Ian had a conversation with Ehsan, who is a football coach. Because of the difficulties he faced when he was young in another nation and migrated to another, he was able to adjust to the transition and accept the difficulties that arise in life as they occur. He was of the belief that instructing children at an early age in a sport's discipline and encouraging them to participate in it would inculcate in them a sense of self-control that would be with them for the rest of their lives.
About the Host:
Ian Hawkins is the Founder and Host of The Grief Code. Dealing with grief firsthand with the passing of his father back in 2005 planted the seed in Ian to discover what personal freedom and legacy truly are. This experience was the start of his journey to healing the unresolved and unknown grief that was negatively impacting every area of his life. Leaning into his own intuition led him to leave corporate and follow his purpose of creating connections for himself and others.
The Grief Code is a divinely guided process that enables every living person to uncover their unresolved and unknown grief and dramatically change their lives and the lives of those they love. Thousands of people have now moved from loss to light following this exact process.
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Ian Hawkins 0:02
Are you ready? Ready to release internal pain to find confidence, clarity and direction for your future, to live a life of meaning, fulfilment and contribution to trust your intuition again, but something's been holding you back. You've come to the right place. Welcome. I'm a Ian Hawkins, the host and founder of The Grief Code podcast. Together, let's heal your unresolved or unknown grief by unlocking your grief code. As you tune into each episode, you will receive insight into your own grief, how to eliminate it and what to do next. Before we start by one request. If any new insights or awareness land with you during this episode, please send me an email at info at the and Hawkins coaching.com. And let me know what you found. I know the power of this work. I love to hear the impact these conversations have. Okay, let's get into it. Hey, Ron, and welcome to this week's guests Esalen. poeple. Eastside How are you mate?
Unknown Speaker 1:07
Yeah, not too bad mate. doing I'm doing okay yourself. Okay. Yeah,
Ian Hawkins 1:11
well, buddy. Now I have to I have to credit you because you got me started with the podcast because we went to the very first lockdown. 2020. I saw your content. And you were doing some awesome videos with a lot of the football guys from the work that you do. And I remember contacting you going, mate? How you doing that? Like, that's cool. I want to and so thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, even if it wasn't intentional.
Unknown Speaker 1:35
Keep up the good work looks like it's all looking really nice.
Ian Hawkins 1:39
I appreciate it. So as we connected through a mutual friend, Tom via because of your work in football. Now at that time, I was looking for answers in my sports coaching. And I stumbled across Tom on Twitter. And then he told me that he'd actually met a couple of young blokes from Australia the same way. So please share for the audience. What it is that you do now and why you're so passionate about it?
Unknown Speaker 2:09
Yeah, so I suppose I'm a business owner, founder of Connor, also known as kind of football. We're basically a grassroots football soccer organisation that provides coaching, resourcing and knowledge to community clubs. So your local, everyday soccer club, we go in there and provide the club itself resources for coaching, and you know, coaching all the teams. And really what we're really trying to do is develop a cultural development and just really resource these clubs. So we also work with a lot of schools, teachers and timeframes have to provide good football coaching there. But you know, in a nutshell, we're passionate about what we're doing because we really want to instil a culture of development, skill development and love. So yeah, and they a lot of these programmes run in Sydney and in Melbourne, very lucky and grateful for it to be full time. But you know, hope that that makes sense. We're a, you know, football provider known Academy are about making professional footballers, but really at that grassroots level, entry level timeframe, skill development and love of the game. For everybody involved.
Ian Hawkins 3:22
Yeah, I'll share from my own experience in the work that you've done at my local club, and just watching the growth in the development of the children playing there. And the skill increase in the you've probably been there about what seven, seven years at normanhurst? And that's right seven years yet northern Yeah, so having been involved in the grading and watching the the difference in skill that I can remember, when I did a couple of years ago, and just watching from the kids who have been doing your account or not Academy, your, your the car, no way through the coaching for four or five years, the skill compared to the ones who have only picked it up like later, down the track when you guys had come in, was like the Gulf was massive. And so it's like, what, when I think about it, it's like you're raising the level of of that grassroots level, and giving them the competence and confidence to go on to what whatever their football career may look like, whether it's continuing to play with their mates or at some other high level. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 4:22
Yeah, that's right. Because if you look at club level, soccer, community football or most sport, it's the first and foremost it's the most under resource part of sport. And when you look in the latter years, you start to see a drop off with a lot of kids not playing sport, and maybe not can share about why it's probably not good to, you know, not be involved in sport, but we're really there to use skill development as a few as fuel to keep these kids going for many years ahead. So it's a philosophy and something that we believe in the Texas you know, time as you said with your club, seven years, first couple of years that was Probably not as fully embraced. But as we've gone on and people understood, they've embraced that. And maybe you can start to see the results with kids that are more skillful, happy and continuing to play. And the club growing in numbers to
Ian Hawkins 5:13
that you touched on something really important there. That's that's like making sure that the kids keep coming back to play. Because to me, and community football, I'm sure many people out there have seen it witnessed it heard it, parents getting way too involved and way too intense, when really our, our main goal should be make sure they come back next year. Right.
Unknown Speaker 5:33
Exactly. Yeah. It's, as you said, it's communities or, you know, his people. It's about, you know, especially football in Australia, you know, and I think, you know, a lot of migrant communities, the English Scottish Italians groups, when they all brought football here, football was a mechanism to, you know, as a community to go to weddings, and meet people and work together and stuff. And we need to have that sense of community, especially because the whole point is to keep kids and parents coming back engaging with each other. And using that as a, as a little hub for life.
Ian Hawkins 6:11
Yeah, I think that's probably if I if I think about it now that one of the most beneficial things has been the parent education, because what candy does is it gives children that competence and confidence to then want to keep playing. And then as you said, sometimes it can take a few years just to filter through before people actually see but when they do, and they see their child do something on the field that they couldn't comprehend. For me, it was like watching my my young fella do things that I'd never been taught, that I'd never known how to do, and just doing them instinctively on the field. Like, to me as a parent, that brings me more joy than anything to watch that that development. So, to me, what you're doing is just beneficial on so much, so many levels, because it's more than just a football, right? It's the confidence that it gives them as people going forward, that's massive.
