22 athletes, 3 coaches, 1 manager and 1 physio are revving up to take on the world. The World Junior Ultimate Championships in Waterloo Canada is coming up quick, with competition starting in just over two months (18 – 25 August). With three training camps done and dusted and one more to go, the U20 Australian men’s team ‘Thunder’ are keen to hit worlds with a bang.
The Thunder boys have been training hard over the last six months with a focus on playing as a team, rather than relying on super-star athletes as other iterations of the team have done in the past. Thunder 2018 are lead by Tom Boyle as captain, Matt Hannah and Blake Nichols as vice-captains, with James Walker and Anthony O’Hagan as spirit captains. The team is coached by Kyal Oh (Head Coach), Greta Murdoch (Assistant Coach) and Rob Swan (Assistant Coach) who are looking to re-establish Thunder as a force to be reckoned with at WJUC 2018. Manager, Jack Lilwall and team physio, Chris Stoddard have been the glue holding this team together both mentally and physically.
The team and coaches have have been working hard to show the world a new look Thunder for 2018. While there is definitely a focus on being best athletes they can be on the field, the guys also want to become all round #betterdudes. The team has singled out the three P’s as its core values:
Passion – love of the sport and each other
Presence – being loud and big on and off the field, appreciating the moment and communicating as a team, even when we’re apart, maintaining that constant presence with each other
Pride – in our actions, growth and representing our country
When representing the country on a national level, a lot of pressure can be put on the end result. Did the team perform to its own (and the nation’s) expectations? But so often this is largely out of any individual player's control. As such, the team has decided to focus on each athlete growing as a person over the course of the campaign. Then, regardless of the result, each player can take something away from the experience. On a personal level the boys want to improve their self-discipline, generosity, motivation, kindness, decision making, self-regulation, mindfulness, teamwork and leadership skills, organisation and resilience.
They are working towards being people who say thank you and actually mean it, people who can hit rock bottom are able to bounce back and learn from their mistakes. People that value every moment (especially being a part of this campaign) and are always living in the moment not in the past. 2018 is not about perfecting these things, it’s about looking in the mirror and learning and improving, then being able to make a move in the right direction.
The team can’t wait to be over in Canada, proudly representing the green n’ gold and continuing its focus on becoming #betterdudes.
Be sure to keep up with the Thunder’s journey on: