Why did you become a coach?
At first I became a coach out of a pure desire to be in a fitness environment and to be the fittest, strongest or healthiest person possible. At first it was definitely an avenue for creating significance and importance and I always rebelled against “getting a real job” so being a coach was one way I could work my hours, become a beast and get paid. The opportunities to do this are still present, you just have to be prepared to be very good and really give a shit about people.
Shortly into my journey I realised that all the years I dedicated to being the best tennis player and athlete I could be, served me really well as a coach. I had a wealth of knowledge that my fellow trainers hadn’t acquired yet around performance, nutrition, training intensities, modalities of training, periodisation and a competitive nature that served me well in business.
What is your background?
My parents, Robyn and John, raised me and my elder sister Jayde, in a loving nurturing environment. I grew up with a passion for sport, loved competition, winning and fancied myself in all things, dancing, singing, comedy, juggling, sport and school with good reason, mostly lol.
I always wanted to be a professional tennis player and at around the age of 12 or 13 I decided i needed to apply myself and train like I was going to be a professional. If it takes 10,000 hours and 10 years to master a sport or skill, I decided that I needed to begin now and I need to apply myself a minimum of 3 hours a day. Tennis became my source of significance and challenge and I later have come to realise that I created a lot of stability and comfort in other areas of my life to keep me feeling safe from too much challenge and uncertainty.
High school was also a place of great uncertainty. I went to Williamstown High for year 7 – 12 and my sister was in year 10 when I began there. I quickly realised I was the little fish in a big school. My orientation day I didn’t know anyone and no one wanted to know me, for quite a few months. Everyone seemed to already have their clicks and friendship groups figured out and not only was I feeling lost in a new environment, I also quickly felt lonely. In school I never got physically bullied, even though I was afraid of being physically bullied, but emotionally I was scared and walking wounded most days. I regularly went unnoticed, or I at least felt that way, due to the level of self worth I had and I sought out approval from others by being wowing them with my strength, fitness or ability to win everything… at the things I was good at. The other things I wasn’t the best at, like music, like drama, like english, I gave no time, effort, or focus to and accepted that I wouldn’t be good at them. The other way I got attention was from bagging or putting down other kids hoping people would laugh at my crude jokes. I never intentionally wanted to hurt other kids, I really just wanted people to think I was funny and feel accepted, its funny how wrong I was and how backwards my thinking was…in school that was how most people I knew operated.
When have you been coached before?
Since the age of 12, I’ve always had a coach. Initially my coaches taught me the technique required for tennis. When I went to MITS, the Melbourne International Tennis School, I had up to 5 coaches who taught everything from technique to strategy, matchplay, tactics and mindset. At age 19 I had a coach who taught me more about how to move freely and also structure points and I developed a level of self trust that led to some of my best results yet. At age 26 I signed up to the coaching Institute and studied “life coaching” with Sharon Pearson, and to this day I still study, learn and attend coaching courses and events with Sharon. I also have incredible coaches and role models leading the way at CrossFit 3018 whom we get to bounce ideas off and we all grow together. I am committed to being a student of life, so I feel like I have many, many coaches around me whom I love and learn from.
What did you learn from your coaches?
What I have learned is, the moment you think you know it all, is the moment you stop learning and start going backwards. The minute you think you have the answer, you stop seeking answers. I’m not suggesting never trust yourself and assume you know anything. You have to trust yourself, you must back yourself and back your knowledge … what I’ve learned though is to stay curious. To live on the edge of possibility and performance.
What does coaching mean to you now?
Coaching is leadership communicated, demonstrated and appreciated by the coach and student. What I mean by this is, the coach is an example of excellence and is also capable of inspiring and delivering the message and teachings to the student/s. Coaching is a platform for learning, growing and becoming my ultimate self. Coaching is my platform for living my ultimate life. As a coach, the buck stops with me. I am the leader, I am the role model, I am responsible and there is nothing I can expect of someone else that I haven’t myself honoured and mastered. So, I have an on going accountability, I’m deep in an inspiring journey to explore whats possible for the human body, the human capacity to grow and the human capacity to embrace love, acceptance and possibility on all levels. Coaching is life and whatever I know and truly honour is something I can contribute, so Im here to explore the best of me and see it realised and actualised in myself and others.
What are 3 key learnings you’ve acquired?
1/ The world I experience is a reflection of me.
The more loving, accepting and nurturing I am of myself and others, the more myself and others are likely to see all the things that are worth loving, accepting and nurturing.
2/ Not getting goal, is sometimes more important and rewarding than getting the goal.
