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In the week leading up to the 2019 AFL Grand Final, Richmond captain Trent Cotchin said,

“For me, it’s not about holding the cup up for a second time and so forth, it’s about creating a culture that will live beyond my time at the footy club and the other players who have been such a big part of that.”

He gets it.

He understands leadership.

It’s about creating a legacy.

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Clemson University Football Strength and Conditioning Coach Joey Batson is quoted as saying:

“They don’t put championship rings on smooth hands… You win championships when the stadium is empty, when the band ain’t playing, when the cheerleaders ain’t cheering, when it’s just you and your brother, right beside you.”

I love these types of quotes as they are a reminder that we can’t just expect to turn up and expect everything to automatically work out.

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Wayne Rooney did it again.

For the third time in his professional career, Rooney managed to kick a goal from beyond the half-way line, with an audacious strike.

How does he do it?

Firstly, he needs to see the opportunity.

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One of my favourite stories to come out of the Toronto Raptors’ NBA Championship is that of their coach, Nick Nurse.

After graduating college in 1989, he worked in a range of coaching positions across Europe, college and semi-pro leagues.

In 2005, he accepted the job to be an assistant coach for the Oklahoma Storm. It paid $43 a day. To earn it, he had to coach, wash the uniforms and drive the team to games.

Now, after 15 teams across five countries and 30 years after his coaching journey began, he is the coach of the 2019 NBA Champions.

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Two-time Olympic gold medal footballer, Ally Wambach reminds us in her book, Wolfpack, to rush or point.

The premise is simple, but wonderful.

When someone scores a goal, rush to them in celebration.

Get there first, create a culture of celebrating the success of others, give them a hug or a high-five, tell them how good they are.

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I was watching an interview with one of the Boston Celtics’ players last night and in the background there was a message on the wall that simply said, “Every possession matters.”

It’s a great principle that doesn’t just apply to basketball, so let me encourage you today to take advantage of every opportunity, because:

Every interaction matters.

Every email matters.

Every single moment of every single day matters.

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The NBA season started today and in the first game of the season, after young Boston star Jayson Tatum started complaining about a dodgy call, his coach, Brad Stevens yelled out to him, “Hey, next play!”

It’s great leadership and a great reminder to us all that there will be times when things don’t go our way.

Not every decision will go in our favour.

You will make mistakes.

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Marathon runners often talk about finding their second wind.

It’s that moment when they think that they can’t go for much longer, but somehow their body gets another burst of energy and they are able to keep going.

Are you tired?

Do you feel  as though you can’t go for much longer?

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I don’t claim to know what hurdles are in front of you, but I do know that they are there.

It would be nice if the track ahead was smooth and without obstacles, but that’s rarely the case.

So what do you do with the hurdles in front of you?

Do you consider them too difficult, making them seem higher than they really are and giving up before you’ve really tried?

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There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of a big race.

The runners line up, the crowd becomes silent and for a moment everything pauses until…

Bang!!!!!

And in a flurry of arms and legs, the athletes propel themselves around the track.

Today, I want to ask you who fires your starting pistol?

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