Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mentally Ready

Rugby is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. The world’s top players didn’t get to where they are today relying on talent alone. Success takes drive and dedication to both mental and physical training. Ever wondered why players at the end of their careers play consistently better than their younger counterparts? It all comes down to mental toughness.

International Rugby Academy (IRANZ) MD Murray Mexted recently wrote a column on The Roar extolling the virtues of making mental toughness a training priority. IRANZ places focus on developing mental toughness, defining it as “the ability to perform at your maximum every time you play.”

Peak Performance begins in the mind. While players naturally develop the mental skills and mind management techniques as they become more experienced, teaching them to a player (yes, it is teachable) at the start of their career will help them become more successful on and off the field.

Players need to realize everyone is motivated differently, find what works for them and develop it into a process. Meanwhile the coaches need to finely tune each player, working with them to turn what works for them from process to habit.

Rugby is all about the challenge, and mind management is the greatest one facing coaches in today’s game. The game is full of incredibly skilled players, but it’s up to the coaches to tap into their mind and find what motivates them. No easy task, but it’s what the great coaches are able to do.


JAKKOBO said...

Nice article Kevin. I use to think that we're beginners, "absolute beginners" like Bowie's song. Every day starts the world. Are we ready to be absolute beginners? Most of the answer come from the idea of game, of playing the game, leting to be played by the game...

Craig said...

"He exercises of his brains" as the great Rugby Coach, Sir Fred Allen said.
It is peculiar that so many coaches presume that players of all ages are mentally fit and will perform according to the coach's perception when required. But that is just not so. Tackling requires a fit brain. If the brain is exercised and conditioned in a positive many, individuals and the team can achieve success. The benefit and reward is greater enjoyment of playing and the challenges in the game. The spectacle to watch is a sight to behold.