If you are like me then you would have been pretty happy when the final siren sounded at the end of Origin 3 a few weeks ago as the NSW Blues came away victorious at the culmination of the three game series. It was a great game to watch, with plenty of back and forth in a match that came down to the wire.

It was also exciting to see the Toronto Raptors take out the NBA title this year. The first time ever the coveted trophy has left the USA.

As I witness these great sporting battles, or even watch a movie like ‘Remember the Titans’, or the comedy classic ‘Kicking and Screaming’, I see how important the half time break is. Teams seem to be able to go into the locker room after playing a poor first half and come out a different team that is able to take control of the game and seize victory. How does this happen? What goes on in there? Is there some kind of magic formula for success?

Well, Hollywood can certainly script a motivational speech delivered by a hardened coach who has learned to soften their hearts, bringing about camaraderie and the team’s ability to dig deep. But none of my coaches have ever looked or sounded like Denzel Washington. Although important, I think that a speech alone just doesn’t do the job. There are some other key things that happen at half-time that can help bring about success.

  1. Half-Time is a Break – It is a chance to have a rest physically, mentally and emotionally. It gives you time to reflect on what is working and what isn’t.
  2. Analyse the Statistics – During half-time coaches have a chance to go over the team’s statistics. The data doesn’t lie! It tells you what you are doing well and what you are not. From that information the coach and players can formulate a plan to improve in the second half.
  3. Motivation and Encouragement – This certainly is the role of the coach. They all do it differently, some methods work for some players but not others. A good coach knows what to say at those critical times.

As we begin Semester 2 of 2019 we should consider the term break to be like half-time in a sporting match.

  1. Have a Break – it is important to take time to rest. Make sure you are physically, spiritually and emotionally strong before you go back out there for the second half.
  2. Analyse the Statistics – Everyone received a Semester 1 Report and plenty of teacher feedback throughout the first half of the year. Winning teams analyse their data and make adjustments. What have you done well in the first half of the year? What changes do you need to make for Semester 2 in order to continue to improve? If you are not sure, grab your report card and have another look at your stats.
  3. Motivation and Encouragement – This is certainly where parents can play a key role, but it is not all up to them. Not all of our parents are Hollywood actors or professional coaches that can nail the perfect motivational speech, but they do all want the best for their children. Words of encouragement are helpful but so is self motivation. Figure out what motivated you (or your child) and use it to your advantage.

I hope that your half-time break was a good one. I am glad to see everyone back and keen to take on the second half of the year. And it is made all the better knowing that the Mighty Blues hold the trophy for the next 12 months!