The Mindset, concentration and winning.
I look out across a empty field, the wind is blowing gently and the rain starts to fall. As I look forward, my target sits ahead of me, I stare for what feels like an eternity, my vision narrowing onto my final selected point. My breathing slowing as I begin to phase out the noise around me, it almost feels tranquil as it becomes just me and my target…….
You’ll be wondering what I’m describing there, and NO it’s not from a book describing a hunting scene or something from a sniper book. It’s how I feel and can only begin to describe when I’m about to make a place kick at the rugby posts. You see kicking is an ART FORM, write that down.
Because you can’t just be good at it by turning up and taking the kick, it takes hours and hours and hours of practice. The best person to really describe the perfectionist of this is one Mr Jonny Wilkinson. I remember turning up to training, and their was Johnny out in the middle of the practice field before the first team were even there, perfecting his technique, and guess what, he was still there after not only my own training with the academy but also his own. He dedicated hours upon hours a day, numerous times a week tweaking his little routines of clasping hands, little tap with his left or right boot on the boot tip all because it allowed him to start to become one with the occasion, the kick.
I’m proud to say, I’ve trained with Jonny, Rob Andrew, Dave Alred and Eric Elwood. I’m one of few people who had the ability to stand toe to toe with some of the greatest European and world fly halves and learn my art form from the best and it’s something I’ll always remember as a rugby player but also as human. You see you learn more than just how to kick, you learn how to channel your emotion, your energy and focus into something more. You are able to learn how to bend the elements to your art form, learning how to cure the ball, where to target your kick with a high or low wind pressure. It changed me.
Now your wondering where this is going, so I’ll get to that now. Having the right mindset, it’s not something you achieve in one night or over a short period of time, it’s something you continue to strive to achieve. It’s that clarity, the perfection on something you want. It’s knowing that point where everything just clicks into place and becomes second knowledge. Striving for perfection, you will continue to throughout your life, and I’ll be honest, even though I know how to kick, I still practice a lot, you’ll find me at a local rugby field with a bag of rugby balls kicking for hours on end whether it’s snowing, raining or windy, even at times I’ve had all three over a period of hours.
Learning to put all the noise and concentrate on the task at hand helps not just on the field, but in everyday life as well. It helped me massively with school and studies where teachers would comment to my mum about how well I was beginning to do. The winning was becoming a rugby player, becoming something I had worked hard for over a long period of time. I can sometimes be seen kicking myself (quite literally) if I don’t come out of a game with at least bruises and stamp marks over my legs and body, as that is a sign to myself I’ve played hard. If you want to achieve something in life, you work hard for it, as they say ”Practice makes perfect” it really does, take my word for it, or even better yet watch this and see how much work goes into a kick https://youtu.be/yTurKx4fbEE
I’ll leave you with one last thought, to win in life, you’ll come across many defeats as well. As long as you learn from your losses, and take something from them, then it was worth your effort and time.
Posted on May 1, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged becoming a rugby player, childrens classes, Kicking, Kicking practice, Mini-ruggers, Practice, Rugby World Cup. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.