Brett O’Farrell Interview

I have started to interview past athletes to discover their insights on Life Beyond Elite Sport. In particular, they are being asked how they made the transitions beyond elite sport. Today, we are lucky to have Brett O’Farrell who played Australian Rules. I met Brett recently through the Hunter Academy of Sport where I was a Tennis Coach for a few years.

Athlete Interview – Brett O’Farrell

Current Occupation

Chief Executive Officer at the Hunter Academy of Sport.


Share with us a bit about your self (i.e. your background, where you grew up and where you are now).

Raised in Victoria, have lived and worked in NSW & NT at different times of my life. Now married with two kids, Chloe who is 5 months old and Tom 6 years.


What age did you finish playing Australian Rules?

Professionally 1997 – 2001 and locally in 2006.


Did you choose to retire or not?

My body chose for me … Bad knees.


What was your best sporting performance?

I fondly remember my first game and my first grand final. Great memories. You can read more about Brett’s statistics here.


What are you most proud of doing in your life up until now?

Marrying my wife and having two amazing kids.


Who are the mentors that have inspired you and what important lessons have you learnt from them?

I am lucky to have had a great family, a number of different coaches and some pretty influential business mentors at different times in my life. I like to think it’s a patchwork quilt of great advice that I can refer to depending on the time and the moment. A varied and unique number of mentors provides great perspective at the right times.


Has there ever been times you have questioned yourself and your purpose? If so, what got you through?

Not really, I do think a healthy dose of perspective is what is needed at times when little things become big issues you can always remember what really matters in life.


Is there a significant quote or saying by which you live your life by? If so, what is it?

Have you thought about it from their angle?


What was the most important lesson you learnt from being an athlete?

Perseverance, perspective and humility are very important in being a good human being.


What do you wish you did more of when you were competing?

Getting out of the hospital bed and onto the field.


What are your top 3 tips for making the transition to life beyond elite sport?

Preparation is key, don’t wait for situations to arise, prepare for them so you can hit the ground running.


Over to You…

I hope this has given you some insight from a past athlete who competed in professional sport and has made the transition process. Thanks Brett for sharing your insights and congratulations on where you are in your life today!

If you have any questions, please let me know or leave a comment below.

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