Unknown Speaker 6:57
Yeah, you hit the nail on the head, especially when you talked about look, it's not short term. In the short term, you may or may not see it, but you know, if you persist and give it time, and trust, the philosophy, ultimately, what you're seeing is happiness as a parent, you know, kids want to parents want to see their kids, everyone got two daughters, and, you know, rather than having an incredible day, and and if they can do it on the football field, and we play a role in that. That's our job done. So I know you're spot on. It's, that's that's what it's about.
Ian Hawkins 7:28
Yeah, 100%. And the philosophy works all the way up to adults, too, right. And so, I've been coaching women's team for the last couple of years, and just taking them through really similar stuff to what you guys teach, and giving them that competence and that, that confidence on the ball. And then even them just suddenly realising why we actually play really good football now, because they've learned to use that the ball at their feet. And like, like I've heard you talk about before, it's that relationship with a ball, right?
Unknown Speaker 7:58
It's right. That's right. It's, if you look at the science part of it, as Tom says, you know, 80% of the part of the body that's responsible for skill acquisition, where the brain the feet talk together. It's formed by the age of 11. So you know, that's why we start at 56789 1011. Because the older you get, it can become more difficult. So, yeah, it's all about skills and you know, just like itself in you working with a lot of people to help them develop skills to cope with the environment. And that's what we want to do and and did the earlier we can get them the job becomes Yeah, doesn't mean it's not impossible later on. But yeah,
Ian Hawkins 8:39
absolutely makes it more challenging. Now speaking, the challenges we were talking about the challenges over the last few years. So for for a business that relies on being outdoors and having close proximity people, how have you got through the last two years, and actually even just in Sydney, the last four months with relentless rain?
Unknown Speaker 8:59
Yeah, and that's blue. That's why, you know, I jumped on this opportunity when you sit on it, because it would be interesting to have a, you know, upon reflection, look at this and hear myself because, you know, as a small business owner, I first started you know, working at home, you know, that that's a challenging thing on its own, because you're not usually interacting with a lot of people. And then when you're out there, all of a sudden, a quick transition, we see a lot of people so it really is your you know, you're going to your fix, in a sense when you see people interacting, and then to go back and then go to a and then to be into a situation where you're not seeing anyone it's very, very challenging and because that's what we thrive on. So the last two and a half years Yeah, I still still trying to understand and learn more about it. I think it's at the moment, we're just adapting and it'll take a bit more time to reflect and go you know what, that's how to do it. But you know, the rains played a big role, but I think the main thing was just keeping up with kPZ just don't give up. I know it's very cliche, but you know, picked up a book Like, for instance, roadbike on this, you know, when there's lycra sort of people are going around that a lot, because I suppose it's a metaphor analogy of you do some big rides, and you could give up, but you've got to go. But more importantly, you got to be prepared, you got to fuel yourself. And I think that's what we've tried to do is use the environment is out there in a certain way, but we need to be prepared. And you know, that's pre before. And then while it's all happening, you have to adapt, you have to be strong, you have to keep going and not give up.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, 100%. And that ability to keep pushing forward through those tough times is so important, right? And it's makes me think of like you Tibet writing about running. I don't love running. But it's that challenge of when you're wanting to quit and when your lungs are bursting, and, and it really helps teach some discipline and drive and the mental strength to be able to move forward. And so I love how you share that how you got through it. Because I imagine that would have given you a lot of peace of mind when when you had so much other things that you could have been worrying about in that two year period. Yeah,Unknown Speaker:
I have that peace of mind that you're exactly right. Because, you know, seven days a week for us, it doesn't stop and but but now I'm understanding more that peace of mind, you know, we don't have to stay up all night and stressing about things that ultimately will be okay. You know, just so? No, it's your 100%, that peace of mind to be the antidote, especially in this process? Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
I'm curious. And this, as you were saying that, just talking about everything, we'll be right, it made me think of that the importance of faith, right? And how much we have to just what we can, we can have faith that things will work out, or we can just believe that low go to shit. But both of them are beliefs. Right? So so how, when you come from that perspective of faith, is that something that comes from a religious perspective? Is it come from what you've learned through business? Is it more about family? Or a cultural thing? Like, how do you find that position of faith?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, so you know, my background, I was born in Afghanistan. But you know, that's the cultural element and the faith arm and I am Muslim. So I practice as a Muslim and, you know, recent, in the last few years, I've also been looking at other things, you know, human behavioural theorists got called in, I think, Dr. John Demartini, some people might know, just looking into, I think there's a big increase in human behaviour and spirituality and all that. And I think, you know, delving a bit more into that, as helped, you know, the face played a very integral part of what I do, and, and interlinks, with everything, business for life. But yeah, this isn't the sort of image that a lot of people see where, you know, it's sort of going to a mosque or church and just pray, it's more actually looking into the behavioural side of things, which is something that people don't probably see, as often, you know, what do we do? What am I reading? What am I studying about? My faith that allows me to behave in a certain way and behaving in regards to not so much, you know, the things that a lot of people may seem rudimentary isn't singing, and all that not, not so much of that. But how does faith allow you to overcome adversity? Or how does it allow you to overcome business challenges and those things? So they're the things that I've been really interested in? Yeah, it's led me into an avenue where you're more leaning towards learning about philosophers who talk about, you know, fear, or if it's, if it's grief, and these things, it's really, really fascinating, I think, really different perspectives and a lot of things in the theology, Faith space, is definitely in line in my understanding, because our problems are also not very different to a lot of problems that people have had in the past. So yeah,Ian Hawkins:
