Mark LeCras' recipe for success - friends, family and flags

11 March 2019

Key points

  • Don’t let challenges define you, let them drive you
  • Embrace success
  • Focus on deeper relationships
  • Don’t compare yourself to others, out-do yourself.


Mark LeCras sits down with our rural and regional customers for an intimate and candid discussion addressing the highs and lows of his AFL career. He hails his perseverance and old-fashioned country values as a key to finishing his career on a high in 2018 after 219 games. However, you don’t have to be a famous footballer to apply his tips to any aspect of life – including business.

Mark LeCras reflects on the highs and lows of his 13-year AFL career.

1. Don’t let challenges define you, let them drive you

The pain of missing out on a 2006 premiership didn’t extinguish LeCras’ drive to succeed, instead it motivated him.

“When I fell out of the team, it was a big driving force through the rest of my career to get back there… The hard part was not being able to establish myself in the team. I don’t look at 2006 as a big miss, but as a frustration for that period.”

After many injuries, LeCras says the hardest component was the wait, “You can train, spend hours in rehab, but you can’t do what you love – play footy.”

For LeCras it’s how you deal with challenges that matter, “Having the right mindset is everything. You need to believe that you can turn it around, but you also need to acknowledge that it will take time. Patience is key.”

2. Embrace success

LeCras connects missing out on a 2015 premiership as further fuel for the 2018 win. “The experience of that loss was invaluable when it came to making the grand final last year, and how we went about it so differently.”

He credits the win to a lift in the Eagles club culture and a focus on family. “It’s a real family environment and the culture is spot on… There are 10 players with kids in the club now. That just brings you down to earth… We came up with the mantra ‘friends, family and flags’ - that pretty much sums up the culture.”

Becoming a father has added a different perspective on life and footy for LeCras.

“Yes, winning a flag is great, but it’s still not the best thing going on in your life. It keeps your feet on the ground. They, my family, provide perspective during the tougher times, but nothing is more special than celebrating success with them.”

3. Focus on deeper relationships

Growing up in Cervantes, LeCras learnt to develop deeper connections with others. “You’ve always got more time for people. You get to know how they’re going and I feel like it’s important.”

LeCras pointed out that country football is a great source of talent for AFL, however country clubs still struggle. He’d like to see more support from AFL to help bolster country areas.

“It’s built a lot of our players up, including Josh Kennedy, Jamie Cripps and all the best blokes that come out of that area.”

4. Don’t compare yourself to others, out-do yourself

LeCras felt he had more to give in 2017 when the pressure was on for him to finish up.

"Looking at how it’s turned out at the end of this year - I’m so glad I decided to go on… I’ve always done better just judging myself by how I’m going.”

LeCras brings the conversation back to his country roots, “I’m very lucky I’ve got some strong family and that everyone inside the four walls of the footy club made the footy club a sanctuary… You find out who your good friends are – Beau Waters reached out to me. Catching up with a mate made me clear on what I wanted to do. As a farmer, if you see someone around, don’t be scared to chat to them.”

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