Scene: Psychiatrist Rooms, Hampton, Victoria
Ben “Dimma” Pickett is attending his 5 am appointment (he couldn’t get in at any other time) with Dr Vanessa Mindful – known to all as Ness Mindful….and a world renowned leader in her field…..the reason why the term “Mindfulness” is now the corporate and social buzzword of the day…..her mantra of “you look after your oversized mind and we’ll look after your oversized payment” is globally famous….
“The Bears….the Bears……I can’t them out of my mind, Doc, all day, every hour, every minute….it’s like a nightmare….”
“Now, now, Ben….”
“Can you please call me Dimma? Rohan likes that – no one really calls me Ben anymore. Well Mum does, but that’s more “Benjamin”, when I am in trouble…..”
“Sure, Dimma. Whatever rocks your boat. Dimma it is! So Be.. Dimma – it’s ok. Why are you so upset and focusing on the Caulfield Bears? They are an U8s side, just like the Maroons – they try their best and have fun at football, just like your team does?”
“Doc – it’s not those bears, silly billy. The mighty Tigers were beaten by the BRISBANE BEARS in the last round in 1987, and so they avoided the wooden spoon. I still have nightmares about that. It goes on and on. If I see koalas, if I hear bad news (you know, the 1976 movie Bad News Bears), any mention of anything to do with bears and I start to get the shakes…..and then we played the Caulfield Bears on Sunday. I tell you. Rohan “Sheeds” Bardwell – you see – he’s the coach of the Maroons. He’s my mentor. And he is so great. He starts to speak and I am just mesmerised…. You know, sometimes, the sun, well, it sort of glistens on his scalp – he looks so….so…..awesome…..what a coach….anyway, sigh…..he started talking to me about how to beat the Bears at training…..”
“Hmmmm…Dimma……I see……” (what the hell have I got here? Ka-ching, ka-ching) I think I should give you some special advance bookings to see me to work this through, seeing as you are such a good client. Let’s see – I think every week for the next 40 weeks, $250/session, that’s $10,000 – should be enough to pay my kids’ private school fees….sorry, to fix you up and make you feel better….how does that sound?”
“That would be great, Doc. I’ll lock all those in, and go and see my bank manager….and confirm subject to finance – now – how can you help me? I am desperate!”
“Lie back here on this couch, Dimma. And tell me all about it…..”
“Thanks. That’s great. Nice roof. Where did you get those downlights? They are beautiful…..Well Doc – it started like this…..me and Sheeds – well he’s so great you see….”
“Yes, you may have mentioned how much you admire Rohan’s general approach and coaching abilities…”
“It’s not Rohan. It’s Sheeds. I am Dimma. He is Sheeds. It’s just how it works. What a partnership. So – where was I? Oh yes, so he was talking to me about how to beat the Bears, and well, I started sobbing. It was a bit embarrassing, as well, you know, I am a bloke and all. And a coach. Well assistant coach. But I try. And maybe one day I might even get to be a team manager or something. I don’t know. That’s probably a few years away yet. Tough job that one. Takes a special person to do that. My future is bright, and the Rovers’ career paths are really clearly laid out….”
“Dimma – you need to focus on yourself now. What are you trying to tell me?” (goodness – I might have to increase the sessional rate on this one….)
“Yes, so Sheeds just gave me a hug, well it was a man-hug – you know how blokes sort of bump each other in the chest and their arms sort of go around, but they really just float out to the side and you look like 2 birds going through some sort of weird mating routine? Well he gave me one of those, and I felt a bit better. He suggested we go out to catch up for a drink or two somewhere and it was my choice where we should go….I was so excited – so I chose my favourite place to go, which I knew he’d love.
