Tigers star Dustin Martin has admitted to being overawed with pressure following his remarkable 2017 season, dubbed as arguably the greatest individual campaign ever put together.
He became the first player in VFL/AFL history to win the Brownlow Medal, Norm Smith Medal and a premiership flag in the one year, while leading Richmond’s to their 37-year drought-breaking flag triumph.
Martin spoke to complex.com about the burden of living up to the towering standards he set in 2017 in the early parts of this season.
“It was a really different feeling I had at the start of this year, off the back of last year,” the Richmond champion said in his interview on complex.com.
“You spend your whole life trying to achieve your dreams, and then when it all kind of happens … it’s a strange feeling. It’s like, ‘Sh!t – what’s next?’
“I certainly struggled a bit early on in the year with that kind of thing and where I was in my life.”
The silky midfielder admitted he focused too much on trying to dominate games like last season, instead of simply playing his role for the side.
“I probably put a bit of pressure on myself to live up to last year and in reality I didn’t need to; I just need to keep doing my bit for the side,” he added.
“Once I figured that out, my footy’s probably got a bit better in the last month. I’m appreciating the journey (and) I’m in a really good place.
“I’ve just got to keep doing my bit for the team. When I walk off the field I just like to know that I’ve given my best effort to my teammates, my coaches and the fans.
“I think that’s all I’ve got to do.”