Last weekend, we competed in SEASAC in KL at the Alice Smith School and ended up winning first place. It was the first time that a team sport had won a girls SEASAC at east so it was extremely exciting.
We drew the first game which was quite disappointing and not an ideal start to the tournament. This encouraged me to lead a team discussion to reflect on what we were doing wrong and how we had to change our behaviour in order to be successful. As a leader, I took it upon myself, collating my experience throughout the year, to lead by example and demonstrate what we were asking of the team. This was a moment where I felt more developed and comfortable leading than the beginning of the season which was a key moment that showed my development of new skills (LO2), having reflected on my areas for growth (LO1).
This discussion ended up successful, ultimately bringing us to the final. Here, we started off in a similar shaky manner, going down 1-0 and achieving 2-2 by half time. During this small break, we had a similar team discussion to highlight what was working and what needed to be improved, as well as encouraging each other to really feel like a team. We ended up winning the final 4-2 and in my opinion, the stark difference between the two teams was to do with our teamwork and collaboration which we developed throughout the season, peaking in the final competition.
Reflecting back now, through my discussions with coaches and the rest of my team, I am really able to notice a difference in my attitude and perception of the team as well as my style of play which has now changed to be much more team focused. I feel as though I have become a much better and more successful leader because of it and I think that the skills I have developed will be of use to me both in other sports but also other aspects of my life.
In the first couple of games, I felt that I struggled as captain of the team and felt responsible for our shortcomings. Despite having good players, the first couple games showed us that this was not sufficient to be successful. In order to address learning outcome 1, I led team discussions and spoke with coaches about our strengths as a team, to use that to our advantage. Similarly, our areas which needed development we focused on in training and did not rely on as heavily in games. I also thought about my own individual play and reflected on how I could improve the team my changing certain tactics. Upon discussion with the coach, I started playing striker where my skill set could help the team more effectively than another position. An example of one of the weaknesses highlighted in the team discussion was how we start our games and our attitude towards our opponent. Often in football, a good mindset at the beginning of the game enables the team to work together and play their own style of football throughout the game. In the past, we were too fixed on the score which prevented us from playing the game to the best of our ability. As captain, I felt it was my responsibility it is my responsibility to ensure that we start well and this was something I have been working on in the past couple games. I have noticed that if I am able to start well and encourage others by setting a good precedent, other teammates find it easier to follow suit. This was definitely a challenge I undertook and adapted and improved in order to make it an advantage thus, addressing learning outcome 2.
This year I will be doing football and attempting to build on my skills from the previous years on the team. For the first time, I will be captaining the team which is a very new skill. As such, I will be tackling LO1, to reflect and identify my own strengths which will enable me to be a good leader. Additionally, I will discuss with the team and the coach to identify areas for growth and improvement as captain which will permit me to be the best role model I can. Now given more responsibility, I think it is very important that I reflect on my performances during training and games so I understand where I can improve my game. I can also discuss with coaches anything they feel that I can improve on or any areas that we must focus on as a team, in addition to identifying our strengths in the sport.
In doing so, I will also to addressing LO2 as it is very important that I develop skills and identify challenges that we have undergone as a team in order to develop fully. With a new position on the team, it will definitely be a challenge initially, learning how to adapt and take on this role. It will enable me to develop my leadership skills as well as my communication and teamwork which come naturally with the sport. It will increase my expertise in being a team player as well as adapting to the new and welcomed challenge of being a leader.