In addition to the NSWRL’s fantastic study session initiative, Welfare and Education manager, Greg Nicholls, put the boys through a session last Saturday that helps them understand and acknowledge their emotions as Rugby League players.
Greg Nicholls says:
“We took them through a survey that the psychologists put together and before one of the camps and that breaks down the seven sections of their wellbeing.
“The question that they really struggled with was around their ability to understand and express their emotions, so on Saturday night we put together a session that helped them explain and understand their emotions a little bit better in the future and the ability to acknowledge what the difference is between various emotions.
“For example, one of the things we did was look at a funny video, and their expression of that emotion was laughing, and then we looked at quite a sad video and we spoke about the ability to cry simply being the expression of a sad emotion.
“There shouldn’t be any stigma around crying, and that was the initial part of the talk, but then we moved on to understand that some of the things that make up a man, similar to the things we did in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents team.
“It was about getting them to understand that material items and physical build and things like drinking alcohol and their relationships with girls didn’t make them a man. They’re 16 years old, they’re young men, but their behaviour is what transitions them from boys to men.
“I tried to take the stigma of expressing emotions, feeling emotions, and the term emotions away, as that’s associated with something that girls do rather than boys, and I think we have to get the young guys to understand, its what humans do, not boys or girls, it happens naturally, and to try and suppress a natural emotion is going against what your body is actually doing.”
The NSWRL recognise that young boys’ development in life is just as valuable as their development in Rugby League, which is why such initiatives have been put into place.
The NSW u-16s Origin side will play the Queensland u-16s team as the curtain-raiser for the main game on Wednesday at ANZ Stadium.