Ashley + Team Alex,
When our CTO Jess announced that the recent school holiday bronze may potentially get cancelled due to other trainers being already heavily committed, I put my hand up to run the week long course.
On the first day I arrived early. I set up the room with a nervousness because I had seen the 17 strong list of candidates I was about to encounter and at this point, I was beginning to question my decision to run this course. As the kids began filtering through the door and taking their seats, I sat back and watched the individual identities unfold before me. I again freaked out!
In the first hour, here is what I saw:
Boys being boys, paying little or no attention to the trainer in front of them. I witnessed both girls and boys preferring a mobile device over an informative whiteboard. I saw not-so-confident individuals quietly sit back and survey the groups antics, and do so with a smile. And I witnessed the energy snowball in all the wrong directions.
This was a lot to witness in the very first one hour, of what might be one very long (draining) weak!
- I won’t lie, I was picturing how Ashley would react to a week long sick certificate being handed in from an instructor at this point!!
The First Day:
After us getting to know each other throughout the first day, via ice breakers, creative stories, group shares and me making the students ’sell’ the different locations of the club to the other group members - things began to change. I explained to the group very clearly, that this week was entirely up to them. That it was going to be up to each person to get their way through. I added that I had a duty of care to perform with the delivering of content and that they had unlimited support throughout the club at their disposal - right up to people like Ashley but ... should they not-be interested in acquiring and applying what they needed to pass, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.
The remainder of the week:
As the week unfolded and progressed, the individuals came together as a group. At this point, I saw the true ‘Club Alex' colours begin to shine through. Although boys were still being boys and girls were still laughing at boys being boys, I began to see individuals not afraid of displaying who they truly are. The kids began to absorb what they were learning. Each one of the group members began displaying their own unique gifts and talents, while also imparting that knowledge onto the other members who may have struggled in that area. I witnessed supreme board paddlers, swimmers, communicators, water negotiators, content experts and much more, all share with and support their fellow team members.
Don’t get me wrong, there was still two or three boys who at times, I wanted to head butt ... but I knew they were absorbing the information I was delivering.
- At this point, I smiled and was glad I didn’t draft my sick note to Ashley !
Throughout the week, I had the pleasure of speaking with various parents about the group. Some offered me suggestions on how to lean on their child to get them to complete certain aspects of the course, others explained to me, just how certain individuals of the group had taken upon themselves to show incredible leadership by doing whatever it took to take part in this week long program. No help from parents, just a powerful drive to be part of something of value. Every suggestion, feedback and piece of information I received from the parents was truly appreciated.
The Day Before Assessment Day:
The day before the assessment I faced question after question from the group about what the assessment might hold. I smiled within knowing, these kids would not only pass, but they would eat it up. I replied with a simple “the work is already done, tomorrow you just need to go through the motions” …
I looked back across the week, realising that this group had come so far. The day before assessment I realised that these individuals already had all the knowledge, skills, abilities and club culture that they required to pass this course. My job throughout the week was to simply show them how to bolt together everything that the club of Alex, had already instilled in them.
Thank you Team ALEX:
Throughout the week, I began to become proud of the group. As I constantly reminded them that they could teach me just as much as I could teach them, I watched as they took charge and began to really believe they could pass this course.
On the final few days I saw individuals team up to pass online assessments, I saw leaders show others it’s ok to shine, I saw two boys wearing brightly coloured Speedo’s boldly as the others publicly cheered them onto the beach, I saw girls ensuring that group communication was crystal clear and I saw the future of the club unfolding with a smile.
This group of SRC’s to BRONZIES really showed me that the club of Alexandra Headland is indeed, the best to be a part of in Australia. I don’t say this because we as club, know it all, nor claim too. I say this because of the depth that lays behind this club. I saw admin staff who assisted, parents who contributed, assessors, trainers and coaches who always do their work well, PC’s and patrol members who already imparted knowledge onto a young group and I saw amazing individuals have fun while becoming an integral part of an ever growing group of community members.
I felt compelled to write this because it is only fair that the individuals within this group, the parents behind it and the powerful cub members that surround .. Truly understand what amazing IMPACT they have on such an awesome club. The community really should be excited by the team the forms the club of Alexandra Headlands !!