Developing social skills and an ability to communicate is an important part of every student's education. Waverley College regards school boy sport as an essential component of this learning process. Not only does it offer the students a chance to have fun and strengthen friendships, but their practical communication skills can be developed and tested in a relaxed environment – but also an environment in which how efficiently they manage to talk to each other can have an instant impact on performance.
This is the first time we’ve offered touch football, and if the boys choose rugby in Winter this is good training for them. There’s a lot of talent here.
It’s the first time we’ve played together. It’s better if you know who you’re playing with. It’s exciting and fun. You get to meet new people. It’s an advantage if you know them, then we’ll know their tricks.
To play you have to have quick thinking, speed, good passing … and build a better friendship. Get to know your players better. Know what their playing style is, and how to adapt to it – which means you get a better set. If we know them, at half time we can work out how we’ll play in the next set.
It’s not about keeping score, it’s about having fun and building better friendships. That’s what school boy sport is all about. Regardless of whether they make mistakes or they’re at different levels of skill, it’s all about positive reinforcement – making new friends, not focusing on themselves, but on the participation. By the time they get older, the focus is a bit more about winning, so if they can learn to enjoy it now, they’ll probably stick with the sport and keep doing exercise.
There is no one leader. We’re all leaders in the team, so we can all give our thinking, and suggest tactics on the play. This makes us a superior team.
We encourage everyone in the team to talk, to communicate. When teams are communicating in a ball sport they’ll be so much more successful. For example, when we did a drill for the first time, the ball was being dropped and everyone was quiet. But as soon as the boys started talking to each other and started to understand the skills, they started to experience some success in the drill. Yes, I had to tell them to talk, to signal to each other. Some of them are reluctant to open up and start talking to each other, especially the new boys. But when they do, they’ll feel more comfortable at school.