I learned from the age of 14 that setting goals was the way to achieving your dreams. I’ve set more than 100 goals over the last 16 years and acquired many of them. What I’ve learned though is that achieving or not achieving the goal is less important than what it makes of you as a person. Also, sometimes life has plans for you that you are unaware of. I never wanted to be a professional tennis player more than I wanted to be a nice guy. I didn’t want it more than I wanted to be close to my family. I didn’t want to be a professional tennis player more than I wanted feel loved and accepted for myself as a human. I didn’t want to be a professional tennis player more than I wanted to find a girlfriend and grow up with her. By not becoming a professional tennis player I have explored more of myself and become a better me than if I continued on that path I was on. I have moved from an ambition driven life to a more meaningful life and I am so grateful that I didn’t achieve my goal to be the best tennis player in the world because look what Ive become. What I am grateful for is the teachings, learnings and mentors that have shaped me and opened me up to a world that is far more enjoyable than the one I envisaged as a 5, 7 or 12 year old.
3/ Relationships are the key to a great life.
The relationships we have in life are more important than anything else. That includes the relationship we have with ourself. I used to be so hard on myself, putting my self down for not being the best, setting unattainable, unreachable goals that made me feel insignificant and i compared myself to others in ways that left me feeling unworthy and incapable.
These days I am much more aware of the great things about me, and it has very little to do with what I have or have not achieved and very much to do with my true characteristics, integrity and compassion. Through this greater sense of awareness, integrity and compassion I also have a much deeper appreciation and understanding of others and I believe this is a great platform for strong, deep and influential relationships.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired on a daily basis from many different sources.
Sharon Pearson, Joe Pane and the coaching institute have been a real guiding force for me over the last 3 years. I’ve studied base coach, pro coach and master coach, completed meta dynamics and more recently complete your ultimate self and Your success which have all be phenomenal and I feel like this commitment I am making towards exploring more of me is the journey worth travelling.
I am looking for inspiration every day and really noticing it so much more. The people in my everyday life, members of the gym, our Your Success community, my friends, my family and my dogs are incredible sources of inspiration. The members of the gym who step out of their comfort zone, coming from lack of information, poor education, other specialties, despair, hurt, victimhood, abuse whatever their journey, its real and I am inspired by their courage and willingness to honour themselves and being an example of physical and mental strength. My dogs remind me to be 100% present, loving and free of judgement. The man that charged my restaurant bill who took 3 months to travel the world and bought a house in Torquay where he feels most at home and most himself inspires me. The people that are breaking through barriers, being real, humble and just rocking out. My parents, family and friends who continue to light my days with their own journeys and everything they have done for me up until now and moving forward. I truly love noticing and exploring so much love, strength and possibility in the people in my world.
3/ YouTube, books, resources
Ive created a ritual of studying and learning from people that I feel inspired by. I study their language, their journey, their attitude, their beliefs and use it as evidence of why I am worthy of my own trust. Eric Thomas, Tony Robbins, Opray Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Richard Branson, Ben Bergeron, Greg Glassmen, Will Smith, Carl Paoli, Kelly Starett, Ido Portal, Dr John Demartini. Ive studied there material for thousands of hours each. Ive injected in myself the values, beliefs and attitudes that I admire so much in them and decided to live by the principles and teachings that light me up. I surround myself with this inspiration.
What do you want to leave as a legacy?
I want to be known and respected as a man who loved unconditionally and completely. I’ll be remembered as a man who saw the good in others and was a source of wisdom, passion and inspiration. My lessons, stories, triumphs, failures and fuck ups will be accessible to all and will provide my family with a wealth to support them financially and emotionally for a lifetime.
What are you most proud of?
The wife that stands by my side. She is a reflection of me and I am proud to be worthy of someone I love and admire so much.
What characteristics define you?
Playful, Fun, Determined, Honest, Passionate, dedicated, focused, outgoing, loving and committed.
Did you love this exercise?
Yes, I had an idea it would be really valuable to answer these questions and It is important and has been very meaningful to answer them and also connect with them. I encourage everyone who reads these to do the same (and adapt the word coach to teacher/ lover/ father/mother as needed).
- CrossFit Level 1
- CrossFit Level 2
- Weightlifting/Powercoach level 1
- Weightlifting/Powercoach level 2
- TCI Pro coach
- Meta Dynamics Level 1
- Your Success
- Your Ultimate Self
- CrossFit mobility
- Cert III and Cert IV
- Tennis Wins against worlds top 1000
- Grade 1, Tennis player at Donvale 4 years