in sports performance. Importantly, athletes with high self-efficacy are more likely to pursue challenging goals and to cope with adversity. A significant influence on self-efficacy is athlete’s implicit beliefs. There are two basic types of beliefs: incremental beliefs and entity beliefs. Those who hold an incremental belief operate under the assumption that ability is fluid and can be developed. In contrast, those who hold an entity belief operate under the assumption that ability is  fixed and cannot be changed. Importantly, those who hold incremental beliefs are more inclined to increase their effort after a failure because they do not perceive failure to be a setback, and because they believe that success is derived from effort. In contrast, those with high entity beliefs hold that one must be endowed with natural talent to be successful. Such beliefs lead to negative responses to perceived failures, including motivational deficits, withdrawal, and low self-efficacy. Subsequently, sport coaches need to relinquish an emphasis on winning and place a greater focus on the effort required to gain mastery. Given the importance typically placed upon winning by athletes and parents, this can be a difficult task for coaches. However, research has found that having a mastery goal orientation encourages high self-efficacy and adaptive behaviours, such as effort, persistence and practice. These are in turn important predictors of performance. Subsequently, at Scots we focus on effort and mastery and producing athletes with high self-efficacy.

Good luck to our teams and individuals competing at the NSWCIS Cross Country Championships at Eastern Creek on Thursday.

This week Rugby fixtures include: St Augustines, Knox and Cranbrook; and Football fixtures include: Grammar, Knox and Newington.

Stories of the Week -

Story 1 - Will Warner competes in NW Equestrian Expo

Earlier this month Will Warner (year 8) competed at the NW Equestrian Expo at Coonabarabran, where over 600 students participated. Will did exceptionally well in the event and was awarded the following:

Winner 80cm ODE

Finalist for the working horse (4th overall)

Bronze Medal in the Pentathlon (12-18yrs boys)

Participated and placed in polo cross, sporting, show jumping and hacking

Overall, Will was awarded Champion Point Score (15 yrs). Congratulations Will, well done!

Story 2 - Jack Snell - Bronze Medal at the Australian Sabre Championship

Congratulations to Jack Snell (year 12) who won the Bronze medal at the Australian Men's Open Sabre Championship. An outstanding achievement for Jack who is competing as a junior athlete in the Open Men's event. An impressive result that displays Jack's outstanding resilience as it's his first competition after returning from a shoulder Injury. With this result, Jack is now ranked 2nd in Australia in men's fencing and is now in a position to be selected for the national team.  Well done!