Richmond Players

The dejected Richmond players leave the field after their final’s loss.

In the 2013 AFL finals, my beloved Richmond Tigers finally made it  to the post-season after a barren drought of 12 years.

They entered the finals in good form and were up against their arch-rivals Carlton.

Early in the third quarter everything was going to plan and they were up by 32 points, before the wheels fell off.

I watched with my 8 year old son in disappointment as Carlton ran over the top and won by 20 points.

Hayden wasn’t impressed and there were tears (not mine) as we watched the players trudge off the MCG with their heads down.

Hayden expressed that it would be another 12 years until they are in the finals again.

I responded, “Not if they use the pain that they feel in the right way.”

I hope that they feel disappointed as they ponder their missed opportunities.

I hope that they have a hollow feeling during their off-season break.

And then I hope that they turn their pain into purpose.

I hope that every training run, every gym session, every team meeting is driven by a purpose and strong desire to never go through such an experience again.

I hope that the pain they feel forges an inner resolve to push themselves harder, equip themselves better and change how they respond when under pressure.

And I hope that they don’t wallow in their pain for too long, but use it as fuel for the exciting future that they’re aiming for.

We’ve all experienced disappointments in life.

Job interviews that went wrong, people who let us down, mistakes that held us back.

Don’t stay in that place for too long, don’t feel sorry for yourself and don’t give up on your dreams.

But turn your pain into purpose and get motivated to take the action required to create a better future.

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