As teachers we have chosen one of the greatest vocations to which anyone can aspire. We have the opportunity to elevate boys in a lasting way. This gift is enhanced in the educational value of sports, and the distinctive role where school master becomes a coach. What we do with this opportunity will determine our impact on our boys and our value as a coach.
The sports program offers an extension of our classroom for educating our boys. For one thing, sports require a wide range of personal competencies. Our boys need not only ability, but also character, teamwork and passion.
Recent Water Polo fixtures have allowed me the chance to reflect on our commitment to our boys and the special relationship between the staff/coaches and the boys. For another thing, polo provides immediate and public feedback on performance. Water polo is a sporting code which is both physically and mentally demanding. The game itself is played so close to spectators and parents that it allows for varied opinions as to the refs ruling, games strategy, team selection and importantly observation of the relationship between the boys and the coach.
Good coaches use their influence to grow our boys. The expectation is that the staff/ coach sees everyone on the team, not just a chosen few. They care about each boy, not just performance. Polo staff aim to relate to each boy with trust and respect. We want our boys to do well. I believe the polo staff show enthusiasm, determination, dedication, concern, compassion, and a love of the game. Sure, like our boys, we make mistakes. But I believe we always try to do our best for each boy. We do not chase championships but rather champions.
The value of our coaching will be reflected by the boys. If our boys return home after a practice session or game telling stories about how sir added to their day or motivated them then we have done our job. The stories I hope are not just about how sir/coach taught the push shot, foul, drive, or egg beater legs. They are about lessons learned in character, teamwork, and sportsmanship. If the stories get elevated to include how sir/ coach helped them change their self-image from someone who 'couldn't' to someone who 'could” – then we have created champions.
Thank you to our polo parents and boys for your contagious support. We are confident that polo at the Prep will continue to grow.
I encourage staff, boys and parent to add to our water polo and leave it in a better place than we found it.
MIC Water Polo