About James

Born with bent bones & pigeon-toed James Holbeck went from wearing callipers and falling over his own feet to playing 8 years of professional rugby union with the ACT Brumbies and becoming an Australian Wallaby.

Studying psychology through his playing days he has always maintained a passion in understanding the resilience of the mind. This helped him endure 6 years of being unable to finish a single professional game due to a brutal run of injuries.

After finishing his rugby career he completed his honours degree and worked for Kids HelpLine as a telephone counsellor.

During post-graduate studies he spoke at conferences and lectured at universities in decision making and building environments that enable skill development. He has consulted to professional teams in Australia and Japan and college teams in the United States, including Westpoint Military Academy, around skill acquisition, personal development and team culture.

He currently presents workshops to enable people to chase a meaningful vision while persisting through life’s challenges. He enjoys volunteering with at-risk kids to help them see that they have a sense of worth and value.

Fast Facts

  • Wore less impressive leg-callipers than Forrest Gump as a kid
  • Great Minds Program Co-Creator
  • 8 year rugby professional player
  • Australian Wallaby #737
  • First two jobs post professional rugby career – Television commentator and IGA supermarket weekend manager
  • First player ever sin-binned in International rugby (Sth Africa versus Australia – 1997)
  • Wallaby in residence at Rugby Union Player Association Induction Camps
  • Writer on Rugby Union for Rugby.com.au website 2016/2017
  • Television Panelist 2003 World Cup
  • Former First Grade Rugby union coach (University of Queensland, QLD & Randwick, NSW)
  • Professional speaker & facilitator (Men of substance – Men of Character: What are you made of? Program)
  • Loves fly-fishing in New Zealand & The Snowy Mountains

What’s it like working with LIFT?

“After way too many epic thought-provoking chats about all things, it seemed the logical next step was to combine forces and become part of the LIFT family. I appreciate that when interacting with Rachel we can respectfully challenge each other’s thoughts and ideas to develop a combined better understanding of concepts. To use that combined wisdom to develop better workshops around helping people walk towards greatness”.

What's your definition of greatness?

““Greatness is not puffing yourself up by achieving great feats or indeed in being popularised as being great. Greatness is determined by intent. To battle valiantly for a noble cause where both the means and the ends are of equal worth.”

Work with James

Available for speaking engagements and individual mentoring.