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Principal’s Panui – 2 November 2018

The following is an excerpt from my address at the Sports Dinner on Friday, 26 October.

Sport, like life, resembles the game of snakes and ladders. There are wins (ladder moments) and losses (snake moments). There are triumphs and disasters, but either way the game goes on and you just have to carry on rolling the dice.

Sport can help create a growth mindset and through pursuing personal excellence, we can do anything if we want it enough.  Success is all about handling what is in front of us.  As sports people we learn so much from the diverse situations that sport throws at us.

As athletes and sports people we need to be our own harshest critics. There are no shortcuts, it’s about purposeful practice and identifying the next step from where you are now and things you can’t do well, yet. It’s about consistency of effort and good routines refined over time moment by moment and that starts with your daily actions.

We also need to remember with elite performers that we see the tip of the iceberg, but the cycle of train, performance, review, adjust and adapt and perform is continuous. It is the routines. The key to success is as simple as to keep getting up, give your best, be optimistic and surround yourself with good like-minded people.

Fred Allen famous all Black Captain and coach said this about the value of self-discipline and training.

The duration of an athletic contest is often only minutes while training for it may take weeks of arduous work, continuous self-effort and sacrifice.

The true value of sport is not the actual game played in the limelight or applause, but the hours of dogged determination and self-discipline carried out alone, imposed and supervised by an exacting conscience.

The applause soon dies away, the prize is left behind, but the character, the values you build are yours forever, that’s the real prize.

Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen, some wonder what just happened. Life and sport is more fun and enjoyable when you make things happen.

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