yeah. Well said, I love that. So you're incorporating your faith, your Muslim faith with things that you've learned from all sorts of people through history, and then building on that faith and that ability to see that things will work out? I really love that.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, definitely made it some, but there's a lot of things that I've learned that traditionally, because a lot of people from my faith are from non English speaking backgrounds, and I don't connect as much with that. But when I looked into it, there's a whole different world, you know, in terms of, you know, I always thought the faith was mainly people from Arabic origin, but it's not. It's, you know, it's the wide world out there. And I think the more you open your eyes and understand. Yeah, you get a good perspective on things.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, well said. Now, you mentioned born in Afghanistan, and just before we jumped on you were talking to me about some of those the reasons why you left so I'd love for you to share that for people get an understanding like you basically left a war torn Country when you were two Yeah.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah. So I'm 34. So born in 1988. You know, there's a good movie, if anyone's watched, it's called Charlie Wilson's War with Tom Hanks. And that gives a good depiction of what happened. And so 1970 and 1970, the Russians and the Afghans, it's a bit cold war, obviously, with the US and Iran involved. And we were part of that process of the people that left so, you know, my parents very happy in Afghanistan are thriving country in the economy. Not not what you would see now very different, almost like a lot in Australia back then. But, you know, at the age of two, my parents decided to go. I was two, my brother was probably just very young newborn. But my childcare centre was absolutely smashed and bond. And during the war, and I believe, I don't remember it, but I was one of the remaining slides, I probably was even a bit younger than two. But my parents said, this is time we have to go. So you know, a lot of my family. Now they still live in the UK and France. They went over there and and then we came, we went to Russia and then came to Australia. But yeah, it's a pretty strong image in my mind, even though I don't remember it, but definitely something I carry on and try to use as something to lean back when you're going through some hard times. And you probably feel a bit ungrateful but yeah,Ian Hawkins:
yeah, one mind boggling for most of us growing up in the West, and well, we can't even comprehend what that must have been like for your parents. I mean, what are you said, you don't really have a memory of it. So you actually in the, in the childcare centre? Is that what you're saying?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, I was in the childcare centre. So my, my parents, they haven't talked about it much and gone through it. But they've said, basically, you're one of the one or two people that were alive, so and they just packed in bags, everything you know, and this is like, we're talking about money in the bank accounts and all that we just got to get out, you know, just pick up your clothes and go, right, it's just got to be done. So just like this little scenes we saw on the news equals a year ago where people are rushing to the airport. Yeah,Ian Hawkins:
yeah. Wow. So, so they have to go. I know this is about you, but I'm fascinated by this. So so they're like, going overland, like, how do they then get from where they were living? Easily went to Russia next? How did they even get?Unknown Speaker:
I don't know exactly what the process was. But, you know, from Afghanistan, to Russia, you know, it was the Soviet Union back then. So neighbouring countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. I don't exactly but there was obviously the aeroplanes and other people just driving and all that across, but I don't know exactly how we got there. And I know my, my uncle, he was a journalist. So they did use him as an advocate, you know, to get a lot of the family across, and we're talking my Auntie's got heaps of aunties in, as I said, England, France. But my uncle who was quite successful, he was someone that we relied on to get across to help us Yeah, to get visas and all those kinds of things. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
It is fascinating to hear you say that it was quite modern back then. And how it's been allowed to go to, like where it is now. And to me that's, like, so many things that you look at around the world is just such a discredit to humanity, that, that we've allowed these things to unfold it, I can't even comprehend it. I mean, it must be, even though you don't have a memory of it, it must be part of you that really feel strongly about those sorts of things, given what you and your family have come from.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, look, as now if we're going into my 30s I am. It's something that it's very difficult to watch without getting emotional. Like even though talking about it, it's gonna lump in your throat because I've got kids now. And you see what kids going through there. And you know, being on the street and this and you don't understand that you just don't like because I work with kids. So I can sometimes watch some of the images now on television. It's just too hot. It's it's, yeah, yeah. What do you do?Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. Well, I mean, to me, it's like, again, it's like, it puts you in such a perfect position that you have this passion for making sure kids are getting the best that they can write. Like, if I think about the journey of just describe safety opportunity. Think of all the different things that came from from your life as as you guys have moved to a place that was safer. Like yeah, I mean, I don't know if you even reflected on that. But it to me, it seems it's such a great fit the work you're doing now.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, it's it's an interesting one, because philosophy is really about an element where I'm frustrated with respect In football and really pushing on that, you know, we it's very focused on we wanted to be a certain way. But when you took the other side, when, as a life as a business owner, when you're, you've got your moments, you're looking at these things, you know, even like there's two things, there's looking at the country, the people they're looking at my parents, like my dad came here with an engineering degree study very hard played professional football for Afghanistan to travel around the world, mum did engineering and to come here, my dad had to, you know, via the degrees were revoked in different language, different culture, right? Your society wouldn't accept it, he so he'll turn your head to when he got here at 35. Same age as me basically. And he had to not go he had to go drive a cab. And that says, mean his job. It's not discrediting cab driving, but to sit in the car 12 hours a day, I'd like someone to go try it. It's not hard, you know, and it's hard. And so that that really hit me now. Like, you know, he had to do something he didn't want. And we're talking, you're still driving until today for 30 years. And mom had to go into all kinds of things. And to do to sort of make it work for us. So it's, yeah, it's sad. And when you say the kids now like, it's worse, it's it's, you know, this? Yeah. It's really hard to say. So I use it as fuel for gratitude. And yeah, for strength to really push on and help us as a business that helps also kids to,Ian Hawkins:
yeah, awesome. And you touched on something they ended up that I think most people in Australia know and recognise is that the migrant families in Australia have been through these different challenges. And they've given so much to this country, because for exactly that, like you said, they, they come here because it's like, their life depends on it, as exactly it was for for your family, and the lengths that they will go to, to make sure that they give their children an opportunity, like what a blessing to you, and your whole family to have been given that. It's like a second chance almost right.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, correct. It's, you know, they have it's a blessing. And so those two arguments, probably remember more than dad, my mom can be quite vocal, we personality clash, but I take that away, but we love them deeply. And we were very close as a family. But it's it's a blessing. They've they've made a lot of sacrifices a lot in. Yeah,Ian Hawkins:
