Harry Taylor Helps Develop Champions

Mid West Academy of Sport (MWAS) athletes were provided with the opportunity to learn life skills from Geelong AFL star Harry Taylor and the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS). The life skills program is called 'Developing Champions' and is run by  WAIS and the Department of Sport and Recreation. The athletes were provided with tools to better understand and manage themselves and to ensure that they are prepared for life during and after sport. Some of the content included strategies for managing time so that athletes can perform to their best in sport, study and work, whilst still maintaining a social life. Harry suggested that at times, the athletes could train and study in groups with friends so that they can combine their social life with sport and study. He also shared his experiences about studying to be a Physiotherapist whilst training and discussed the importance of communicating with school teachers or university lecturers and working cooperatively with them to effectively blend study and sport.    

An interesting lesson was also that athletes should never underestimate what they can achieve. Harry spoke about his early junior years whilst playing Football for Northampton where he believed that WAFL would be the highest level that he could ever make. It was not until many years later when he realised that he could play in the AFL.

MWAS CEO said "We are so appreciative that Harry took the time to help the local athletes. He is so genuine about wanting to give something back to his home community and he is a perfect role model for MWAS athletes, as he really highlighted the importance of being an all-round performer and having a plan for life after sport. MWAS is committed to the welfare of our athletes. Our dream scenario is to have some of our athletes make the most elite level in their chosen sport while building their professional career and to then come back to the Mid West after their sporting career as successful business leaders. If they happen to want to become a volunteer coach or official as well then that is even better".

In 2015 MWAS athletes will continue with the 'Developing Champions' program while they work through several different topics. Each seminar will include an elite athlete to share their experiences. Athletes also have group sports psychology workshops and several individual performance psychology consultations.

Above, Left to right- Mitchell Tiver, Alex Ducas, Kate Bobridge (WAIS Athlete Education Officer), Harry Taylor (Geelong AFL Player), Jonty Calder, Mikaila Watson, Brayden King, Josh Bowen, Jack Osborn, Emma Burke and Kacie Crabb