Some Of The Things I’ve Heard

Winning With You
February 15, 2023
Building Trust
April 18, 2023
Winning With You
February 15, 2023
Building Trust
April 18, 2023

I have been involved in teams and have worked within teams since I was four years of age. Yes, four. My first team was the Wangi Warriors Junior Rugby League Coaching class. And that, my dear friend, is where and why this nearly sixty-year obsession started.

What has ensued over these years has been a remarkable set of experiences, ones that I would not swap for anything. Learning experiences become both life-shaping and changing. Character building, not just in an overcoming adversity way, although there was plenty of that, but from people and experiences that allow you to realise who you are and what is and should be important to you.

I could go on and on, and one day I will update my book Gold Teamwork. Or, then again, I might even just start a new book on my experiences within teams, but that is for another day.

Today I want to share with you just some of the things that have stuck with me from in and around a few of the sporting teams I have worked with over the years.

“In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, I was part of the original 4 x 100 medley relay team, and I have been part of that team and swum in every major meet since. I am not swimming well enough to swim on the team today, and I understand that but I am still part of this team, and today we will win an Olympic medal.”
Chris Fydler – Australian Olympic Swimming Team Atlanta 1996.

“When you are in a team, you just do what you can, where you can, for whom you can.” (After being asked why HE was picking up his teammates dirty shorts and socks after the game.)
Cooper Vuna – Newcastle Knights National Rugby League Team.

“I am happy with my form this year, but the reason I am playing so well is that everyone on this team is playing well. That is because everyone is training hard and putting in the extra effort. We are really bonding well as a team.”
John Dorge Captain – South East Melbourne Magic NBL Team. National Champions 1996.

“Son, your life is now in my hands, and my life is now in yours. Don’t screw it up!”
Day 1 of my life as an apprentice coal miner. Awaba State Mine, Lake Macquarie NSW.

“Your greatest competition is also your greatest ally.” (The response when two team members were asked why they should be allowed to train together)
Australian Olympic Swimming Team.

“The strength of this team will be the team itself.”
South East Melbourne Magic NBL Team. National Champions 1996.

“What does this football jumper mean to you?

Does it represent the history of one of the league’s proudest and most respected teams? Does it represent the opportunity to play the game you love? Does it represent the opportunity for an income? Or does it represent the commitment, desire and dedication of this team of people who sit here before me?

You must decide the answer to that question. However, I can tell you one thing. That team jumper must mean something to you – and you must play for something greater than yourself.”
Hawthorn AFL Club 1995

“What doesn’t get said within this team just gets worse.”
Jason Smith – South East Melbourne Magic NBL Team. National Champions 1996.

“We don’t miss the little opportunities because we are too busy searching for the big ones.”
Penrith Panthers National Rugby League Team.

“It isn’t just the coach’s standards. If you guys (visitors) want to come in and be part of this team, you have to match the standards of behaviour, attitude and commitment of our team whilst you are here.”
Australian Institute of Sport Swimming Team

“This team is like a plant – we are either growing or we are dying.”
National Rugby League Match Officials

“The committee needs to understand one thing – I see our role as supporting and complimenting Bill as Head Coach and the rest of the coaching staff. If they need something done which would result in our swimmers going faster, then it our job to see that it gets done.”
Mr Adrian Gardner, President, Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club 1994-1997

“Your job is to get us into a good position. When we get into that position, the rest of us will just go for it and win!”
Damian McDonald (RIP)-Australian Road Cycling Team 1994

“If you want the accolades for the successes, be prepared to accept the criticism for the losses. It’s called accountability.”
South East Melbourne Magic NBL Team. National Champions 1996.

Captain Kurt Gidley, Isaac De Gois and Mark Taufua are already on the sidelines.

Five-eighth Beau Henry (42nd minute) suffered a broken right leg, his replacement Ben Rogers was forced off the field minutes later with a right shoulder injury.

Newcastle lost Shannon McDonnell (halftime) and Richard Fa’aoso (52nd min) to concussion, while second rower Cameron Ciraldo tore a pectoral muscle.

16 mins to go the Knights don’t have any replacements left. Coach Rick Stone sends an instruction to NYC coach Garth Brennan on the sidelines via to the two-way radio.

“Brenno, mate, forget the Doc. The message to go out there – right now – is that we show some red-hot fight. Blokes fighting hard for each other. Fighting hard for this club. These last 16 minutes … they need to be all about our brand.”

But what really defines Stone is the composure. The clarity. And the Novocastrian passion in: “Brenno, remind them this is it … no one leaves that field unless it’s in an ambulance.”
Newcastle Knights V Manly Sea Eagles Brookvale Oval 27/3/11

2004/5 National Basketball League Grand Final Series. West Sydney Razorbacks and Sydney Kings tied at 2-2.

Game 5 with 4.20 mins to go, Kings are down 79-71. Coach Brian Goorjian calls time out. He looks at the five players on the bench in front of him and simply asks them to:

“Play for the badge on the front of your singlet (Sydney Kings Logo) and the name on the back (Players Surname).”

In the next 4.20 mins the Kings score 18-0 to win 90-79.
Sydney Kings National Basketball League Team NBL Champions 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05

“Synergy – The performance multiplier. Combined competence towards our prescribed outcomes.”
Penrith Panthers National Rugby League Team.

The Journey Continues!

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