In the wake of the Madden Medal presentation last Thursday, the retiring class of 2019 have put together a letter to their younger selves detailing the lessons they learned during their careers. Over the next week, aflplayers.com.au will publish the letters of these players to help celebrate their achievements. Here is former Blue and Tiger Shaun Grigg’s letter to his 17-year-old self.
There are a couple of lessons that will hold you in good stead throughout your career.
The first one is stick at it.
At times, it will feel like the wheel is not turning but – just trust me – don’t give up it’s more than worth it in the end.
You will find out pretty quickly that talent won’t get you there.
The harder you work the quicker you will improve. Don’t just do the existing program, look for extra ways you can get better.
Stay true to your belief that you are good enough to play at the level and take the opportunity when it arises, because it will be one of the best decisions of your life.
Don’t pretend you are anyone else and don’t try to please people that do not matter.
Walk into Tigerland every day with a smile, as it’s the time of your life.
As you get older, you’ll learn that the more you put the team first, the more individually fulfilled you will be.
Don’t miss a footy trip. Don’t lose sight of how fun footy is and the moments after the game when you’re having a beer with your mates.
It’s a very professional and serious sport, but at the end of the day it’s a game of footy that you’ve grown up loving.
If you take this letter on board you will have the chance to end a 37-year premiership drought that awakes a sleeping giant and leave the game as premiership life member of the mighty ‘Tiges’.
Oh and by the way, don’t laugh, but it would be a good idea to practice some ruck work along the way as it may come in handy one day!