that you mentioned, you went from Afghanistan to Russia, and then you came to Australia, in kindergarten, and you only spoke Russian. So So what was that experience? Like? Do you have much of a memory of like going into school without being able to speak the language?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah. I went to a school for I think a week till we could find somewhere. It's funny because I think it was topia public school in Carlingford. And there and when I went to there for a week and then went to, then we moved to Parramatta, which we lived in for five years. But I remember just trying to when we're learning language, it was really just day you couldn't communicate to anyone, you were very passive. But the way you learned was just like at lunchtime I remember I remember once I say, trying to say things and but it was centred by the learner. Like I go like ah, or fff Milan and you try to get in, things have come at the wrong and kids Lafayette, but it was, it was okay. I think we learned pretty quickly over time. But it was a very passive thing. Communication was hard, obviously. SoIan Hawkins:
again, yeah, for for those of us who grew up here, spoilt in so many ways, right? Because we don't haven't. Think about those sorts of things. But you guys learning a new language like, did that bring you closer together? Particularly with your brother? Like, did you did you then sort of take some comfort in the fact that you get to least converse with them?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, yeah, definitely. It's now like, I don't speak like Farsi or Persian at much at home and I don't actually speak at home but I grown up in parentmedic. My parents had to work a lot with I don't have any cousins here like in Australia, no first cousins or uncles and stuff. So we grew up a lot of the time our school holidays were spent inside the house together watching TV and ABC Kids and all that and that was a way that really fast tracked, you know your accent and the sound of it and the words so those little things like that school holidays on TV, like I didn't play organised sport till I was 1011. So I think pay for a team because my parents are busy. But I think what really accelerated was because my school was 90% migrants. There weren't kids from Nanning from non English speaking background. Most of them are non English speaking background, so I wasn't taking those a lot of kids in the same boat as me. But I think really, I remember TV played a massive role in those little things like that because we weren't very widely integrated with English speaking back rams even in that area.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, right. So that's your first taste of like organised football at that age. You just sort of pick it up pretty quickly, like your dad's played it at a national level, international level. So there must have been party that had the DNA that just picked it up pretty, pretty fluidly.Unknown Speaker:
You know, it's funny, you're gonna have a laugh on this when I was under 10, so we lived in North paramount and there's a famous ground called Richie benaud oval, the commentator, so the school that I was in, it's the closest Primary School to Paramount stadium. So I just remember them coming to our school and all that soccer, you didn't have a club that the NFL was there, but there's no real clubs that, you know, hit that area. That was paramount power, but they came in UP 65. But they came in and I fell in love with rugby league. And then the year under 10s, I actually went and played two or three games for the local junior club. So rugby league was my first sport. But then once my dad came and saw it, my mum was passing. He didn't really know what's going. But when my dad came in, he didn't like the culture was a bit aggressive, and kids getting hurt and all that and it took me out. And that's why I went and played soccer. Even though my dad played, I played a lot of street football at the park and all that with all the people we're going to friends and families but rugby league was actually the first one under 10. And then 11 Soccer.Ian Hawkins:
Brilliant. Could have been playing halfback for the heels, man.Unknown Speaker:
Last night, I could have won us the game. SoIan Hawkins:
very good. So like to talk us through that football journey. Because I know you said you played at quite a high level for a number of years. So how did you go? You're playing club football, how quickly you're playing at a representative level? And then how did that sort of unfold?Unknown Speaker:
Your first year played Division five football because it's the only division and then I think it was under LeBrons Division five. And then the next year, I went to another club at North rocks and played division one football and then the Association sent a letter and said, Hey, do you want to come and play for the association team? We actually had Aaron Moyne, our team, so that was pretty cool. He was in there and then from there, I was just, I started to just do things myself. There's a little paper, Australian British weekly soccer paper you saw I have some files I used to cut out and cut them out and then just find these trials and get my mom to drive me and my dad would never take me he was just busy and didn't really want me to play soccer because he was quite scarred and grief about you know, putting on that time and getting nothing out of it. So he didn't actually want me to play as my mom that pushed me a lot. So I I would always go for my mum to the trials Marconi and all that, but it was funny association that, you know, got that appetite and I was just travelling to places so I ended up at Parramatta. Apparently the eagles that was the old Pepsi Super League and then played at Northern spirit. Wasn't glades was northern spirit there that was really good and then ended up back at Parramatta and play that MPL under 21 MPL first grade at Southern sharks and finished at 21 Yeah,Ian Hawkins:
here's the plan first grade at that age and then you said and then you just stopped and we were talking before we came on you said like it was like I was running away from it and you didn't play football for nine years. So what what motivated you to just say, I'm done with this? Well, what was playing in your head at that time?Unknown Speaker:
I I knew I was good enough, but I wasn't getting the game time. And it really frustrated me like imagine whatever 30 weeks in a year and 20 of those 30 weeks you sitting on the bench for 87 minutes and playing three minutes. But the table is very strong. Like it was the top two top three team in the whole NPL like a lot of those guys gone and played pretty decent level like a league and all that but that really shattered me and I just said minimum over this I trained so hard, was training myself twice a day and on that point, a lot of instead of over and just I said I'm not going to go play club soccer. What's that? You know, it's what do I get out of that? So I just thought so. I didn't feel like I was gonna get anything out of playing NPTEL to clubs soccer, so I just said I won't playIan Hawkins:
here right. And as you look at that time back now, did you miss it? Was it were you angry? Like what? Like, how did that sort of play out when you made that decision?Unknown Speaker:
During that time, I probably stopped then you know you do at most 21 year olds to get fascinated with partying and going out to the city and stuff but that quickly died out and then that I think I was a lot more mature probably than my friends due to football and things like that. And it died out for me within six months. So then luckily A football season Ricardo came in. And that was really good. That kept me busy. It was no coincidence here that the business came in, I started out, but when I look at it now, it's I don't regret it. But I think it was a should have been a little bit more resilient at that time. Because sometimes it can be frustrating playing the level, I'm playing local league with guys that are very younger than me and all that. But I know I can play a lot higher and push myself and enjoy myself. But when I look back at these, I probably could have enjoyed it more even playing at that level, and just been a bit more resilient mentally.Ian Hawkins:
