Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe has revealed that a confrontation with then assistant coach Brett Kirk ahead of his 2015 Brownlow Medal-winning season helped shape his professionalism and leadership.
“It started a couple of years ago as a three-week trial because I wasn’t a morning person,” Fyfe told Murphy.
“I’d roll into footy at 8am with bed hair, grumpy and not acknowledge anyone for an hour until I found my rhythm.
“Brett Kirk was the one that made a bit aware of it. You have to neutralise your energy constantly if you want to be a leader around this joint.
“Kirk was like a big human mirror getting me to look back at myself.”
Kirk, who left the Dockers to return to the Swans at the end of the 2015 season, set Fyfe the task of accomplishing something before he arrived at the club in the mornings.
“The challenge was (initially) three weeks of 6am beach sessions,” Fyfe said.
“You can look at it from lots of different angles. Some people that start the day with a cold shower or the beach, say that you achieve something.
“The first thing that you do in the day is an achievement so that the rest comes easy. There are elements of that.”
The champion midfielder says he has become so immersed in his routine that he would lose his way without it.
“It’s what I do and it’s so ritualised in what I do, that without it, I can lose some guidance in my day,” he said.
“What’s the first thing I do if I don’t do that?
“It’s a tough place to walk into some mornings, particularly as an introvert into the robustness of a footy club where people are ready to chirp you, come at you or pat you on the back or ask you to do something. If you’re not ready for that it can be hard work.
“I’m an introvert but can be an augmented extrovert if I have to be.”
The 26-year old also said he finds watching AFL “boring”, claiming he would rather analyse the finer details of games such as stoppage structures.
“I find it quite boring,” Fyfe said to Bob Murphy over a piece of toast and a cup of tea in his Perth home.
“It’s too long. I’d rather watch on Foxtel on mute and pause and rewind stoppages and different intricacies. I’d look for stuff and little signs of what players are doing.
“That’s where the game is won and lost.”