Keeping perspective: Cooper's remaining grounded as he looks to guide youthful Wallabies

Tue, 14/09/2021, 08:17 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper and backrower Rob Valetini have spoken today from the Gold Coast.

Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper's new perspective on life and Rugby is clear to see as he looks to guide the next generation of Wallabies.

Cooper's attitude has been clear to see since returning to the Wallabies, even after a Hollywood-style performance against South Africa.

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The 34-year-old told reporters his approach to remaining focused on the journey and not letting the extreme range of emotions surrounding results on the field affect his life off it.

“I think perspective is everything,” Cooper remarked.

“Understanding the role and our every day lives, the important parts of our lives and how we approach every day. There are going to do moments along that journey so for us as footballers, rugby games, whether you win or lose, understanding the game of life is the one you really want to win.

“That’s the part that if you can put your focus and keep int he forefront of your mind from the moment you wake up, the ability to have things set up to allow you to grow and setting yourself up with the people that are going to uplift you and challenge you."

The perspective and focus on life away from the game is crucial for building a youthful squad.

This includes fellow flyhalf Noah Lolesio, with the 21-year-old replaced by the former Red and Rebel after starting the first six games of the year.

Being able to learn and teach the young half was crucial to Cooper, who is looking to impart his own witness as they look to build for the future.

“I think that’s the great thing even for myself, being able to come back into this environment,” he added.

“You’ve got great young players like Noah and being able to train with each other and push each other to learn and grow, being able to have conversations with him throughout the week about his game, where he is as a man, some of the lessons and life lessons that I’ve been able to go through.

“Being able to shed some light on some of those and for him to learn about me as a person and a man so I think when you look at like that, the growth we will all have as man, players and the games will happen, they will be apart of it as well.

"Obviously the goal is to win every game but if we grow as people, as a team and men, that stuff is just going to happen along that journey.”

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This stems from his own change in focus, which stems from his stint in Japan.

He believes it allowed him to understand how Rugby can fit into his life without dictating it.

“I don’t think there was anything I learnt about the game,” he explained

“As I’ve said, I feel like in Japan being able to be away in a different environment, you work out ways to go about your every day and understand the role Rugby plays in that and the role that everyday life setting up your daily and living in a zone that is at a certain level, that follows over into the way you approach training, meetings and everything fitted around your life and not the opposite.

“Beforehand, Rugby was the focal point and your life came second. When you look at it that way, the pressure that you put on yourself and the highs and lows when you win or lose, you can’t be living your life based on an outcome.

“That game on the weekend, if I miss that kick do I go home and feel really upset and down on myself or if I get it, do I go out and celebrate and feel like I’m the man? It’s more so understanding the process and journey and I think being in Japan allowed me to have the time to put my focus into my life as a whole and the role Rugby had.”

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