School Academy Programme

Rationale for the Programme

Sport Life New Zealand School Sport Academy programme aims to develop the knowledge and understanding of potential elite athletes interested in pursuing a career in their sport at both a domestic and international level. Central to this aim is the belief that a balance between academic, cultural, sporting, social and spiritual facets of education is paramount.

The programme is based upon:


Realisation of a definitive need for a longitudinal holistic education as part of the development of student-athletes.


Recognition that potentially elite athletes require a sound knowledge and education base from which to launch sporting careers.


Realisation that athlete development requires consistency and structure to ensure appropriate behavioural changes.


Demand, as evidenced by the high number of athletes looking to qualify and pursue a career in sport.

Recognition of the unique nature of sport, and the underpinning requirement for a programme that can address the specific features necessary for sporting excellence, whilst maintaining a balanced lifestyle.


Consequently, all students invested in the programme will develop foundation knowledge, and will acquire the ability to operate at an advanced level in training and competition. Underpinning this will be an emphasis on the development of personal, life and self-awareness skills. Participants will be encouraged to critically evaluate themselves and their practice within the context of the programme.


Principal Aim of the Programme

To provide student-athletes with an opportunity to develop their talents and acquire an understanding of the commitment and habit necessary for achieving sporting excellence whilst also maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

The primary aim of the School Sport Academy programme is to promote professionally developed and autonomous athletes who:


Are capable of operating successfully within the realms of elite domestic and international sport



Can work collaboratively with coaching staff, administration staff, agents and sponsors



Can work collaboratively with coaching staff, administration staff, agents and sponsors



Have a sound ethical and knowledge base from which to develop and achieve their aspirations in their chosen sport



Have acquired basic life skills and functional understandings that will best enable them to adapt to and operate efficiently in a variety of social and business setting



Are capable of demonstrating a responsibility to the community and their affiliated sport organisation



Value education and are committed to on-going professional development in both sport and other vocation



Have an understanding of the dynamics of functioning within a team and group environment


Structure of the Programme….

Sport Life New Zealand’s School Sport Academy programme is a workshop and consultation series delivered over two years and dedicated to the attainment of peak performance through competencies such as:


Understanding and learning to manage one’s individual emotions, and


Improving adaptations to a rapidly changing sport environment.


Titles of workshops within the series include:


Trust as a Psychological Performance Skill



Fundamental Goal-Setting Principles



Self-Regulation: The importance of Training Diaries



Constructing Key Performance Indicators



Principles of Training



Dealing With Anxieties



Confidence Through Concentration



The Will to Win Means Nothing If You Have Not the Will to Prepare



Nutrition and the Athlete



Procedures for Obtaining and Servicing Sponsors



Role of the Parent – Parenting for Sport Progression



Emotional Intelligence: The X Factor in Sport



Understanding the Identity of the Athlete



Coping Strategies for Dealing With Expectations



Think Big – Lessons From the Coal Face of Sport



The Team as a Dynamic Unit



Taking the Right Option – Overcoming Response Delays



Cooking for the Growing Athlete



The Greatest Risk of All – Understanding the Consequences of Risk



Developing and Nurturing Positive Media Relationships



The Role of Analysis in High Performance Sport



Playing Performance and Touring in a Foreign Country



Success, Failure and High Performance Sport, and



Coaching in High Performance Sport



Individual Consultation

Toward individualisation in personal and sport development:


Goal Flow – a goal-setting process commencing with a dream (outcome) goal and concluding with a series of steps to determine appropriate action plans.



Training Diary – all participants are individually introduced to Sport Life’s goal-setting training diary, which is monitored on a weekly basis by an approved facilitator.



Time management – all participants are introduced to a formal time-management program, including role identification, action plans and charting.



Dietary appraisal – all participants complete a formal dietary appraisal to coincide with Sport Life’s Nutrition and the Athlete workshop.



Learning Styles Analysis – all participants complete the Learning Styles Analysis provided by the Creative Learning Company, the results of which are comprehensively explained by an approved facilitator.



Sport Life New Zealand’s (Character Profile) – all participants complete the Sport Life New Zealand (Character Profile) with a view to enhancing self-awareness and promoting a better understanding of the self. 



Preparatory and review charts – all participants are assisted in the creation of an independent pre-competition preparatory chart, as well as in the establishment of a post-competition review form.



Evaluation Form – all participants should engage in an evaluation process at the conclusion of each year of engagement, encompassing both an evaluation of their own sport performance and an evaluation of learning derived through the duration of the program.



It’s an opportunity I’m glad I took and it’s an opportunity to grab with both hands. There’s a lot of information that you can take on board and it took my performance up that little bit, which I needed to get me to the next level in my sport.

Kieran Read, Canterbury RFU, Canterbury Crusaders and New Zealand All Blacks


It was a blessing in disguise for me and helped me in my sporting field as well as in my personal and student life. I got as close as I could to leading a balanced life and I feel great. I learnt to overcome my nervousness at race meetings and I now understand how to travel overseas as an athlete and stay mentally focused.

Alice Rika, World top 10 ranked BMX racer, 2004


The Sport Life NZ Academy programme has been operating successfully at Rosehill College for the last 4 years. The depth of knowledge and understanding the athletes have gained has been beyond our expectations. The academy is a calculated approach to ensure success.

James Fraser,  Director of Sport, Rosehill College


It is with much pleasure that I endorse Sport Life's School Sport Academy programme. Over several decades of involvement in playing, coaching, governance and management of sport, I have become increasingly aware of the need for a strong foundation from which young athletes can launch careers. This foundation must reinforce outstanding habit and process if they are to successfully cope with the rigours of elite sport. I see all these components contained with the Sport Life programme and would actively encourage any young person considering a career in sport to immerse themselves in the programme.

