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Learning About Excellence from the Best

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Submitted by on Fri 04/05/18 11:19

Nicole Seekamp, Commonwealth Games basketball champion, will be guest speaker at our first Excel Awards in 2018. Ahead of meeting her in person, she has kindly agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q1. What was it like to win a gold medal for Australia at the recent Commonwealth Games?
It was the best feeling! There’s nothing that compares to being able to represent the whole of Australia and our culture through the way we play basketball, and also being able to do it on home soil, in front of friends and family.
Q2. What is the culture of elite-level sport and how do you handle the pressure?
The culture of elite-level sports is obviously a competitive and hard-working one because you don’t get to that level without working extremely hard on your skill(s) and wanting to win and be the best you can be—these two things come hand in hand. But there is also a lot of pressure at this level because people expect you to always play well and be the best, and when you don’t perform well, there is a lot of criticism. There’s really no clear-cut way to deal with pressure, it’s all up to the individual. But for me, every game I focus on an effort-based skill (defense). This allows the rest of my game to come freely, without overthinking how I am performing, because I know I am working hard and giving it my all on the defensive end.
Q3. What do the Opals do differently to other teams that makes it a winning team?
It’s hard to say what we do differently, but I can say that we are a group that holds each other to the highest standard and make each other accountable when we aren’t playing at the level we should be or competing at the level we should be.
Q4. You were successful in the Commonwealth Games, but it's not always that way in competition. How important are losses, and what's the best way for a team and individuals to handle that?
Losses can be very important in that they allow you to see what you need to work on to be better. When a team or individual is constantly winning, it is easy to think that everything is going well and nothing needs to change. But when you lose, your weaknesses are exposed and then you can see what needs to be worked on to improve.
Q5. How important are supporting roles in teamwork and how would you apply this generally?
Each and every individual in a team has a role. Some are more noticeable than others, but they are all just as important when it comes to the success of a team. The supporting roles are extremely important because they are like the glue that holds everything together. They raise the standard of a team because they put the team first, rather than themselves, and do whatever they need to for the team to be successful. It also helps build the chemistry in a team, because everyone knows they have their own part to play and are contributing to a common goal. In life, we won’t always be in the starring role, but if we want the overall experience to be a good one and a successful one, then no matter the role, we will do what needs to be done and do it to the best of our abilities, without complaining.
Q6. You've been acknowledged as a great role model for other players and young people. How important is it for young people to have role models? What do you do that makes you a good one?
I think it is extremely important for young people to have role models because it gives them someone to aim to be like. However, it is also equally important for us as role models to represent ourselves in a well-behaved and respectful manner. If we can have an effect on the way young people act and define themselves, then we should act in a way that we want them to grow up and replicate. As a role model I am humble, I don’t act superior to anyone, and I put myself in their shoes by understanding what the experience means to them.
Q7. What is your advice on meeting goals? Can you give an example from your own experience?
My advice on meeting goals is to write a plan with smaller, attainable achievements that lead you to reach your bigger goal. Personally, I want to be able to MAKE 500 three-pointers a day, but right now that is very hard to achieve and would take me hours! So, I have broken it down by starting off by just making 200 a day, then the following week I’ll make 250 a day, and so on and so forth until I can consistently make 500 a day. By doing this, it helps make the goal feel more attainable, which helps keep you motivated and determined to reach that ultimate goal.
Q8. What are your goals for the future?
My goals for the future are to become a more consistent 3-point shooter, make the Australian team for the world championships in Spain, and also to start a basketball coaching business. 


WHERE: The Excel Awards will be held in the Student Centre.
WHEN: 8:50 am for a 9 am start, finishing at approximately 10:30am.
WHO: The College would like to invite all community members to this whole-school event celebrating student excellence in the academic and sporting pursuits.

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