NEWCASTLE top gun Matt Hall knows a thing or two about pressure.
A former fighter pilot in the Australian Air Force, Hall competes on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Races – series – can be won and lost in a split second.
On Monday, the proud Novocastrian addressed the Newcastle Jets about goal-setting and motivation as they attempt their own mission – ending a six-year finals drought.
“There is already a great association between the Jets and the RAAF with the F18s,” said Hall, who is in Newcastle for a short break after finishing third in the Budapest leg of the series. “I’m a proud Novocastrian and to be involved with a Newcastle team that has jets as their logo makes sense. Whenever I get an opportunity to speak to any sporting team, it is humbling.”
Hall, 44, began racing in 2009 and was runner-up in the series last year and said there were core messages that carried over to all sports.
“Part of it is not being scared of failure,” he said. “You can’t always be successful, and if you are scared of failure, you will never step out on the field with full commitment. The second thing is to set yourself really big dreams and goals that don’t revolve around success at the end of the game or end of the year. They have to be about bonding with the team, goals to make sure the team is always in a good spot. Making sure you are getting satisfaction out of every game regardless of the result.”
Jets defender Daniel Mullen said Hall had struck a chord with the players.
“He was brilliant,” Mullen said. “He spoke about his time in the air force in which he had to display team work. Then he went on to talk about goal-setting and always striving for the highest. I think it resonated with a lot of the boys. Being in the A-League you can stagnate a little bit and get a bit complacent.The talk today showed that in order to progress in life and in football you need to aim high.”
The Jets are a month into preparations for the October 9 start of the A-League and have their first hit out against Central Coast Mariners in Tuggerah on Tuesday.
“Everyone is looking forward to the first game,” Mullen said. “We were to play [against Northern NSW Select] but unfortunately it was washed out. You can only do so much at training, both physically and tactically. To actually get out and play a game is something we are looking forward to.”
The match will be the first in Jets colours for Wayne Brown, Devante Clut and Andrew Nabbout.
“At training they have raised the standard and have fitted in well,” Mullen said. “It will be good to see them in a competitive environment.”