That’s the statistic that performance gear maker SKINS found out in a survey of athletes from North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Lions, Western Bulldogs, Western Sydney Giants, Melbourne Rebels, Western Force and Brumbies.
The study also showed that the same percentage, 39, would choose attending the grand final of their code over the birth of their child. That either proves these athletes are extremely determined or extremely stupid and don’t have their priorities in order. What was that old adage? Winning isn’t everything? Oh, yeah, and bloody well be there for the birth of your own child, you massive, massive, clown.
OK, that last one might not actually be an adage. SKINS asked a number of questions to these elite athletes to try to find out where their mindset was and exactly what made them tick as sports stars. Unsurprisingly, 85 per cent of respondents said they would do whatever it took to win. Confusingly, that’s a lot higher than the 39 per cent who outwardly admitted they would bend the rules. The question is somewhat one in the same, we thought.
“The survey shows the massive psychological and emotional toll most players experience due to the common ‘win at all costs’ mindset,” said Gareth J. Mole, a sports psychologist at Condor Performance. “In other words the physical demands of these sports, which are obvious when we all see the ‘big hits’, might actually be second to the psychological burdens endured playing at the highest level.”
Greater Western Sydney Giants Co-captain Callan Ward, explained it like this: “I definitely never took losing lightly as a child, whether it was my friends or siblings – I was fierce. Nothing has changed and if anything I take that competitiveness to a new level. I am not only playing for myself on game day but also for my team mates, coaches and thousands of fans who are desperate for victory.”
Strangely, 70 per cent of players would then blow off the after match team night out to attend their partner’s birthday. We blame their parents for this extremely confusing load of data. SKINS asked whether as a child the players felt pressure from their parents, with a resounding 89 per cent saying they did.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.