From a very young age I knew what I wanted to be, and that was a professional rugby league player. I didn't have the benefit of my parents taking me down to the park, teaching me how to throw a ball. I vividly remember riding with a big bag of balls on my shoulder, to the local footy ground to kick a footy.
Looking back, I was doing things back then, that we teach youth now - visualise what you want, imagine what it would feel like obtaining it, and did everything i could to achieve it.
I remember my Dad taking me at the age of 15, early mornings before school - to the gym. Back in those days there was no 'body weight exercises', regressions or anything like that. I remember following him around the gym and doing what he was doing - but with less weight.
Fast forward to now, and there are a lot of services out there that aid the youth to teach and help them understand how to be better athletes.
We started Rogue Conditioning in Gladstone, Central Queensland because I wanted to help Youth in whatever way I could, and Athletic Development is an avenue I am extremely passionate about.
Unlike Vince, I don't remember dreaming of making the NZ Tall Ferns, or going to the Olympics. That was a by-product of the work I had put in over the years and the eventual pathway I came to aspire to.
I was brought up around Basketball. My parents both played basketball and I vividly remembered going to basketball games, running around playing on the sideline and getting in trouble from the referees.
I remember when I was about 10 years old, my Dad would always go to 'morning ball' on a Saturday morning. It started at 6.00am, so every Saturday without fail I would wake up at 5.30am with Dad, get ready, then go and watch them play - hoping that they'd only have 9 players and HAVE to ask me to play! Sometimes I got lucky - other times I didn't. But as the years passed, I soon was allowed to play, and from the age of about 15, I was a regular participant at morning ball.
I grew up balling out with the guys. To this day, some of my most fondest memories are just rocking up to scrimmage and playing pick up. I still, to this day - do exactly that... and I LOVE IT!
My passion for basketball has driven me to want to succeed, not only on the basketball court, but in all other aspects of life. I have learned how to disciplined, how to be goal orientated, how to be a good team mate, how to listen, how to lead, how to be humble, how to be confident... and how to pick myself up when things haven't gone as I'd expected.
My passion for Strength and Conditioning came about when I was first introduced to working out in a gym, at age 22. I could not believe, that in all my years of playing basketball - NO ONE had told me that lifting and participating in strength training would benefit me, and help me become a better baller. Once I realised this - I was hooked. I became the ultimate gym fanatic... training, learning, adapting, pushing myself, striving to be better!
It was then that I realised I wanted to help younger athletes learn this - a lot earlier than I did. I thought that if I could help teach youth specific exercises and strength training that at a younger age, it may reduce injury and save someone from a possible ACL rupture, like I did on both knees... or meniscus repairs, or rotator cuff tears... all of which I have had throughout my career.
It has been a blessing for us thus far, as we have seen so many of our athletes improve in areas that often can't be measured. We've had athletes who would usually walk at the back of their school cross country, deciding to give it a go, and coming in first place? Or athletes whose grades were average or below, suddenly create a mindset shift, change their life around, and now being a straight A student.
Seeing such changes are incredibly rewarding for me. The more young people I can help to better prepare their bodies for the physicality of sport and improve their mental capacity to persist in the face of adversity - the more I feel fulfilled.