KEEP smiling young fellas!
Whether you’re playing sport, reading or writing reports or shearing sheep in a muggy tin shed, it’s of utmost importance that you enjoy what you do.
I haven’t a doubt in my mind the most important lesson I’ve learnt in my young career was to keep smiling. A pleasantry that was hard to come by in last year’s Big Bash League (BBL) and after walking off the field suffering our eighth loss, it was welded into my mind by our veteran fast bowler Dirk Nannes.
He walked back into the sheds among a youthful distress and with a stiff upper lip pronounced, “keep smiling young fellas”.
I ran into Dirk for the first time in nearly a year last week and he was still grinning like a mischievous school boy. Almost immediately I realised it’s that time of the year again!
This week, leading into the opening Sydney derby against the 6ers, has been productive. We know what direction the club is headed and where we all stand, coupled with a Bon Jovi concert that left us shot through the heart, and some karting that ended with a victorious Nannes on the podium pronouncing “business as usual, gentlemen”!
Training has been intense.
In a game you have a window of about 12-18 deliveries before the ball stops swinging. So you pick up a brand new rock at the start of training, bowl 12 balls then toss it to a spinner and grab an old ball.
Bowling under the watchful eye of former NSW Blues quick Mark Cameron, a session is short and sharp with a demand nothing short of your best before you’re shipped off, out the back to a fielding conference.
Cue ‘The Smiling Assassin’. Simply known as Nuwan, our fielding coach is a hard, hard man. Having a very base knowledge of the English language, his default setting is a cheeky grin knowing full well what fresh hell he’s about to put your elbows and knees through on a dry, hard Blacktown outfield. He makes a shower after training feel like a mean kid with a magnifying glass trying to light you on fire!
We play and train with a determination I’ve never before experienced in the electric green.
What drives you to be better? What makes the pain a pleasure?
For some it’s the glory of winning. Others are proving a point.
For me, it’s a reminder that I’m doing what I want. Ball after ball in the Yeoval Central School nets I wished one day I would be here.
It’s a euphoric feeling walking through a tunnel of fireworks onto ANZ.
Soak it up, lose yourself in the moment but always remember where you came from.
Chris Tremain is a former Orange paceman who plays with the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League. He will write a weekly column for the CWD during the Big Bash League.