High calibre sporting coaches provide inspiring leadership

PAC Director of Co-Curricular Activities, Troy McKinnon, shares Princes’ approach to supporting our boys to develop core values through sport such as commitment, loyalty, honour, courage and teamwork.

Troy recently pinpointed how important it is for students to have access to high calibre sporting coaches, in terms of inspiring effort and a commitment to their chosen sport or activity. In a recent article, published in the Sunday Mail, Troy spoke of the opportunities that come with the exposure students have to experienced coaches. He reinforces the positive impact this has on students’ confidence and understanding of what it means to be successful in an elite environment.

Here is some of what Troy has to say:

“In the classroom, we value the knowledge and insight that an expert can offer.

In effect, we believe that ‘teaching is coaching’ and ‘coaching is teaching’. Whether it’s in the classroom or on the sports field, evidence tells us that a quality teacher is the number one factor influencing student success.

At Princes, we believe that student success in sport, comes down to two key factors – confidence and competence. The interplay between these two components is critical. Boys who have opportunities to play sport develop skills. As they develop these skills, their confidence also improves. As their confidence grows, their willingness to explore more difficult skills is nourished.

The number one role of our teaching and coaching staff is to ‘care and correct’. Good coaches do this – they have an even balance of being able to show great care but equally they do not shy away from correcting skills or behaviours that are not useful or appropriate. As a result, we are always looking for quality teachers and coaches who can provide inspiring leadership and help our students develop their passions and abilities.”

It is valuable to have experts at Princes, such as our 1st XI Soccer Coach, Phil Stubbins – former coach of Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets, and our 1stXVIII Football Coach Martin McKinnon – current teacher and former ALF player (Crows, Geelong and Brisbane). “These men have achieved at high levels and they bring a distinct understanding of what it means to be successful in an elite environment. This is great for the aspirations of our more talented boys, but equally their expertise fosters and promotes the importance of basic skills and understanding, not only within the game context but in character development, also”.

“Perhaps most importantly, sports and other ‘low-stakes’ challenging situations give our boys the opportunity to explore and develop their virtues and core values. They learn to balance risk with reward, experience wins and losses, and develop character bedrocks such as commitment, loyalty, honour, courage and being a good person in a team. These are skills they can take into the wider community as they grow into men.

From our perspective, what is more important than sporting outcomes is the relationship a good coach might build with our students. A good coach will invest in the boy first, the student second, and the athlete lastly. This is the core role of a coach. The impact that these men can have on our young people is unequivocally important. For many boys, their relationship with a mentor, such as a coach, equips them for life.

Princes offers over a dozen different sports from Year 4 to Year 12, with ‘sampling’ opportunities – such as T20 Blast, Auskick and the like, before that in Reception to Year 3. While we certainly have flagship sports and activities, we take the same level of pride in all sports and make sure they are equally resourced, valued and celebrated.”

Troy McKinnon
Director of Co-Curricular Activities
RED Centre Manager