Dustin Martin’s mind coach reveals ‘why he’s in so much pain now’ as superstar’s efforts to help her quadriplegic son come to light
- Emma Murray is a mindfulness coach that’s worked extensively with Richmond
- Martin has been an eager student and has taken his own mindfulness journey
- The Tigers superstar recently took time away from the game to mourn his father
- Now Murray has revealed how Martin helped her son through his own crisis
She is the mindfulness coach credited with turning a struggling Richmond outfit into an AFL force and now Emma Murray has described how Dustin Martin has flipped the script by helping her with her own family tragedy.
Murray started working with Martin in 2017, just 12 months after her son Will became a quadriplegic following a pier-jumping accident when he was just 13.
While Murray’s influence on Martin’s journey has been well documented, she has revealed the triple-premiership winner had been equally as important helping her family through the challenges and pain that came with Will’s accident and injury.
Martin has returned to the Tigers after taking time away to mourn the death of his father
‘He’s been incredible, the most giving person and loyal person and that’s why he’s in so much pain now because he gives himself so deeply to people,’ Murray told the Herald Sun.
‘He was incredible on Will’s journey.’
‘I hope in time that now Will can support him on his journey,’ she said.
Murray has worked with a range of athletes including tennis star Nick Kyrgios V8 Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin, Australian Test cricket player Will Pucovski and the champion Richmond Tigers sides of recent years.
Martin has just returned to the Tigers after requesting leave to manage the grief of losing his father Shane to a suspected heart attack in the AFL off-season.
Mindfulness coach Emma Murray has a long relationship with Martin dating back to 2017
Murray said on The Inside Game podcast in December 2021 that Martin was one of the most engaged athletes she had worked with and took her teachings to new levels to become a better and more present athlete.
‘Dusty is a champion. If I never met Dusty he would probably still have all those awards and other stuff,’ she said.
‘He himself will say that he had a very noisy mind. When he had the ball in his hands it was very noisy and that leads to just getting rid of the ball quickly.
‘Dusty didn’t have a thing in his sub-conscious mind that was holding him back. Dusty, more traditionally, went through the process of learning how to become very present in the moment.
‘You will see some people who take what you teach them and they just go on their own journey. You will see some who resist it. Full credit to Dusty, he took what he was learning from me and became really curious about it, because I think it made him feel better.
‘In 2017 we worked together every week. But he expanded that journey with books and meeting other people and going further into this concept of being present.’
Murray said that Martin was constantly evaluating and changing his approach to mindfulness throughout his career to manage new challenges.
‘His journey is really interesting, he wins all those awards and this is what we need to understand about pressure and expectation. Now, in your mind, it’s like what now? What happens now?’ she said.
‘That expectation to continue to be that, what if I can’t? What if I don’t win this? Now I am stepping out onto a ground
‘That human wiring kicks in as soon as expectation kicks in. Fear, what if, I have to, I need to.
‘Dusty is still a human so we see him go to these heights in 2017, we see him still amazing in 2018 but why is he not exactly the same? Because there is a new level of pressure and expectation on him.
Murray played a key role in turning the Tigers from battlers into three-time premiers
‘Now he effectively has to learn mindfulness all over again at a whole new level.’
Murray said her son Will was now doing well after coming to terms with the injury and from the support he had received.
‘He’s six-foot-two and strong and well and healthy, the injury doesn’t change greatly unfortunately but the social connections he has now were founded in that hospital,’ she said.
‘That was the biggest gift that the kids were able to connect.
‘Not just footballers so many wonderful people and athletes will do anything to help Will.’