'Enjoying the ride' the focus for Young

Named this week as sports analytics company Opta's A-League Player of the Year, Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young has given an insight into the mentality and motivation that continue to fuel his performance.

Opta highlighted Young's 93 saves and six clean sheets among several impressive statistics from a season that saw the Roar finish with the competition's second best defensive record.

But the two-time Gary Wilkins Medal winner insisted that individual honours are far from being at the forefront of his mindset.

"It's always great to receive recognition and I have had my fair share over my time at the Roar," Young said.

"I'm probably at a place now in my life and my head where I try to focus less on winning accolades and more on embodying who I am and what I want out of my life.

"I think when I first won A-League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018 it formed part of my identity as a person and this was to my detriment because it limited who I am. What I mean by that is that if I don't win an award, does this mean that I am less of a human?

"From this perspective, striving and embodying a philosophy allows me to embrace much in life then just man-made awards."

Young routinely shares these lessons with aspiring young footballers as part of his mentorship and coaching programs.

This work is underpinned by the PhD in Sports Coaching he's in the process of completing through the University of Queensland.

"The thing that I'm most fascinated about is how people become successful," Young said.

"What is it about their mindset and their rituals and habits that allow them to pursue their dreams.

"What I think works for me is tapping into the intrinsic motivation of who I am and that motivation being actioned through rituals and habits towards the vision I want to achieve.

Jamie Young

"I've been spending time mentoring young athletes around Brisbane about how they can develop their own mindset," he added.

"Specific topics I cover include dealing with criticism from coaches and peers, team selection pitfalls, and developing resilience are things that aren't being covered within grassroots football.

"When I was growing up, no one really gave me clear strategies and direction in overcoming these problems, I kind of just had to learn it through experiences."

Having recently concluded his sixth A-League campaign, Young says his desire to improve remains as strong as ever.

"In my career, I've given absolutely everything I've had over 20 years and I have no regrets about that," he said.

"When I finish playing eventually, I will walk away knowing that I gave the best I could and I can be happy with that because I feel I am committed and devoted to what I want out of my life.

"I think people focus so much on achieving this or getting that recognition and they forget what's really important. It's important to me to live a life of purpose of meaning. What's super fascinating to me is that I don't go into the season with any expectations aside from 'embodying who I am and enjoying the ride'."

Discover more about Jamie's mentorship and studies via his website: www.jamie-young.com.au