When your son joins the Andre Burger Cricket Academy he is not only exposed to wealth of sporting skills but also “skills for life”. The life skills program is one of these skills that is necessary, relevant and important even from a very young (age 10)

In Michael Jeh, the presenter of this fantastic initiative Andre Burger Cricket found an individual that is passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people. Finding ways to engage and connect with youth is something that inspires Michael every day. Michael run life skills programs for elite sporting teams, schools and community groups.

The philosophical base behind it is very much based on reality, not morality. It tends to focus on pragmatic, real-world situations that don’t hide the truth from participants but instead encourages them to confront the consequences of good and bad choices as they navigate the pressures of young adulthood. In my experience with youth over many years, they tend to respond to messages that give them honest (sometimes brutally honest!) information that is consequence-based but also provides practical solutions and strategies. In broad terms, content includes topics like:

  • Substance abuse (drugs, alcohol) – understanding the dangers and consequences of poor choices
  • Respect for women, sexual assault, nightclub behaviour
  • Safe driving, staying safe in cars, young drivers
  • Youth violence, learning to avoid fights, defusing dangerous situations
  • Personal Brand & Leadership
  • Social Media (the power and perils of Facebook, Twitter, mobile phones etc)
  • Suicide and depression and early warning signs, where to seek help (in the context of elite sport especially)
  • Media skills (in the context of elite sport especially)
  • Finance & Budgeting – a basic understanding of the principles and the need to start planning early
    Bridging the Generation Gap – helping young people (Gen Y) to understand Gen X and to learn to ‘manage upwards’ as a way to promote tolerance and understanding
    Parents Workshop – information session for parents on many of the issues facing adolescents, how to navigate this period with minimum conflict and understanding the pressures of being the parent of an elite athlete
    Risk vs Reward – trying to make sense of the need for teenagers to take risks, encouraging acceptable levels of risk for healthy growth but minimising destructive/dangerous risk-taking behaviour