Oleg Markov starts life as an AFL footballer with his eyes wide open.
Dad Dmitri has never minded what sports his two sons pursue, so long as they know what to expect.
The former world champion pole vaulter was beaming with pride on Tuesday, the day after Richmond recruited his elder son with pick 50 in the national draft.
When asked what advice he had passed on, Dmitri said it started a long time ago.
“I just taught him that not everything goes okay, sometimes you have a bad day,” Dmitri said.
“You have to still keep your head above water, otherwise it’s pretty hard.
“If you get injured, sometimes you feel like you want to kill yourself.
“He’s pretty strong, mentally.”
Dmitri won the 2001 world title in the pole vault, as well as the 2006 Commonwealth Games silver medal and competed at two Olympics.
His wife Valentina was also a decathlete in their native Belarus.
The family moved to Australia in the late ’90s.
Oleg won a WA state championship in gymnastics and was also a handy high jumper.
But from the time he started playing schoolyard footy, he was hooked.
“Once the footy season started, he said ‘no more athletics’,” Oleg said.
The new Tiger said his Dad had been a massive influence ahead of starting in the AFL.
“His professionalism is far beyond anyone else I’ve met,” Oleg said.
“The way he’s handled himself, on and off the track, is always something I’ve looked up to.
“He always has the stories to back it up.
“So if I have any concerns or I’m going through a tough time, he’s always one person who’s gone through it.”
But with Dmitri’s pole vaulting and Oleg’s background as a high jumper, can he take a screamer?
“I try to get up, yeah for sure,” Oleg said.
“But the next step is taking the mark, so I have to stop fumbling.”
Younger brother Tony is 12 and also looked on as Oleg spoke to the media the day after the draft.
He used to barrack for Sydney. Now he’s a Tiger.