When I was 18, I moved from my family's farm in rural Western Australia to the big city of Perth to start my Bachelor's Degree and play Australian Rules Football at a semi-professional level.
As a skinny country boy who had never seen a gym before, I physically did not look the part of a semi-pro football player. I will never forget my first session at the football club in Perth. It was a circuit style "blow out" workout early on a Saturday morning. By the time I reached the bench press 30 minutes in, I was so fatigued that a senior member of the team had to lift the bar off my chest for me as my fatigued arms tried to do 10 reps. JUST the bar.
Though I was ill-prepared to start competing at a high level, I kept toughing it out and developing, striving to get the best out of myself. As a young player trying to find my place on the team, I was eager to continue training on my own during the off-season.
I was willing to put in the extra work during the off-season to build myself both physically and mentally, but I didn't know the specifics of what would make me a better player. I asked my strength and conditioning coach for training recommendations, but I always got a vague, abbreviated answer. Looking in hindsight, he was probably just ready to wipe his hands of the year and enjoy his break. Without any guidance from my coaches, I was left unsatisfied and unsure of how to improve.
That's when I knew that I wanted to coach. Not just coach by writing programs and showing up to training sessions, but by fully dedicating every aspect of myself to my coaching. To use my experiences and strengths alongside my heart and energy to work hand-in-hand with each athlete. I wanted to be a coach that could deeply connect with the individual behind the player to guide them to expand physically and mentally, emotionally and energetically. Not only creating the best version of themselves in their chosen sport, but so too in their lives.