Dally-M Medal: The moment Nicho Hynes was ‘slapped in the face’ by Cronulla trainer Craig Fitzgibbons’ prophecy

Nicho Hynes has explained how the decision to hire a mindset coach helped make Craig Fitzgibbon’s preseason prediction of a Dally M a reality.

Hynes made history at Wednesday night’s awards ceremony, securing a record 38 Dally M votes to capture the NRL’s top gong ahead of James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters) and Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons).

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Nicho Hynes speaking on Dally M Gong.

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Hynes, a Cronulla recruit playing his first full season as a starting player, would have been considered a long shot to take the medal early in the season.

But the halfback revealed the medal came after first-year coach Craig Fitzgibbon challenged him to chase her in their opening meeting.

“When I first arrived at the club, I went to his coach’s office and he literally sat there and said, ‘Nicho, why can’t you be the best player in this competition?'” Hynes recalled.

“Fitzy said, ‘I want you to win Dally M, I want you to win this, I want this to be you’.

“I walked out of this room and I was like, ‘Man, this guy is crazy. This is my first year. I can’t be the best player in this competition.

“But then I came home and I told my mindset coach about it and he just said, ‘Why?’

“It really hit me in the face. I didn’t really have an answer. I sat there and wrote down some goals and thought, well, why can’t I be?”

Nicho Hynes is the first player to win the Dally M in his first season with a new club since Johnathan Thurston. Recognition: AAP

Hynes called three times a week to meet with mindset coach Jarred Brown and decided it would be crucial to his move to Cronulla.

“It made me want to go into every game with no weight on my shoulders, no outside noise, no stress and no worries,” Hynes said.

“I was someone who thought too much in my past. Concerned about pressure, Concerned about outside noise.

“When I came to Sydney I knew there was going to be a hell of a lot of that with the media and social media.”

Hyne’s coronation at the age of 26 is only the reward for how he had to fight for his career.

Released by Manly after under 20, Hynes moved north to join Mackay in hopes of being signed by North Queensland but to no avail.

He was eventually spotted by Sunshine Coast and slotted into the Melbourne system before being forced to wait out the opportunity following Ryan Papenhuyzen’s injury last year.

“You have to prove your ability as an NRL player and as a person,” Hynes said.

“I always knew (I could do it) when I sat there and watched on the bench or wasn’t picked.

“Watching the likes of Paps, Hughesy (Yearme Hughes), (Cameron) Munster. I just thought why can’t I?

“I have their skills and I have the smarts. You have other qualities better than mine.

“And I might have other qualities that might be better than hers. But I always knew when I got my chance, why can’t I?”

The fever of the grand final grips West Sydney as Eels fans dream.

The fever of the grand final grips West Sydney as Eels fans dream.

https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/the-moment-nicho-hynes-was-punched-in-the-face-by-coachs-dally-m-prophecy-c-8388399 Dally-M Medal: The moment Nicho Hynes was ‘slapped in the face’ by Cronulla trainer Craig Fitzgibbons’ prophecy

James Brien

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