GIANTS star Tim Taranto has picked the brain of Ash Barty's renowned mentor as he seeks to right the wrongs of a disappointing AFL season.
Taranto was crowned the GIANTS' best and fairest in 2019, when the club reached the grand final and raised expectations of a maiden premiership.
But the young midfielder dislocated his shoulder during the GIANTS' opening pre-season clash of 2020, setting the tone for a year in which they finished 10th then failed to retain some key players.
The former No.2 draft pick, having now played 74 games, is determined to help fill the leadership void left by the departure of Jeremy Cameron, Zac Williams and Heath Shaw.
Taranto has sought the advice of mindset coach and leadership consultant Ben Crowe, who has worked with Barty, three-time AFL premiership skipper Trent Cotchin, several leaders at Cricket Australia, and seven-time surfing world champion Steph Gilmore.
"As I get on with my career, I want to be a leader at the club," the 23-year-old told AAP.
"It's something I am passionate about.
"I've tried over the preseason to make strides in that.
"I am still kind of young but it's my fifth year at the club, so it's time to step up a bit as a leader."
Taranto has discussed leadership with his coaches and senior players, family and friends, as well as Crowe who urges athletes to embrace vulnerability.
"Mainly talked about how I can get the most out of myself as a person and help others," he said.
"It's a work in progress, nobody is a perfect leader, but everyone at the GIANTS has tried to make strides in those areas this pre-season."
Taranto admitted last year's shoulder reconstruction was a major blow.
The league's COVID-19 stoppage ensured he missed fewer games than normal, but the condensed nature of the season was telling.
"I felt like I was going really well before that injury then I probably tried to play catch up and couldn't quite get to where I wanted to be," Taranto said.
"It was a crazy year. Everyone had a strange year, some dealt with it better than others.
"It was disappointing personally and as a collective.
"We didn't play very well. We'll be doing everything we can to rectify that and play finals footy again."