is a party that that wishes your dad was more involved and was there guiding you along?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, he was definitely there. From a technical point of view. 100% is definitely there. From a technical point of view. best coach I've ever had, in a really good encouraging never put pressure on me or anything like that, or didn't. But I think I wish I had a bit more like a mentor, coach, if that makes sense. Because he also finished playing professionally, by what, at a very young age, because of the war and all that kind of stuff. So it's not like he completed it's I've been I've talked to him about it. Actually, I probably should ask.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, I mean, like, if I think about my own journey, and like sport was a big thing for me, like, my parents had five kids, I didn't Well, they get us around everywhere to everything. But I'm kind of torn now as a parent, because I'm like, I wish I'd had someone like pushing me along more. But also, like, there's a, there's a point where you, you need to step on your own two feet, right? And have that same resilience. To me, it's like a missed opportunity in in football, perhaps as a player, but then it moves you into this space of coaching. So how long did it take? Before you? Why did you go and like Coach as a as a club coach or something before you went into like business? How did you then transition from? Okay, well, I'm not playing anymore. I want to still be involved somehow.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, well, when I finished u 12. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do. Because all I wanted was football. But my parents always said you got to do something. So I did a sports business degree in that at ACPE. And it was a job advertisement for a coaching. So you know what, I'll just go do and that's where we're at Matt, for the founder, with me, business owner. So me and Matt met there and got into coaching, I just loved it. It was just it's so natural that I can't even explain it. Very, very natural for me, you know, I got into it. And then coaching all kinds of sports. And then Matt sort of said, Let's go, you know, approach mount Cola, which you knew Steve Lumley, there is a kind of life member there. And he gave us an opportunity to Hey, come and coach some of the kids. And then I think two years later started to brainstorm this idea about let's get a wholesome approach. But it started very young coaching and 1890. I know kids are starting younger and younger, but 18 was quite young for a coach back then.Ian Hawkins:
Very similar path, like I started coaching, maybe it would have been 15, or something one of the younger teams, same sort of thing. Like it just felt sort of natural understood. Like, I don't know what part of it is, whether it's just the how things progress, or maybe it's like, not necessarily coaching myself. Now. That's why it's always like to have some sort of external, but definitely be able to watch movements and different things and be able to then go on, maybe you could try this sort of thing. And as you talked about before, it's hard to describe, but the fuel and the and the energy it gives you is amazing, right? So how much does that play a part? Like you love what you do? Like how much does that help you get up and do what you do every day.Unknown Speaker:
I love it. Like, when you're coaching nothing, it's there's nothing around you. It's just you, you don't care who's around you or not. And just you could be on an empty stomach, but you just go and it's such a good feeling. And the most important is the feeling that it gives to people. That's awesome. Because that makes you want to get up and do things and do that. So yeah, it's a really good feeling encouraging and making people feel good about it. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
So share some of the things you've heard from from parents or kids that have like, like that of giving you that feedback that gives you the same buzz you get from actually seeing it unfold, right.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, like I've seen kids who you know, there's a kid in particular working from home for over five years. He's got like ADHD and he finds it very difficult to read very nice kid but he finds it very difficult to concentrate, behavioural and all that kind of stuff. And his parents find it very challenging, but we've used football as a mechanism for him to have a low, but also to make routines in his life and also to combat this crap thing ADHD, which is really hard for kids, it's quite common and he finds a really challenging the poor kid but you know, football starting to get on top of it. And I love that because for me, you know, condition kind of thing you know, his parents were either not putting on that tablets on that but footballs a, you know, the medicine for him. And I think I played a big role in that because sitting back talking to him, sometimes staying back an hour and all that that's really helped him to become a really good footballer, but also moderately a good person. So that's one and then yeah, and there's like clubs like yours that, you know, from a coaching point of view that we're struggling phenom assuming that they're just they're massive clubs. I look at that. And I go, wow, that's that's a piece of work. That's really good stuff. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. I mean, I can feel the joy coming down the line on that one. Elite literally changing his life, man, like, as you said that football has become his medicine. That is so cool. I love that.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, well, you know, and he's the kind of kid though I will know now to a lot later on. You know, another example is some guys that are playing college football with right now. We coached them at eight, nine, and I've seen them every term since the age of eight. So for 10 years, I've seen them every time. And they're like family, right? But we've seen them grow as players, then they came on as coaches. Now planning one could potentially have and come work full time with us. So that's, that's really impactful to find a complete stranger. And you know, to develop a relationship like that it'sIan Hawkins:
so good. And watching their progression and giving them purpose beyond because because I mean, I was assigned to you. And like, I don't know what I want to do when I grow up. In fact, I probably felt that till I was late 30s. And to give that, that young fella an opportunity. And now and you're so you're playing with a lot of these guys, and mentor role while you play have good?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, exactly. And you can see the kind of football that our programme ultimately develops, right, but the philosophy what the end product is, and physically playing with them, you can see well, they're they're pretty good.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, that's awesome. So good. So you also mentioned there that the impact for the club, because we talked about early on about, like how important it is to get the children coming back. I was only talking to the President normanhurst, just the other week, and we're talking about how the numbers are just massive increase in female football, which, again, camos played a big part of that at normanhurst, for sure. And that's having the right culture, the right philosophy, in any environment. Typically, through football, it just makes a difference, because people want to be a part of that, right. So how important is when you go into clubs is actually taking that cultural aspect of the impact that it's gonna make the selling that vision to them about the long term benefits of working with Canon.Unknown Speaker:
