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Meet the sports guru behind the rise of Richmond, Trent Cotchin and Ash Barty

Meet the sports guru who changed the life of Tigers star Trent Cotchin, spurred Richmond’s rise to an AFL powerhouse, and played a pivotal role in Ash Barty’s stunning build-up to Grand Slam glory

  • Richmond and Ash Barty are two of Australia’s greatest recent success stories
  • Six years ago, both were at a crossroads and urgently needed guidance
  • Mindset and life coach Ben Crowe was the man to help them both reach the top
  • He worked individually with Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin along with Barty

By 2016, the Richmond Tigers had bombed to 13th on the AFL ladder, and Ash Barty was teaching children private tennis lessons for under $20 a session.

If it wasn’t for mindset coach Ben Crowe, they might still be there.

Crowe once worked with some of the biggest names in sport, including Andre Agassi as Nike’s former International Director of Sports Marketing.

Today, Crowe is a mindset coach who has worked with athletes and teams across all codes in Australia, helping them overcome mental hurdles and reach their full potential.

Crowe is pictured with Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Ash Barty and Damian Hardwick along with two of the AFL Premiership trophies the Richmond Tigers won after teaming up with him

Crowe is pictured with Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Ash Barty and Damian Hardwick along with two of the AFL Premiership trophies the Richmond Tigers won after teaming up with him

Widely acclaimed by Richmond stars Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin, he played a key role in lifting the former AFL fighters from the canvas and into a period of dominance that has garnered three AFL Prime Ministers and is still counting.

Luckily for the Tigers, Crowe is a lifelong fan. He knew American-born attorney Peggy O’Neal had all the skills and abilities to be president of the club, but believed she was being undermined at the board level by the boys’ club.

It made him angry, so he intervened.

Crowe is highly philosophical and has worked with great athletes including Andre Agassi and Serena Williams

Crowe is highly philosophical and has worked with great athletes including Andre Agassi and Serena Williams

He met O’Neal and found that coach Damian Hardwick was facing the ax and skipper Trent Cotchin was at an all-time low. So Crowe agreed to meet them both.

“He changed my life,” Cotchin told the… Sydney Morning Herald

“To some extent, he almost made it. I didn’t know if I wanted to play footy anymore.

‘Just being a fulfilled person in life helps you to be happy. And if you’re happy, you can perform as well as possible.’

“Trent’s story has been beautiful, from unofficially voted worst captain in the AFL to officially, by his peers, best captain in the AFL,” Crowe told SEN in 2019.

“All credit to Trent. He has literally found his authenticity and from that point of view he can show himself to the world.’

Through Richmond, Barty and Crowe got in touch.

Although the humble Ipswich product is known worldwide for her achievements in winning three grand slams and becoming the world No. 1 today, she was fighting at the time.

After taking time off from tennis to play cricket for the Brisbane Heat, Barty returned to training and coaching at her old junior club in Brisbane.

Being a Tigers fan herself, she knew Trent Cotchin and saw firsthand the change in him, inspired by Crowe’s teachings. So she reached out too.

Crowe also teamed up with Golden Slam winner Dylan Alcott and helped him make his retirement decision

Crowe also teamed up with Golden Slam winner Dylan Alcott and helped him make his retirement decision

They came close and Barty turned to Crowe every time the chips ran out, such as when she crashed out of Wimbledon in 2018 with 24 unforced fouls against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.

Crowe would always be there to help her find her center again — and was there at the end to help Barty make her decision to retire.

“I can’t thank you enough for helping me become the woman I am today, for helping me realize the person I want to be off the court,” Barty said.

“You haven’t just changed my life—my mom and dad, my sisters Ali and Sarah…I’m very lucky to have found you.”

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