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Podcast: Ross reveals why he scrapped the back-flip try celebration

Nathan Ross admits he used to be a selfish player.

That all changed when he came into first grade.

When Nathan Brown joined the nib Newcastle Knights, the coach changed the way the outside back viewed the game and his role in it.

Speaking on Our Town Our Team, the official Newcastle Knights podcast, Ross revealed his try scoring celebrations changed when he was promoted from the Intrust Super Premiership NSW to the NRL.

While running riot in the lower grades, Ross was renowned for pulling off a back-flip after scoring but he's stopped doing them after a word with the coach.


"I used to do back-flips and front flips," Ross said.

"It was generally my second and third try when I was doing the flips. Coming into the NRL, I was going to do it when Browny was coach.

"He pulled me aside and we had a conversation about the football gods to me and he asked me to remember back to other people who have done backflips and made it more about themselves than a team

"He was close to St George and he spoke about a couple of guys who used to do backflips and Melbourne had came back and beat them in a grand final

"He thinks that when you're doing individual stuff like that, you're thinking more about your person rather than about the team and it is a team sport.

"If I score a try, I'm not scoring it for myself, I'm scoring it for the team."

These days Ross has trade the flips for hand signs where he throws up a 'Z' and 'W' after crossing the stripe.

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The letters represent his children, son Ziah and daughter Willow.

Brown gave Ross the green light to use that celebration as it's not self-focused.

This is just one example of how the mentor is changing the way his players think.

Brown is driving a team-first mentality and it covers every aspect of the game.

"If your person outside or inside you is in a better position to score, you should go with the safer option and pass to them," Ross said.

"We've had a lot of conversations. He's tried to centre my thinking.

"I used to be a pretty selfish footballer. I used to take a lot of half opportunities and roll the dice.

"Generally, I'd come up trumps but what I have learnt from under Nathan is, it's a team sport. It's not all about one person.

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"That's why the try celebrations have gone. He's happy for me to do the 'Z' and the 'W' for my kids because that's external.

"I've given the flips away because if it's not somewhere the team's going, it's not something I want to be a part of."

To dust off an old saying; there's no I in team.

It's a cliché but one which rings true.

"Very rarely do you catch a kick and run the distance on your own," Ross explained.

"Someone might've done something to set you up. It might've been the play the ball before you scored your try. You can't take all the rewards for it where I used to.

"As I'm growing as a person, not just a footballer, I can understand this now."