#55 - The Pressures of Being a Professional Athlete - Sam Billings, Professional Cricketer, Mr Kent and F45OC Chief Janitor

I’ve known Sam Billings for a long time. From the days where I watched him at school making a mockery of other teams to watching him throw on the England jersey i’ve always had a huge admiration for him. I always associated Sam with an absolutely relentless competitive drive in the sporting arena. Where that competitive drive comes from is something that I was always fascinated about.

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However when catching up with Sam after a long period, he came down to the gym for a few sessions and dominated, I got to speak to him on a much more insightful level on his career as far. For example I always thought his rise to the England team was a very linear journey… however it was not. The work, sacrifice and struggles he went through to get there are fascinating.

From our perspective as onlookers onto the professional sports stage it is so easy just to criticise. I think sometimes we see these stars as figures and not as people who are going through difficulties themselves. The pressure these male and female athletes go through Is huge so to hear about some of this from Sam was extremely interesting.

This lad it honestly a top top top guy. Honoured to have had him on the show and glad I get to call him a mate. Even though his choice of Metcon are an absolute disgrace.

What we bantered about on the show:

  • Sam talks us through his journey through school, university and finally onto a professional sports contract.

  • The mental journey a professional cricketer goes through.

  • A Professional sportsman’s perception of FAILURE - “It’s FEEDBACK not FAILURE”

  • Having a structure to your day and the importance of it.  And how it can affect your performance in your profession whatever it may be.

  • The role and new profound presence of the sports psychologist in professional sport.

  • The importance of having a support network.

  • A 12 year charity project that turned into a full scale Festival.  This is avenue that takes Sam away from cricket and the world of professional sport.

  • One thing that Sam has learnt about himself as a professional cricketer. 

  • Great things take time.  The concept of time and how frustration can build up.