It's massive, so we won't go out and work with every club. First and foremost, we really need to be on par for understand, you know, what our values are, you know, our value, our highest values, our philosophy, you know, if people are going to understand that, and it's something that they experience, if they've got challenges, and it works with our philosophy, and values. It's, it's a perfect kind of thing. So Mark Berry had, he understands it. And that's why yes, sometimes things go wrong from our own or their own or whatever. And we make, but we make it work because we have a common goal. So the philosophy is massive, you know, because football, like anything, I'm sure a lot of people, topics that you talk about with people, everything's very subjective and opinionated, but we're really trying to go through as much as we can to be objective and go, Well, this isn't it's not rocket science. But it's a lot of hard work are you willing to put in so because it does work, but some people will look for shortcuts. So it's very important to sell the vision in the right way for people to be in it for a long time.Ian Hawkins:
I love that. So if you look at where you're at now, with Karno, and all that you've been through, what's the vision now for the business? Like are you looking to go like right around the country? International. So what's the plan?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, I think we hit it. We hit a bit of a reset button a few years ago, pre COVID. And part of that was also, you know, a business partner moving on. So there's, you know, there's a buyout process and all those kinds of things. In a rebranding, so we've had a lot happened in the last few years, and we've tried to make sure we can be as stable as we can support the users, the people to clubs, see the same level of service and quality of coaching. So that's been good. So I think it's, I think we'll probably get another year to get through it and There's a big storm. We'll just see once we get out of that, I think it'll be awesome. Like, you know, there's a lot of plans to go to a lot of communities and outsource our knowledge and scale it to yeah, definitely national nationwide. That's the goal. So, because I think everyone in Australia, like we're in Sydney and Melbourne and being in Melbourne has really given us a tick in the box that the soccer clubs in Melbourne are no different to the clubs in Sydney, they've got the same problems. So it's just how do we scale it and get it across there. But we just got to weather this storm would be we've had some bad weather and the seasons still unpredictable once we get through this. But we've got a lot of cops that were approaching us, but we're just trying to take it easy. A little bit. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, you don't want to go too much and not be able to cope with it. Right?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah. Especially after all that's happened in the last two years. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. And it's a literal storm. Like, it's, it's still I mean, it's great that we've had a bit of sunshine. And we've actually been playing the last few weeks, but mind boggling how much rain we've had in the last four months here in Sydney. So I'm glad to hear you're back on track. What so I was just as you were talking, and I was just thinking about, like, again, another example of a someone who's come from a migrant background, like making success out of something having that hard work. Do you remember witnessing or did you experience it yourself? Like many sort of the negative aspects of being? Not what? A lot? I mean, I know you said you're in a area, it was a lot of non English background, non English speaking background, but have you witnessed any sort of like, challenges with your race or back cultural background? Being here in Australia over the years? And if so, how has that impacted you or helped drive you as well?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, look, I think it's an interesting one, because high school I went to primary school is non English speaking background, so but high school, I went to Crystal vine Baulkham hills. So that's where I probably started seeing a bit more sensitivities about myself, it was bullying this and that and trying to fit in. That's where I really saw it from the seven year old onwards. And yeah, that was a challenge, because people from certain backgrounds would still hang around and all that but, you know, I think maybe Matt was an awesome thing at university because I was like, Oh, he's, he's, he's an awesome kid. And we both love football, and that really didn't care where, you know, thing and not saying others did or not. But I think it was more my perceptions around it. Because when I went across why there wasn't many football lovers. And I always thought I probably had the wrong perception of the, you know, well, they don't like football. They don't like me because I'm a certain Dean, but it was we just didn't have common values. So it's just my perceptions around it. Because I had a lot of change going from an era North Parramatta to book crystal ball mill, it's two different worlds. But I didn't meet the right person that had the same like, even my group of friends, they like football people, they were, you know, people of the same background and country, probably from where I was at primary school. But there wasn't football people as much as a handful. But no one really connected with when we've met a start to really connect started hanging around. And yeah, it was different. And I started to see race and all those things differently. But growing up, I know a lot of kids who I went to primary school or this and that and a lot of them, not a lot of them, some have gone into trouble and all those little things. And yeah, the media definitely, I think portrays it negatively and over emphasised a lot of stuff. But a big reason why my parents moved out of Parramatta was they wanted to move to a nicer area around there and less busy. And they wanted to ask to integrate a bit more wider into the community. But my perceptions, definitely the bullying aspect. And that's us and them was very present in in high school, but I'd probably be more educated when I got into uni and met Matt and people like that. Yeah, what common values?Ian Hawkins:
They're awesome. Does Matt know that? Well, how impactful that was for your life.Unknown Speaker:
I don't usually share stuff like that. But we still talk and we're really good friends. But he's he's a legend. And you know, like, we're still very close. And yeah, he's a friend for life. So it helped me he helped me heaps.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. Yeah. So cool. So what struck me is when you were talking then is how important because you mentioned this before, when you were talking about coaching, how important having that that the values and the culture in place, it's been a little bit of a theme that sort of run through the chat. So So what are the values of Cardno? And how do they intertwine with your own personal values?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, it would be the key value is, you know, for us, like for me, as you know, as people might want key values of family, faith and Um, and yeah, they dedicate things for me and health. So you know, for us, we've kind of the key values that we have is, I suppose if you take the health on a skill development component point of view parents, which is family, and other faith, dedicated values, and they work really well, because we're not just teaching kids skills, we're teaching them to be good at something. So they're healthy for for many years ahead. And then the other part of it too, is we engage parents a lot, because they're the gatekeeper to, they're the, they're the people that make their kids better ultimately, and we can engage with them. That's important. And for me, if I engage with my family, more and more, I feel happy. So it really works together really good. And, you know, just said, I read a quote, you know, people are not loyal to people, they're loyal to values. And I think the people that are the big beneficiaries, like even like yourself, you've been a massive supporter of ours is because you understand football, your values are very similar to us. And it works. So yeah.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. 