Are you struggling with motivation in lockdown? These 5 underlying questions will help transform the way you see the world around you and construct a positive environment for success.

At high school, I had the opportunity to listen to the late Tommy Hafey speak, former AFL/VFL coach - a remarkable individual who inspired a generation of footballers and Australian’s to do better. His life lessons have stuck with me to this day. To be driven to succeed and never stop learning every single day was the essence of his methodology for success. It inspired this piece and sparked some ideas in my head this week of how I can remain on top of things even when the situation might not be completely ideal or exactly how I would prefer it. Resilience will never do you wrong.


"Desire plus dedication plus discipline plus determination equals your destination"

You can read more about Tom Hafey’s philosophy here.


The perfect place to start is by reading and soaking in information, to find what’s applicable for you. Whether that be on the internet, a podcast, audiobook, youtube, a book, or newspaper. So, what are you waiting for?

Choose one thing you can read this weekend and make it the first thing you do each day. The old adage that "readers are leaders" could not be more true! It will certainly give you a greater insight into other people's stories and world events that will exact a greater perspective of our very fortunate reality here at home.

Taking lessons from those around you and people who have gone before you is a key component to having a growth mindset so you can constantly progress. It may be from your parents, teammate, or yes… even your cricket coach! Basically, anyone that genuinely cares and wants to help and has provided constructive & thoughtful feedback.

There is always an opportunity to learn, a stance that another esteemed AFL coach Kevin Sheedy took with him throughout his coaching career. (Yes, different sports can learn from each other). The Olympics is yet another example of self-sacrifice and dedication on display from some of the world’s and Australia's finest athletes. 

Overcoming adversity isn’t just a part of sport, but life and our greater purpose. Sport can provide unlimited lessons we can draw from team success, individual persistence, failure, and advancing yourself even when you feel stuck. I encourage you to find your limits and push them to get the absolute most out of yourself.


Now take a pen and paper, find a quiet space and ask yourself the following questions. Take your time.

  1. What is my purpose?
  2. What am I doing well?
  3. What areas can I improve on?
  4. How can I help impact others around me in a positive way?
  5. What are some aspects that I find challenging / confronting and how can I begin to overcome them? 


The key to this is to be as specific as possible with your approach. Do not be blasè, general, or ambivalent. Dig deep and be honest with yourself. Even if it’s simple - if it’s making a change for the better you will reap the benefits, I guarantee you.

After reading Michael Holding’s book, ‘Why We Kneel, How We Rise’, it shook me into taking on board these inspiring events. It humbled me to the gravity of history and how learning from those gone before can help you remain focused and clear on what’s important in life. 

Disclaimer! If you do not practice a skill daily, you’ll never be able to master it. If you don’t progress and challenge yourself - you won’t improve. It’s all well and good to have a go at something and see a positive change. If you are serious, dedicated, and can find enjoyment in it - this is what brings long-term reward for effort. 

However, if you aren’t willing to stick with something, develop it, improve, learn, fail and constantly chip away at your goals - you will stall and end up right back where you started. 

Helpful hint: it’s not about doing one-off remarkable activities or achievements. Consistent and deliberate effort each and every day & ‘controlling the controllables’ will land you in the right place. You’ve just got to get stuck in and never let the desire halt. 


If you’re looking for some activities to do at home, check out our ACI Wellbeing program on YouTube we ran for kids right around the world last year: 


Seb Contos









Article Author: Seb Contos

National Programs Manager

Australian Cricket Institute