#TEAMMANTALITY covers 5 core values …
MIND | TRAVEL | LIFESTYLE | VIGOUR | BUSINESS
So when John Mojsa caught up with Greg Bateman of the Leicester Tigers & Thriving Spaces they had a very special Mantality chat about all things Rugby, Business and Mental Health we were very excited.
Greg is a professional rugby player and small business owner who has represented England at Under 18 level.
He owns two property companies: Huddle Properties and Thriving Spaces. We will now leave it to Greg to tell you a bit more about himself…
In a few sentences give a brief overview of who you are & what you do?
So I’m a professional rugby player at Leicester Tigers. I’m also a husband and a Dad to two amazing kids. I run 2 businesses, Huddle Property Group Ltd and Thriving Spaces Ltd and am involved in launching a few more ventures over the coming months. I’ve done a few keynote speeches, some cool charity work and in general, I love finding new things that challenge, excite and interest me.
What is Thriving Spaces?
Thriving Spaces is a luxury serviced accommodation business in Leicester city centre. Our guests get the keys to unbelievable city centre apartments, with freshly roasted and ground coffee, boutique teas, wines, beers, hand made chocolates – it’s a real step up for someone who wants a place not just to survive in, but thrive in. We don’t believe that we compete with hotels, we offer something completely different.
Our guests stay for a range of nights from 2-3days to 4+weeks…
Why did you pursue a business outside of Rugby?
I get asked this questions a lot and although the answer doesn’t change, it’s nice to stay connected to some of the reasons why I started. Really, when I was a bit younger I saw quite a few senior lads have to retire from the game either through injury, or just being too old to play anymore, and what I found quite interesting was what they did next, some would go into teaching, some into office jobs, and others tried to make their own way in business.
I guess I just watched these guys finish their careers and stutter into life after rugby and I didn’t want that for me or my family, so I started looking into a few options and got interested in entrepreneurship, investment etc and property popped up.
I found some really successful property and business leaders in the industry and got mentored by them not specifically about property but actually launching and running a business with the systems in place to step back while training etc and just managed to put some of the stuff they taught me into action and executed it.
You said that you pursued TS because you saw your colleagues retire early, what affect did that have on their mental health would you say?
This question really made me think, because actually I think there’s been quite a few players who’ve finished in teams I’ve been a part of and I have to say I think it’s probably the biggest challenge of their career. I think from the chats I had with them, it was around feeling isolated as our lifestyle is around a group of 30 blokes, who are your mates. When you finish you don’t have that camaraderie as often and I wonder if there is more we can do to help players when they finish, particularly when it’s a forced retirement.
Is TS a way to better yourself mentally as a person?
Absolutely, pro sport is amazing but inherently it makes you accidentally selfish as you’re constantly looking to improve your performance. Having a customer facing business, you’re focusing on other people, and providing a service and giving value. It’s definitely healthy to have a focus away from the sport.
I have seen you tweet on various occasions about mental health, what’s your thoughts on mental health in 2016 as a male professional contact sports player?
Interestingly I’ve only tweeted about mental health when I’ve been asked to or it’s been tweeted at me, which i felt a bit bad for! I wonder if it’s time for men in general to be better at chatting about how we’re feeling. I hope this doesn’t sound like a massive generalisation but women are definitely better at talking about this stuff. Blokes, especially English blokes, we’ve got such a stiff upper lip culture that it doesn’t really give room for those who are struggling or thriving to share their experiences and get the help they need… It strikes me hugely how much enthusiasm the guys from the southern hemisphere have about stuff, and our culture is more to mock or belittle it, rather than celebrate the expression. Bit of a rant but an interesting thought.
As a rugby player myself, I know front rowers generally don’t get a chance to score too often, what was it like to get your first TRY against Treviso in Italy?
It was a relief, I was playing hooker and was throwing into a gale force wind and missed one jumper by about 40feet! So I was pleased to do something positive in the game!
Tea or Coffee?
What’s your pet hate?
Not having a sense of purpose.
Do you have any superstitions?
What is the best advice you ever received?
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Do you feel like you missed out on anything by being a rugby player?
The stuff i’ve missed out on is pretty much first world problems, holidaying outside of June, being able to get to certain friends and family events. It’s a finite period of time. When rugby is finished, they’ll be plenty of time for that and actually I feel like as a family we’ve got a good balance on things at home.
We would like to thank Greg for his very inspiring and honest answers and hope they have provoked your thoughts and give you some inspiration to take action. Thriving Spaces is a very forward thinking property business and to see more of their portfolio go to @thrivingspaces.
To see more of Greg in action his Twitter handle is @bateman_g.