100%, I think that's the thing that's, that strikes me too, is like, we were on the same page about so many of these different things that family element, Faith health, and I don't know if you've looked at like this, but like your your ability from that. It's Holistic Health, right? So you give them the physical, it gives them the mental strength, they feel better about themselves. So it gives the emotional aspect and the spiritual part, which is the faith, it's the, their, their connection with themselves that connection with their community, man, what's on so many levels, so, and I love that. And also, I mean, you talked about skill development. Yeah, it is very similar. And that's why it's easy for me to get excited about. And also like, for me, it's like, personally, I've seen the benefits. I've seen the benefits for me, in my own coaching. I've seen the benefits for the kids I've coached, I've seen the benefits for the club as a whole. And I've seen the benefits that the impact that you have out in the wider community. And so yeah, for me, it's, it's a no brainer. So I love how you've said that, because it's because it is it's important that we, that we connect with other people are on the same page and same values. So if you look at your, your journey, and your parents journey, that whole family unit, and you said they wanted to come out and integrate you, like more into the wider community, that's awesome, again, that they saw the benefit of that. Did you tend to gravitate towards than other families? Did they tend to gravitate towards other families who share those same values?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, they didn't actually, you're right, they did, because they actually then so funny. They made those actually other families of Afghan backgrounds that they didn't know about, but they actually were in similar circles, there was a, there's a community that had been living on the northern beaches for 30 years, I didn't even know very small community, there's a small community that lived in Cherrybrook. And they started to gravitate with some of these families that had left, you know, those kind of areas to be non in more English speaking backgrounds, but there was still a minority. So, you know, when they started to meet those kind of things, oh, we share similar values and ideas, you know, for our kids. And yeah, so they did. Yeah, that's, it's really funny. You say that? Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
Cool. To me just highlights the importance from a personal perspective and a business perspective, like having that clarity on what your values are, and, and why they are so important. And also, I think, if your journeys shown anything, is it sticking true to your values? Because the moment you start going outside of them and trying to be driven by other things, maybe by money, or they mentioned fit in or whatever it is, that's when you get off track, right? So it's bringing thatUnknown Speaker:
in? Yeah, even even us as a philosophy, Ricardo, sometimes some clubs will have certain things they asked you on. And in a lot of times we gauge, do you want to coach the 15th, or the 16th, or 17th. And sometimes it sometimes it can be a trap for us. In a sense, that's not what we do. But we want to make sure we fit in for them, but ultimately never works out anyway. Because it's not the age group we work with. So here in focus, that's your 100%. Right.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, that's it. That's interesting. And then I think it's true for life and for business. Saying no to the things that you shouldn't say no to, because of the space that allow for more of what you do want. One, one, yes. Yeah. So we turned like the attention a little bit more to that personal side then. So what what have you looked at away from business, the incredible opportunities you've had in your life? You mentioned already, then, you know, you've been to uni and you met some awesome people there that have literally changed your life. We'll have to snip that bit out and send it to Matt, because I think that's go it's good for people to hear those things to the impact we have. So what about for you personally, in terms of like your your life opportunities from from coming to this country from the most challenging circumstances and then to have the life that you have now.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, it's the best place like it's the as a person I've done. Yeah, as a person I can do basically what I want. And I think I've also had a way where coming to Australia has also allowed me, my parents never pushed me into faith or anything like that, you know, nothing like that. It's, I've learned to step on to work on my two feet. Yes, kids over there, and all that good, too. But there's just so many things that I've been able to do here, you know, work, make money travel overseas, choose what's called just as the small things go bike riding, you know, those kind of things. So, they're simple, but they can seem big things in a way too, right? Especially coming from Afghanistan, when I, when I put the tape on, I see what they can do. And I can do here, you can do anything here. You know, I could. So in a way, it's really limitless. What I can do here in Australia, and yeah, it's hard as a person, I think, still evaluate and a lot of it, but it's just endless opportunities, endless,Ian Hawkins:
and certain security that it gave your family and now it's like what you're describing, there's like, there's a there's a freedom that, that in your life? That is Yeah, what a blessing.Unknown Speaker:
And then And exactly. And it's funny, you say that now I can probably articulate it because you use that word, but that freedom also needs a discipline now, right? Because that's funny, too, that I found now that I've got so much freedom, that I also need to be disciplined in that because it's a trap, because if I don't too much, then you forget so you got to keep a bit of that discipline that my thing so that's from a life point of view. I'm starting to see that more and more now. You You're free, but you're not free in a lot of ways, too. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah, no,Ian Hawkins:
I get it. There are so many traps, and they're all distractions. And because you like you said, there's just so many different opportunities. I don't think I've looked at it that way, specifically through that lens but yeah, it's it's, we can fall into all these different things that will take us away from what we shouldn't be doing and having that discipline and like they will talk about that their word for the year and I know it's it can sometimes be a bit cliched and throw away throwaway lines but to me like I know how important they are my word I chose it started this year was exactly that word discipline is to making sure I was following through on the things that I needed to follow through on do I get that right 100% of the time of course not but having that that desire to actually make that happen it just makes all the difference for just progress in all areas of life rightUnknown Speaker:
now it does it really cliche but you oh yeah just little things like I just journaling and all that like I've really started this year. Yeah, I've been probably off track last two weeks here and there but it makes a big difference and Kevin some routine people will think or routines boring but it allows you to only be free and have that time so yeah, now I'm yeah that's what I really learned as a person when my parents came here to give us an opportunity which just open everything up you can have anything you want but now it's trying to bring it back in now betIan Hawkins:
yes you touched on something there like it can feel seem a little bit boring and maybe the structure like restrictive but not actually to me it gives you more space within the structure to go and be completely spontaneous and be more creative without getting off track without ending up down rabbit holes that take you places that are beneficial anyway so I think I think what you said there is perfect what really struck me when you were talking about then you were talking about travel and we haven't had the opportunity most people to go international much in the last few years. Have you have you been back to Afghanistan or do you have a desire to go back there? Is there anything calling youUnknown Speaker:
