There was a gorgeous story the other night at the Brownlow award ceremony, where Nick Daicos, one of the front runners for the award, told the story of how, as a boy, he played football for 2.5 hours every night with his father and brother. Nick continued to play ball in the house and when his mother got angry, his father would point to him and say “That’s our beach house”. In other words, in support of Nick’s practise, he knew this obsession would see him achieve great heights.
OK, I am a Collingwood supporter and YES, I am going to the Grand Final. However, the point of this story is so relevant for what all of us need to do with our skills of business presence – practise!
Firstly, Nick practised – a lot – and he also practised off the field and in the house. People will often say to me they don’t have time to practise their skills of presence. You don’t have time not to practise and you can practise anywhere. I guess my favourite place is in the coffee shop.
The next thing, is that Nick was not just playing with anyone. He was playing with his father, who just turned out to be a Brownlow winner himself. In other words, he was taking the advice from an expert. He was practising the right things!
Lastly, is these young men’s approach to the pressure. At the Brownlow Awards, I thought they all behaved beautifully, but they also performed magnificently on the field.
Did you know that Jamie Elliott (who in 2022 kicked a goal after the siren to win the game for Collingwood against the Essendon Bombers) has a ritual for his kicking when it matters? This means he has a physical and mental series of thoughts of activities that he uses every time under stress, just like Sampras with his tennis serve. Jamie’s ritual is ‘seven walks, seven runs and kick’. He does it every time. Watch on Saturday (2.30 pm for the unconverted).
If you want to kick your own life goals, here are some lessons:
Practise – a lot
Have an expert mentor – do not take the advice of idiots
Have a ritual under stress – ask me how