Anxiety attacks and visions of being hauled off the playing field on a medicab before the centre bounce threatened to derail Shaun Hart’s early AFL career.
Brisbane Lions supporters will know and be forever thankful that the fearless midfielder did not succumb to his negative thoughts.
Instead, he combated the fear of failure with faith.
Mr Hart, a member of the Brisbane Lions AFL premiership sides of 2001, 2002 and 2003 told almost 600 people at this morning’s 2018 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast at Rumours how he placed his faith in God to help him achieve his football dreams.
“The power of faith is extremely powerful. Early in my career I thought about the 3000 or so training sessions I’d done to that point and decided to take faith, not fear, on the field,” said Mr Hart, the Gold Coast Suns Head of Development.
“I knew I could achieve my goals by the power of Christ and that it didn’t happen only because of me.”
That ability to look beyond the self helped Mr Hart win the 2001 Norm Smith medal as the best player in the grand final.
It remains a driving force in his coaching role and through his work with the Elevation Church at the Gold Coast.
“Our coaching methodology looks for the good in people,” he added.
“When I was looking to life after football I was fortunate to have my wife Linda’s support when she took me to church.
“Where I had put my whole identity in football, I now placed my faith in Christ.
“This informs a 3D coaching philosophy that reinforces a person’s identity beyond what they do.
“It’s about showing that our performances or jobs do not define our whole self.
“Plenty of coaching works on the physical and mental side, but we also need to focus on developing a person’s spirit and the passion in their heart.”
The morning started with musical performances by the Toowoomba Gospel Choir and Pastor Raquelle Pedler’s ensemble with a testimony by Brock McIntyre and readings by Pastor Jenny Savill and Val Ruyters.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio thanked all sponsors and supporters at the 26th Mayoral Prayer Breakfast for their ongoing generosity.
He said funds would be presented in coming weeks to Toowoomba Community Care Transport Inc.
Mayoral Prayer Breakfast organising committee chair Pastor Andrew Hoey, Senior Minister at Rangeville Community Church, said Mr Hart had offered tips from the field for people to take into their own lives.
Caption: Top, Guest speaker Shaun Hart (centre) with Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio (right) and Pastor Andrew Hoey at this morning’s 26th annual Mayoral Prayer Breakfast at Rumours.
Toowoomba Community Care Transport volunteer drivers Pam Dill (left), Mike Moffatt, Veronica O’Connell, Ian Dill and vice president Bruce Manning at the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast.