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Learning from Bradman: Work-life balance

The Sir Donald Bradman statue in Cootamundra, on the Captain’s Walk they have in the park there. Photo: Supplied The Sir Donald Bradman statue in Cootamundra, on the Captain’s Walk they have in the park there. Photo: Supplied

Those who know me well understand my appreciation for Sir Donald Bradman as a cricketer and a human being. My twitter feed is often littered with statistics and facts highlighting my admiration for the great man.

A lesser-known story about D.G. Bradman is reflected in a plaque at the Bradman Museum. It conveys the message that Sir Don had lobbied for Australian players to have their wives stay with them at the end of a tour of England in 1938.

When Bradman returned home for the domestic summer, South Australia won the Sheffield Shield, largely due to scores of 118, 143, 225, 107, 186 and 135 in consecutive innings from the cricketing legend. To top it all off, in June 1939, John Bradman was born.

Now I am not doubting that Bradman is likely to have scored runs regardless of off-field influences, however, his numbers on return to Australia brought me to the logical conclusion that there is a correlation between off-field stability and on-field performance.

I have certainly found this to be true in my professional life and I strongly believe that when I am making time to be present with the people I love, I have a greater capacity to achieve my potential at work.

It can seem counter intuitive, particularly when you are striving to achieve KPIs and you feel like there are not enough hours in a day, to intentionally prioritise time for the relationships that matter most to you. However, I have found that the confidence and freedom that comes from being in an environment where I am loved unconditionally has enabled my mind to be free from insecurities and doubts.

I really want to make time each day to be fully present with the people that I love. My desire is that my children will know that they are valuable and worth listening to. It is my hope that my wife will know she is cherished and loved. I also strive for excellence in my work.

I don’t always get the balance right, in fact there have been times I have got it horribly wrong. However, this is a journey I think a lot of us are on, so let’s encourage others to be intentional today and invest some energy in the relationships that matter most to us.

* Matt Ellis is Cricket NSW Development Manager – Far West