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By Daniel Carlin | Focussing on what counts in the game – some lessons from the journey so far

September 1, 2016


Daniel at Westmont College.  By the time he was done Daniel had a dominant career with Westmont, taking them to a national NAIA championship and in the record books of a few all-time statistical categories at the school.




Preface by Janx….

Isaac White’s blog had an impact on many people that read it.   After reading Daniel’s blog below I feel this blog can impact many too.  I can vouch that Daniel lives the values he speaks of.  Daniel is a great man and I think he has so many experiences in the sport already we can learn from.  His blog highlights 3x“take-aways”:

1.    Build a support network of the right people
2.    Control the controllables
3.    It’s more than just about you


He relays these take-aways with some great, practical examples and stories to help us understand why these values are important.

Before I hand over to Daniel a bit of background on this man.....

A few years ago I was Director of Coaching at Central Districts Lions and Sean Carlin was President through that period.  At the little fledgling club at the time Sean Carlin and I used to run what we called High Performance Information Sessions.  The purpose of these sessions was to change the culture of the program where parents and athletes were able to make more informed goals around their junior career planning and goal setting.  During these sessions we also addressed the type of culture we wanted to develop in the young men and women in the club.  Sean would do a rather dramatic presentation using a lighter, piece of paper, candle and a bowl.  In this presentation he would light the paper and it would burn out instantly, quickly.  He would then take the candle light it and let it burn.  At the end of his presentation he would ask what was symbolic about the candle burning vs the paper.  The fire was the challenges we experience in sport and the candle was a metaphor.  Because the candle had more “substance” it was still burning long after the paper had being disintegrated.  This is how I see Daniel, he is like the candle.

Centrals had had very few elite juniors pass through in its history before Daniel and there was probably a mindset among its players of; if you played at the club you would not make higher level programs – EG: State teams, National Teams, NITP, AIS etc.  What was impressive was that Daniel was able to break the mold and inspire a raft of future players to the club from across the region and show that a Centrals player COULD infact succeed.  He has since gone on to play for Australia in U17 World Championships, gain a