The Inside Edge

Will Stibbs | A remarkable story of resilience, hope and following the fire within

January 18, 2022
The Inside Edge
Will Stibbs | A remarkable story of resilience, hope and following the fire within
Show Notes

Welcome back to the Inside Edge Project with Bhavi Devchand, where explore a counter-intuitive approach to performance based on connection, instinct and enjoyment. Through deep conversations with those living in the Arena, we hope to help you, and the culture you are part of shift your perspective and perform with freedom. 

Our guest this week is the legendary coach of UWA CC, Will Stibbs. We start this podcast with the usual topics; coaching, leadership & holistic performance. However, after I asked a simple question of how to develop empathy, we take a deep dive into Stibbsy's story, which is one of the most incredible examples of looking pain and grief directly in the eye and coming out on the other side. with incredible skills to impact other people. Check out this series of events:

  • A knee injury that was meant to recover within a few weeks, turning into 5 different operations, a golden staph infection and coming very close to losing his leg. 
  • Within that period he lost 32kg to be 50 kg at the age of 21 and a subsequently had 2.5 years out of the game to the point where his leg was stuck straight for a year - to change this he decided to manually snap all the calcification himself rather than going under general anesthetic for the 6th time in a year
  • Getting caught up in political troubles in the west indies, contracting Hep A, leading to his first bout of chronic fatigue. 
  • Soon after, Stibbsy's best mate gets diagnosed with brain cancer,  undergoes multiple craniotomies and subsequent chemotherapy. Stibbsy does all his rehab with him.  The battles with grief settled in from there. Glandular fever hits and he enters a 2nd and much more severe bout of chronic fatigue. 
  • This lead to not being able to get out of bed for weeks on end, having a darkness come over him and not knowing if he would ever recover. 

What he has been through so far is absolutely mind-blowing, and perhaps the best part is seeing where he is now, using his experiences to lead with pure empathy for others. The holistic culture he has helped develop at UWA has significantly impacted many men and women to be the very best version of themselves on and off the field. If you're wondering how our previous guests on the podcast, Viv Paver and Corey Rocchicioli, have developed their incredible philosophies on performance, you don't have to stray too far from the philosophies Will talks about on this podcast. 

This is a story of hope, resilience and following the fire within. I hope you enjoy.