Monday, August 20, 2007

Investing for the future.

Leadership Development can be a balancing act. Give someone too much or too little responsibility and they can fall over. If we push them too hard too fast or leave them static without challenge they can lose perspective and place. Our National Conferences try to provide experiences which will stretch as well as teaching, reflection and interaction.

We believe that the right kind of transformational experiences, interwoven through life and events, are essential if we are to take seriously the mission of discipleship training through the key age range from 15-25. It has been encouraging over the last week to hear of some students taking first steps in faith and others moving on in faith through leadership and service.

I have been thinking about development in my coaching responsibilities too. Only two boys from last years Wellington Under 11 development team were eligible for selection this year. In the Development Team which I am coaching we have intentionally selected a group including younger players. I think we have four 9 year olds and a number who are playing six or eight aside during the week, for whom the 11 aside game is a real step up. This potentially means that we may not do as well in the tournaments, playing older, bigger kids but it is a great opportunity for the boys we have selected.

We play our next mini tournament this weekend in Palmerston North. We have a great group of parents and I am fortunate in having an excellent manager. Jamie is playing for the A team which is being coached by Subs and they have a match in Wellington while we are in Palmy.

The last home Lions game was Tana Umaga's 100th and final appearance. Tana is a legend in Wellington, having played for the Lions and the Hurricanes. Graham henry made him NZ captain in 2004 and the team won 19 of 21 matches before he retired from internationals. The All Black players apparently cried when he told them that he was retiring.

For his final game in Wellington fans were encouraged to go dressed as Tana. Jamie took the challenge seriously!

Tana was able to reach this milestone because he was given his debut at 24. With the Rugby World Cup looming there are different philosphies evident in team selection. England are taking only 3 players under 25 in their World Cup Squad. British teams often seem reluctant to back youth and seem less willing to select and support emerging players.

One of the things we enjoy about watching the All Blacks, the Hurricanes and the Lions is the commitment to nurturing exciting talent alongside the more experienced players.

The fans are a mixture of ages and experience too!
(This is a younger one - obviously!)

Our New Strategic Planning Team had its first meeting this week in Wellington. We had a great couple of days together but I was reminded that we are all still on that same development tightrope ourselves. We had a few wobbles but we are committed to moving on together. It may be that the wobbles are what keep you moving, make you reach out and remind you what you are actually doing.

Given that we are thinking about leadership development it seems appropriate to feature a bright, young couple!

No comments: