Some Hawthorn players will seek advice from the club’s many premiership heroes from the golden era of 1976-91 as they prepare for the biggest week of their sporting lives.
Chance Bateman will just stick to his routine, maybe talk to Stuart Dew, and draw on a bottomless well of motivation.
Bateman, 27, has done it much tougher than most to reach his first AFL grand final.
He made his senior debut in 2000, but a succession of injuries meant he has managed only 116 games, passing the 100 milestone this season.
The hard-working midfielder also had to suffer through 2004-05, when the Hawks changed coaches and sat near the bottom of the ladder.
But the real pain, the time when the bottom almost fell out of his life, came in 2001 when his youngest sister Candy died in a freak accident.
She was only 15 and Bateman wanted to go home to Western Australia to be closer to his family.
Asked if Candy would be even more on his mind this week, the quietly-spoken and thoughtful Hawk explained that she was always there.
“I constantly think about my sister and her passing, it’s something I draw inspiration from,” he said.
At the end of the 2001 season, the Hawks tried to grant Bateman’s request for a trade to West Coast or Fremantle, but nothing came of it.
Much to the Hawks’ eternal relief, Bateman decided to put his head down and make the best of the situation.
“It was purely for that reason – I just wanted to go home and be closer to family and friends,” Bateman said of his trade request.
“When that trade didn’t go through, I (never) looked back and wondered if I could go back home and play.
“That thought has never crossed my mind … hopefully I can be a one-team player.”
Bateman’s determination and iron will was on full display last Saturday night, as the Hawks brushed aside St Kilda to reach their first grand final since the 1991 premiership.
Saints onballer Nick Dal Santo had been brilliant the week before against Collingwood, but Bateman dropped a master class about midfield tagging on his head.
Bateman, who rolled his ankle at training last week, also frequently ran off Dal Santo.
Bateman places enormous value on his pre-match preparations.
He spoke extensively to midfield coach Todd Viney and opposition analyst John Wardrop to prepare for Dal Santo.
By Wednesday, he will know his assignment for Saturday’s grand final against Geelong and do the same again.
That, rather than any chats with past premiership greats, will help him cope with the grand final week frenzy.
Bateman conceded he might seek some advice from Dew, who played in Port Adelaide’s 2004 premiership, but otherwise his routine will be everything.
“I try to stick to the same routine I’ve done all year, the same buildup to the game,” he said.
“I still get nervous before games – it just shows you’re still really passionate, play a role and do your bit for the team.”