Home life a grand slam

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Printsync South West Slammers men’s coach Mark Worthington relaxing with his sons Taz, 10, and Axel, 8, in Australind.
Camera IconPrintsync South West Slammers men’s coach Mark Worthington relaxing with his sons Taz, 10, and Axel, 8, in Australind. Credit: Justin Fris

Although only a few months into his new role as men’s coach for the Printsync South West Slammers, Mark Worthington has no shortage of experience regarding life in the South West.

Or how to nurture those who need and want help.

While playing basketball at a national and international level Worthington learnt from some of the best minds in the game and is extremely grateful for their teachings.

“I think I have been extremely lucky with who I was coached by growing up,” he said. “Whether that was my college coach in Mike Dunlap, who is widely renowned as one of the best X’s and O’s basketball minds in America, or Brian Goorjian, who is known as one of the best Australian coaches ever.”

With a boatload of knowledge at his disposal, the Slammers boss is keen to forge his unique journey in the locker room.

“My greatest struggles came post-career,” he said. “And now it has become my passion, not only in researching and trying to make things better, but also implementing it with my players as well.

“I do not know what their expectations of me will be as far as a coach goes. But I guess they will see the nurturing side of myself.

“I am not that removed in terms of remembering what it was like to be a player. My balance is to be somewhere in the middle — have the respect of my players but get them to want to work hard for us by themselves.”

Since returning to the region, Worthington has been busily promoting the importance of positive mental health and encouraging people to talk about their feelings with each other.

“Whether it has been through the Bunbury City Council and doing stuff with them or actually going to the high schools and working with the students, the overwhelming message I am getting is that we need to speak more about it,” he said.

“There are people who are suffering in silence at the moment.

“Even if you change one person’s life during the talk or are able to influence them in some way, shape or form, then I think it is a massive win.

“But that being said, there is still so much work to be done and we will continue to do so in 2020.” When not on-court, Worthington loves nothing better than lapping up the sunshine at the beach or spending time with his family.

“Having my boys Axel and Taz here at the moment has been fantastic,” he said. “So spending time with them has been great and being at the basketball courts because they love their hoops as well.

“Just being a dad is what I really love.

“But I guess also one of the good things about being back home is being able to go scoop-crabbing for crabs again.”

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