How setbacks fuelled my competitive spirit

IN case you haven't noticed I hate to lose.

To put it lightly, I'm a competitive bugger.

For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to do the best I can at everything I do.

My competiveness is one of the main reasons why I've played at an elite level for such a long time.

In 1996 when I was told I hadn't made the Australian team for the Atlanta Olympics I was heartbroken.

Aside from not being picked for a state netball squad at school, it was the first time I'd not made a representative team.

It hurt.

Growing up all I wanted to do was be the point guard for the Australian team.

I was so driven at achieving that goal.

Looking back now, not making the Olympics in 1996 has made me a better player.

That setback just made me want to prove to everyone that I was good enough.

When I was a teenager I had one coach in Bendigo tell my parents that I would never play for Australia.

There's no better feeling than proving the doubters wrong.

While that has been a driving force behind my success, I've always reminded myself to never take anything for granted.

No matter how well I'm playing I can always make improvements.

I've never allowed myself to get comfortable.

I always had Tully Bevilaqua, Alicia Poto, Kath MacLeod, Sam Richards or Erin Phillips  - all great guards - ready to take my starting spot with the Opals.

I'd worked that hard to make that starting point guard role mine, that there was no way I was going to give it up easily.

If you want to achieve anything  - in sport or life - you have to work hard.

That's where I get frustrated these days.

Growing up I didn't have an iPad or an iPod. I was self-motivated to work on my game at every opportunity I could.

Lifestyle has changed now, in my opinion the younger generation don't work as hard these days.

Nothing frustrates me more than seeing young players with all the potential in the world, but they don't work hard.

At my age training is getting harder, but my love of the game remains as strong as ever.

I never get bored with basketball.

I love everything about the game.

That's why as soon as I step over that line to play, I'm as competitive now as what I was 20 years ago.

Sooner rather than later my time in elite basketball will end and I'll have to find something else to quench my competitive thirst.

Married ladies netball - I'd be too competitive.

Lawn bowls - not physical enough.

Aussie Rules - are the Bendigo Thunder looking for a rover?

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