Peter Goldsmith is a former Coaching Director Auckland Rugby, CEO North Harbour Rugby, CEO Counties Manukau Sport and General Manager Sport Development SPARC

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Lead to Succeed Workshop Programme

Leadership is a complex issue. It has many variables and very few frameworks. Perhaps that’s what makes it so appealing! The legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi once claimed: Leadership is not just one quality, but rather a blend of many qualities; and while no one individual possesses all of the needed talents that go into leadership, each man can develop a combination to make him a leader. After nearly two decades of successfully generating peak performance environments in both sport and business, I’ve come to recognise that effective leadership is the thing that most differentiates good organisations from championship organisations.

I’ve worked in conjunction with some very good leaders, and I’ve also worked with some poor ones. I’ve experienced success at the highest level of international sport with the World Championship winning New Zealand speed skating team, the Kiwis and various other teams and sports people. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of elite sport, and I’ve learnt the lessons that sport has to teach. And whilst no number of guidelines and fundamentals can ensure a leader of success, this workshop is dedicated to the considerations I most believe to be critical if a leader is to bridge the gap between the closeness and consent they must win and the control they must exert. 

By pursuing the essence of the three components of this workshop, I believe a leader can best equip themselves to inspire and motivate those for whom they have the responsibility of directing.



Sport Life's School Leadership program is an interactive one-day workshop dedicated to the promotion of leadership competencies amongst young New Zealanders



Aims and Objectives for the Lead to Succeed Workshop Programme

At the conclusion of the one-day Lead to Succeed workshop, participants will: 


Have a sound knowledge of major issues which impact on the effectiveness of a leadership style



Have developed the necessary skills and strategies to appreciate a commitment to their development as leaders 



Be able to establish and maintain successful strategies to ensure positive performance outcomes and working relationships



Be able to formulate a structured plan from which to founder their leadership competencies



Be effective and informed leaders, who are able to function efficiently and continue to learn from the experience



Be confident, critical thinkers who have the ability to construct a conceptual framework as a basis for their ongoing professional growth and the growth of those who work under them



Be able to demonstrate communication and leadership skills across a variety of personalities and perspectives in a sport setting



Be able to appreciate the integrated nature of sport development, in which the athlete’s quest for success is realised and nurtured through a positive and caring environment



Function positively in a multicultural environment such as that which exists in New Zealand and international sport.



Structure of the Lead To Succeed Workshop Programme

Sport Life recognises that effective leadership requires a sound knowledge and education base. The company also appreciates the unique nature of sport, and the underpinning requirement for an education process that addresses the specific features pertinent to leadership in the New Zealand environment. The Lead to Succeed workshop provides a structure consisting of applied knowledge across three independent but inter-related components:



Kaizen Kiwis


Emotional Intelligence – The X Factor in Leadership, and


The Art of Influence.

Ultimately, the intention of the Lead to Succeed workshop is to provide a value added sport education for New Zealand’s developing school age leaders. There is an expectation that participation in the workshop will form a strong basis for the process of continued education throughout the duration of the participant’s sport and leadership career. In order to most adequately realise this objective, the workshop contains a number of interactive and co-operative activities, as well as a comprehensive manual and workbook. Participation in the workshop will enable participants to better understand their roles as leaders whilst also forming the foundation for a structured leadership plan to follow.


Brief Overview of the Lead To Succeed Workshop Programme Components

Component One: Kaizen Kiwis

On November 26 2005, the New Zealand Rugby League team “the Kiwis” defied the odds to record one of rugby league’s greatest ever upsets. In the final of the Gillette Tri-Series the Kiwis abundantly displayed the belief, trust and brotherhood essential to maximising productivity. With an understanding that “one of the greatest pleasures in life is to do what others say cannot be done” as their catch cry, the Kiwis adopted a Kaizen philosophy and rode a wave of emotion to overcome a 46 year-old Sydney hoodoo and implemented a program of process and structure all the way to an historic series win and a 24 – nil victory over Australia. This component will convey the strategies employed to promote a more dynamic and positive culture in this team and will set the foundation for the detailed leadership guidelines to follow.


Component Two: Harnessing Emotional Intelligence – The X Factor in Leadership

It is a fact that 85% of leadership competencies tap into emotional intelligence. In recognition that nothing is more powerful than self-discovery, Harnessing Emotional Intelligence appreciates that effective leadership grows out of self-knowledge, character and integrity. It is the realisation that disciplined self-examination instinctively enables leaders to play to their strengths and is the hallmark of superior performance. Based on Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Competence Framework, this component will investigate the personal and social competencies that make effective leaders effective by analysing and promoting competencies such as: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

Harnessing Emotional Intelligence espouses that effective leaders understand the self before they can assist others.


Component Three: The Art of Influence

Being an effective communicator is the cornerstone of all social skills and a leader’s greatest tool in the inspiration and motivation of others. It is the most critical ingredient to the development of respect in any team. Effective communicators appreciate the power of refined listening and are able to bring a high degree of self-awareness into the process of understanding, acknowledging and responding to another person.

The Art of Influence is effective communication at its best. It is sending convincing and compelling messages to others by ensuring clear, concise and positive delivery. It is conversing in a calm, composed and patient manner. It is a leader’s ability to set aside their own feelings so that they may be fully available to the person they are with. It is an interpretation of emotion. It is the eliciting and gathering of essential information. It is an ability to help in the most appropriate way.



Thank-you for your time and effort in delivering the leadership workshop series at Tamaki College. I have had great feedback from the schools and appreciate you making yourself available.

Trudy Englebretsen - Manager, Education Sector
Sport Auckland


Click here to register interest or to receive further information




Of all the judgements that we pass in life, none is as important as the one we pass on ourselves, for that judgement touches the very centre of our existence.