to be reading my mind this week because it's only this week I Honestly though, this is a bit freaky because was this week that I was thinking about it like I just was I was on the weekend I spent a bit line or just watching some visit there's a guy there that actually had Oh say who's who could use in Australia and he seemed to he's like, you know, on the Footy Show you got a Straight Talk is Bono's and it's kind of guys that he's not a comedian version. He just sort of walks around and just interviews people on the street, very famous. He's got a lot of subscribers and he will show a lot of people in Europe or you know, countries like Germany where there's a lot of Afghans and America in the in Australia what life is like over there and I watched that a lot just to sort of connect a bit. And I was just like, Man, I would love to go I would love to go but it's it's I don't have family there now. And not having family there that extremely dangerous. Yeah, I would love if I if I could jump on a plane tomorrow and check it because I haven't been back. And actually, it feels like I've never been there. So yeah. Very dangerous. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
There must be ways, though, because you see those guys similar to what you talked about go travel around the world. And I remember seeing a video of a guy who's basically tried to go through all different countries, and he was travelling through Iran at a time where we were getting told that, like, it was scary, and it was unsafe. And he's like, once you get past the city, like the people invite you in, like a, like an old family member. And it's actually not what, what I expected at all. So I imagined Afghanistan is going to be similar in so many ways. I'm only guessing. But I mean, I imagine like, what what is happening in one area doesn't represent the whole country. So I'm sureUnknown Speaker:
it will take some time. Like, it's just going to take some time to get there. Because again, they're in that, that change phase now where the different governments and all that and because there's only like a year ago where people are scrambling to the airports and it's, it's still it's not a war zone at the moment, or it's not a war zone or anything like that. But like I'd love to go maybe in a bit more time. And then the other the other part of it is having kids now you know, having two kids that plays in the back your mind that you want to come back you want peace and and for your kids to say how do you overcome that element of it to write the kind of data without them on the back your mind always?Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, when I look at it like this is like, it's a risk walking, walking out the front door, it's a risk getting in the car. It's like, it's like when people go out and want to go in the ocean because of sharks, it's like, statistically, you're far more likely to have a car accident and have a serious injury or die than anything else like that. So I mean, it's just like you only write your way up, you weigh up the risks, and then you make an informed decision. To me as a parent that's teaching them about, you know, educated risk taking, not not just playing safe all the time. So that's, to me, that's what you're doing with your business as well. Right? You're giving them so many skills from just what they're observing more than anything else.Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, no, you're right. And it's 100%. And that's the thing as parents to, like, you gotta get to that stage where? Yeah, like, understanding to let go them sometimes and go right, because they're still very young. They're like two and four, and also one and three, and then puppy stage. Yeah, so now you're right on that one. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. Cool. So if you look at the future, from a business perspective, from a life perspective, but also from that bigger picture perspective for the country, what do you see is a change that, that you can help make that's going to bring even more of that sense of community and family into where we live here in Australia?Unknown Speaker:
Yeah, well, especially being in the community between white Hornsby ominous sort of time era runway and all that suppose the Korean guy district in the last 10 years that's an area where I really started to understand a lot of the cultural accustomed the beliefs and the norms of the people. And I think we'd really like to develop more leaders in that area that you know, followed what we did and pass the baton on. So then I can start to again go and power other areas. You know, it's a very, it's a beautiful area. And yeah, there is a bit of a common trend for a lot of young people to move out, you know, and but Yeah, they'd like liked it to stay in the area and you know, continue to Yeah, I really would like to develop more leaders in the area young leaders, especially in what we do, and then we can start to go develop more and more leaders and duplicate ourselves everywhere but it's an area definitely yeah, there's as I said, it's, I think we can do more to I want this commute I want that community to be the best football community in Australia. And I think we can as you know, been in football it can be very challenging because you've got you know, the western suburbs or the areas that are very football rich culture but I think we're we can do better in our area and I think that's what I want to look back at ease and go you know, what was another a sign in here who just didn't just push that and there was one in this area and that area so yeah, that's that's what I'd really love to do. That's the focus now helping these young people transition the ones that get out of school and don't know what to do and but we want to be in it for them.Ian Hawkins:
I love it. I love goosebumps all through that because you're already doing that right? You're already having that impact like I look at the kids from our club in particular have gone on to play a representative level because of having this philosophy in place, and how many more will particularly now as the female game grows and grows, like and, you know, like, drawn to like, you know, our friend Brad's young fellow who's who's now playing in a rep level and just loves the game. He loves the game because he grew up with with Kano in place at normanhurst. And he's got the skill and the competency and all those different things like, Yeah, so b2b Add, expand that and I love that vision of making it the best area in Australia to meet well on the way to that, so I honoured that the sound that's awesome.Unknown Speaker:
Thanks, man. And you've played a massive role in that and also seeing your journey as within your coaching, you know, work and all that it's been awesome. And you know, those things don't go unnoticed. And we watch even your success. And we watch it with with a way well, wow, that's awesome. You know, it gives us also fuel to go. You know, we want to strive and do better. So it's also great to see your journey to, to progress.Ian Hawkins:
I appreciate that. Thank you so much for coming on, and having this chat with me. I love even when you've got an idea about someone and then you just hear just unbelievable stories. And thank you so much for sharing particularly, you know, the story of of your parents and the journey that you've gone on. really inspiring. So thank you, Isa.Unknown Speaker:
Awesome legend, everyone, and thanks again.Ian Hawkins:
Welcome. Bye. I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Grief Code podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Please share it with a friend or family member that you know would benefit from hearing it too. If you are truly ready to heal your unresolved or unknown grief. Let's chat. Email me at info at Ian Hawkins coaching.com You can also stay connected with me by joining the Grief Code community at Ian Hawkins coaching.com forward slash The Grief Code and remember, so that I can help even more people to heal. Please subscribe and leave a review on your favourite podcast platform