The Ultimate Test of Character

USP - The ultimate test of character

Quite often athletes experience challenges and setbacks…As a coach I’m more interested in how the athletes I coach handle their setbacks rather than how they behave when everything is going their way and victories abound.

When I think about athletes overcoming setbacks, I don’t need to look to far to see one of our most impressive athletes with the strength of character required to be elite…

NEAFL TIS CUP AFLQ League Best and Fairest Winner Callum Carseldine. Callum has been training with USP for almost 8 years and now almost 96 training programs later  is continuing to get better, bigger, faster, fitter, stronger and more resilient!

USP - Callum wins the TIS 2013 Medal for leagues best and fairest Southport Sharks
Callum Carseldine With NEAFL AFLQ TIS League Best and Fairest Award

In 2013 he played the entire year with a dodgy shoulder and had a reconstruction in November 2013 and was playing in March 2014. He had a knee reconstruction in May 2014 and was playing 10 months later in March 2015 following our USP Accelerated ACL Injury Rehab programs.

What makes this all the more impressive is the fact he regularly travels  down from North Brisbane to train at our facility (A 3 hour round trip excluding the actual training session), holds down a full time job, and up until a few months ago was studying full time at university…and also speaks and assists and volunteers at Charity and Community Events..ironic isn’t it that he captains the Western Magpies AFL team!

Callum Carseldine Packing up Boxes at Christmas Time for the Salvos

For me, long term injury setbacks are the Ultimate Test of an athletes’ Character..

It’s easy to drift off and lose focus when you haven’t got a coach on you back, it’s challenging to see your team mates playing and training and doing all of the things you can’t do…it’s challenging to watch your team mates winning or losing knowing full well there is nothing you can do..it’s frustrating watching team mates that take playing and training for granted or seeing lazy athletes…when you’d give everything you’ve got just to run and play the game you love so dearly!

What would you do, if you were faced with the same scenario?

Would you keep going?

Or would you quit and give up on your hopes and dreams?

Are you willing to pay the price?

Maybe, just maybe, you would display adaptability and work around your limitations which is exactly what Callum, Kurt Tippett, Bryce Retzlaff, Matty Lodge and Harry Simmington did!

Callum Carseldine back where he belongs

I get the phone call as soon as he wakes up from the anaesthetic..

“Joey let’s start the rehab now!”

Having known Cal for 8 years-this is the norm, not the exception…

The next 6 weeks is spent doing physio, rehab, off legs conditioning, upper body strength and conditioning every single day!

Once the initial rehab phase finished-we set about focussing on his weaknesses and deficiencies-and low and behold he smashes personal bests on every one of his Upper body lifts!

Although it’s painful, he gets down to his club to support his teammates and assist the coaching staff-further developing his knowledge of the game; since he only started playing AFL at 19 years of age!

Callum Carseldine Deadlift

Having barely run for the previous 6 months, Callum rocks up to Western Magpies club pre-season for the beep test and you guessed it, wins the club beep test by a few levels on his first day back training at the club.

You want a perfect example of focus, commitment and inspiration, take a leaf out of this blokes book..

It’s the character of the man and the culture that has been created at our facility.

You see it’s not just about the playing, training, nutrition and the gym…

It’s about life!!

A wise man once said, “how you do anything, is how do everything”!

If the character and results of this man are anything to go by…the legacy has been created and continues to evolve.

Callum, from everyone at USP and in THE PIT it was a privilege to see you get back to where you belong on the footy field.

I look forward to seeing you take it up another level!

All the best,

Joey Hayes