And I think he enjoyed the senior citizen’s bingo night at the Hampton RSL – he didn’t win, but he liked the 10 cups of tea that he had…..it was a massively late night – I got home at 9.30, would you believe that?!!! And that was only because Gladys forgot where the extra cards were and we ran out of red pens and had to get some more….it was so wild. And we all laughed so hard, especially when she found the cards behind her chair. Barry had played a trick on her. Even Sheeds laughed! One of the best nights I have had for ages…..and then well, but then the game was on Sunday. I was a mess. The bears….the bears……”
“Dimma. That sounds really lovely. You must have a very special relationship. Very special. (how can I change that sessional rate to $500?) – now, if you’ll bear with me, we need to get down to the bare bones of this…..
“NO DOC!! DON’T SAY IT!! I haven’t finished yet! But the team – the Maroons – they are so great – they weren’t a mess. The Captains for the day were Niko and Lucas. They were FIRED UP. They had CRAZY EYES. A great day! And I knew they and the whole team would do me and Sheeds so proud…..
So – the Captains led them out on the ground (he told me to take a minute and compose myself in the rooms) and I tell you, when I got out there 10 minutes later, what a game they played!
Doc – I can’t even begin to describe how magical it was. It is impossible to give you a play by play description – from the very start of the game, and through the whole game, the WHOLE TEAM contributed in some way. It was a culmination of all the hard work at training, listening, learning and then putting it into practice. The kids were, and should be, so proud!
For 5 weeks in a row, they have been trying really hard and they never gave up. They had fun. And they represented the club so well – being respectful, having passion to play and representing themselves and their families so well. Sheeds and me – you know – we were so proud.
Whether it was Lucas, Cate, Dan, Sam or Ben tackling, tackling, pressuring, pressuring….
Whether it was Harry, Jack, Tim or Sebastian winning the ball and driving it forward…..
Whether it was Will, Jason, Jacob, Charlie or Niko leading hard, manning up and chasing…..
Or Tom, Bertie, Alex, Arlo, or Angus – getting the ball and looking for, and finding their teammates!
And to top it all off, Diesel putting the icing on the cake with 2 goals! Wow.
I think they were playing for Teddy too – who came all the way to the ground, but his cough got the better of him, so he unfortunately couldn’t don the boots this week…..get better Teddy!!
So there we were. Me and Sheeds. And the team. All together. And the siren went. And we won. The kids were so happy! They gave the Caulfield team three cheers, shook their hands, cheered the umpires and shook their hands, great sportsmanship there.
I was running around going crazy and yelling and screaming into my coloured wristband buckets….. yellow first, then red and I saved my biggest, most special scream for my favourite colour, blue….then Sheeds told me to settle down, act my age and set a good example, but it was all too much!!! Might have a bit of work to do there…..but we have lots of sessions to go, don’t we?!!
We took a team photo and gave out the awards in the sunshine next to the ground. And the kids were so pleased and it was a great reward for all their efforts over the past few weeks. We then adjourned to the rooms to sing the song – great to do it! Might have to learn those words myself actually….hmmmm……and guess what? Luke even gave me a red snake especially. That just topped off my day….!
So Doc – I feel so much better. Thanks for that. Any thoughts? Hey! Are you ok? What’s up?”
Ness was sitting in her chair sobbing and laughing… “It’s fine, Dimma – I am so rapt for your team. They sound like a great bunch of kids….I am going to give you this session on the house.”
“Oh Doc – the kids are great. And getting better all the time – just like me!!! If there’s one thing you can say to yourself today when things are a bit yucky and you are finding it hard – it’s – “GO MAROONS!! – you’ll get a spring in your step for sure!!!”
In all seriousness – fantastic game and well played kids – a wonderful effort by you all. A well-deserved win; and you did yourselves, the coaches and your families proud.
Thanks as always to Maria and Fi, and Emma (trainer), Sean (runner), Jonathan (goal umpire), Monique (umpire’s escort), Kate (timekeeping), Wendy & Luke for the oranges and snakes and a special mention to Jeremy, who looked right at home offering the oranges to the kids at half time……it’s the parents who volunteer on game day that help to make it all happen. Cheers to you all.
And don’t forget – just say a couple of words to yourselves as you go about your day to make you feel good…….