#87 From Choking to Champions: The Inspiring Story About a Bunch of Ordinary Blokes Doing Extraordinary Things at Moonee Valley Bowls Club

This week’s podcast is a special one to me —it’s about a group of Aussie underdogs, achieving the seemingly impossible. Picture this: my phone rings and it’s one of my best mates from school, Deano, who is president of Moonee Valley Bowls Club (MVBC). Deano explains for the last 7 years his top team has struggled to break through to the Premier Division. Despite their efforts, they just couldn’t perform under pressure and continually choked in the finals. Deano asked if I could come to talk to the boys about my “mental skills stuff”.

Enter the players who are committed to their bowling careers, refining their skills, and nurturing a culture of belonging and excellence. Then there’s me—a mental skills and leadership coach eager to see if my strategies, effective with professional teams, could help a bowling team in the suburbs of Melbourne. With a resounding “YES” to Deano’s invite, I flew to meet the boys…

“…We’ve got this edge over every other team now from what [Andrew] taught us and that just empowered a lot of players and just made us a lot stronger as a team. It was something when things weren’t going right we could fall back on and…it’s worked so far!”

In this episode find:

3:40 What had been happening to MVBC the past 7 years, having a problem with the mental side of your game and gaining the chokers tag.

7:35 President Dean brings Andrew in to talk to the boys, being skeptical of Andrew’s methods and how it all went down in the Division 1 finals.

13:15 How it feels to finally be in the premier league, expecting to lose and the skills Andrew taught the team.

25:45 Andrew’s coaching session, how the culture of the team was built and an example of the team’s pre game strategy session.

34:20 Why MVBC is able to attract so many young players and the secret to the team keeping close to each other.

37:20 Andrew and Aaron Walsh’s reflections on the podcast.