WINNING MIND – the art of achieving

‘Big statements are made through actions’

1 May 2014
When I read the recent article ‘Peta Searle gives up coaching dream’ by Samantha Lane in the Age (26 April 2014), I let out an audible sigh bemoaning the fact that sport had potentially lost another good one.
With a little support and opportunity there is no reason Searle could have (and still can) coach at the highest level of the game with distinction.

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‘The ‘gold standard’ on athlete mental health needs an update’

13 March 2014
There is an argument to say that what happens within sport is to a large degree a mirror of what happens in the rest of society (albeit with some idiosyncrasies and outliers). If this is the case when it comes to mental health, then elite athletes are indeed in trouble.

Current figures estimate that around 45% of Australians will experience moderate to high levels of psychological distress across their lifetime – just short of half of us.

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‘The BEST way to support and care for our young sportspeople’

27 February 2014
If we lead with our hearts, they will never walk alone….

What is a 39-year-old Maori woman with an immense passion for helping others and who cares deeply about cultural diversity doing living in Sydney, over 2000km from her homeland?

My husband and I are house parents for a progressive-thinking NRL club and have eight young sportsmen living with us for the 2014 season. We provide a network of support that they wouldn’t normally have at home. Quite simply, we are living the dream and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

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‘Failure is just a step on the road to success’

20 December 2013
“So this is Christmas / And what have you done / Another year over / And a new one just begun . . .”
The whimsicalness of this line from the classic John Lennon Christmas jingle carries with it the crippling weight of expectation and judgment; for December is definitely a time when we all take stock and reflect on our achievements (or lack thereof) throughout the past year. It’s when we measure our (often metaphorical) successes and failures ….

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‘Sport – the great teacher’

13 December 2013
Eighty-three year old Margaret Fisher has carried a crumpled piece of paper in her wallet since 1953. That was the year, as an inspired young Australian from country NSW, she set her sights on an impossible dream: tennis’s holy grail – Wimbledon.

Scrawled on the paper in her own handwriting is a quote from Kipling, that is etched into the double gates marking the entryway to the famous courts:

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‘Women in sport – fitting in’

4 November 2013
I am currently on tour in the UK and France with the New Zealand rugby league team in pursuit of their World Cup title defense at the end of November. Last night they offered me the honour of being guest speaker at the Test dinner before the game. I spoke about strength in teams, and what I had seen develop and deepen in this squad over the last 18 months. I was also asked to present the jumpers to the players selected for the France game (1 November) – something that humbled me greatly.

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‘The courage to have a go’

23 September 2013
We talk a lot about courage in a sporting context these days: the courage to take a contested mark, to take off on a big wave, make a big tackle or come from behind and win an epic swim. While all of these actions are commendable – what is the real essence of courage in sport?

To me, part of what it takes to be courageous is overcoming the constant battle between the desire for what we want and the fear of failure. Most of us don’t expose ourselves because we are fearful…

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