Our team give back - Community Engagement & Coaching

We have a long-standing office debate of dare we ask which is the better sport, cricket or hockey? The rivalry between T&D Founder Dion Nash and our E-Commerce and Australasia Sales rep Lani Morgan, stems from both holding a track record of over achieving as athletes second to coaching in their respectable sports. 

At T&D we have an active workplace policy that encourages staff to give back to their communities and in particular through coaching and mentoring. We offer flexible working hours and access to external resources to allow for such community engagement. This week we give a platform to these two sporting legends and dive into the great work they are doing within their sporting communities.

When asked on their current seasons' win-loss record, surprisingly both responded the same, 'it's not about winning or losing - it's about how you play the game...' 

Who’s your team? Give us a backstory to the team and players

D: St Pauls College first eleven cricket team - the team includes my son so I have to be careful what I say. But we have some awesome athletes that love to hit the ball hard and bowl fast.

L: I have been a member of Takapuna Hockey Club, at North Harbour Hockey for the past ten years, where I both play and coach through both winter and summer seasons. 

How long have you been playing your sport? 

D: 40 years!

L: I started playing Hockey at 6 years old, so coming up to 24 years.

What’s most rewarding about being a mentor?

D: Seeing kids develop and bringing out their talents, that moment when things click, and their enthusiasm for the game and getting better shines.

L: About 5 years ago I got involved with the Youth Grade, a summer hockey competition for year 7 - 10 students. For many, this is their first time playing 11-a-side hockey, and for some, first time picking up a hockey stick. The most rewarding thing about coaching, and playing along side these players, is seeing their development not only throughout the season - but years later, when they end up playing alongside me or against me in the winter competition. There’s nothing quite comparable to seeing someone develop, improve and really excel in your sport. Some of them have even gone on to give back, and in a full circle are now coaching the age group they were when I first met them.

How have you passed on the T&D ethos around the importance of rituals? Pre-game, post game rituals etc.

D: The key to doing any job well is preparation - this applies perfectly for sport - so mentally preparing, having a game plan and a process and rituals that support it all is absolutely key to performance. So we are always talking about it. Plus cricket is a great game for tiny superstitions.

L: Rituals have always been a big part of my game, and naturally this has extended to my teammates, and those I coach too. For me, a big part of team sport is the culture within the team. A negative environment, creates a negative on field experience. While as a player I have rituals that are unique to me, there are some pre & post game rituals I like to do with my teams, both coaching and playing, to make sure that the team environment is positive. Some of these are ice breakers, and music before every game.

What tactic surprised you the most?

D: When the boys are noisy and unfocused we do fielding drills and the noisier and more unfocused they are the harder I hit the ball for fielding, it does not take long before everyone is paying attention. 

L: I’ve learnt that it’s so important to be able to adapt set plays to individual players strengths, so what works for one team, may not work for the next. I generally coach athletes who are new to the sport, and what's always worked the best is getting them to provide their own "negative" feedback. They are able to identify what they might have done differently should they get to try it again, and as a result, this can motivate them to try again until they nail it.

Who are your sporting legends? Dead or alive…

D: Imran Khan, Muhammad Ali, Ayrton Senna.

L: Unpopular opinion - I don't really have any. I appreciate talented athletes, but I'm not really a sports fan. Notable mentions though: Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt.

What sporting advice have you received and never managed to forget?

D: Always be your own best coach.

L: Always keep learning & having fun.

And now to the nitty-gritty, what’s this seasons’ win-loss record? Hit us with the details

D: Been a slow start to the summer - the data set is incomplete : ) 

L: It's not about whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game (but I sure hate losing) ; )

Regardless of the scoreboard, at the end of the day mentoring and coaching is as important to our business as sales; it's about supporting and teaching our youth around the immeasurable benefits of being active, pivoted around healthy habits in an effort to create moments of ceremony used as vehicles for a fulfilling adulthood, despite any background noise. A lifestyle that, with T&D in your pocket and your head held high, you're well equipped for.

Oh and we'll let you anonymously submit which sport is the winner...

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