Friday, October 19, 2007

Success Lessons From The 2007 Rugby Union World Cup

Like all sports, rugby provides success tips which apply both to the sport in question and to life in general.

The rugby world cup is a treasure chest of incidents and comments which are full of valuable success lessons that could inspire anyone whether they are interested in rugby or not.

On Saturday 15th September, New Zealand, the legendary All Blacks, played Portugal in Lyons. One commentator remarked:

"This is like the story of David and Goliath; only David has forgotten his sling and his stones!"

Portugal rank 22nd in the world at rugby. New Zealand frequently rank first and have an aura of invincibility. Undaunted, the Portuguese gave 100% to the singing of the Portuguese anthem before the match.

"I'll be interested to see how long that passion lasts!" said a New Zealand commentator.

Passion and enthusiasm tend to fade when the 'going gets tough'. That's when the successful and the 'tough get going' and maintain their enthusiasm.

It was Churchill who said:

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

The Portuguese soon experienced one failure after another but, to their credit, maintained their enthusiasm

New Zealand scored in 3 minutes. Nine minutes later, Rockofoco, the All Black rocket man, scored another try. The score was 12-0 after only twelve minutes.

After forty minutes it was 52 - 3 but Portugal played their part and it was a game worth watching. The so called minnows gave it everything and Portugal were the first to score a try at the start of the second half.

Their try was converted and Portugal were starting to catch up. 52 - 10.

However, successful people put in extra efforts when they start falling below their own high standards and see other people catching up with them. The All Blacks are no exception. Bob Leonard scored almost immediately. 59-10.

My martial arts students do not like to see other students moving up the belt ladder ahead of them. Some will redouble their efforts to stay one belt colour ahead of the students just below them in the belt rankings. Competitiveness is frowned on by the politically correct but is a powerful motivator.

Portugal kept their shape and their determination all through this game. The game ended at 108 -13 in favour of the All Blacks but Portugal could hold their heads high. They had given their all and done their best. Though they had lost the game, they had achieved success.

In my view, success is doing your best whatever the results. Portugal had done their best.

On Sept 15th, Wales played Australia in the Cardiff stadium, one of the great rugby grounds of the world. Australia are the most successful country in the history of the world cup.

Australia soon moved ahead and Wales were overpowered in the first half. At half time, the score was 25-3 in favour of Australia.

Wales needed to forget about the first half and needed to control the game and try to score. It helps to forget past failures and start afresh in the present moment.

The Welsh forwards scored a try almost immediately with determined play. Hook converted the try. 25 -10. If pride and passion were enough to win world cups, Wales would be at the top of the tree.

Wales needed that try for their self-belief. People build their belief and success on one small step after another. Everyone can improve their lives by at least one small step every single day.

For example, if you are weak take the small step of doing squats every day (i.e. sitting down on an imaginary chair with your arms held in front and then standing up).

Next, do pushaways from the wall (i.e. lean forward facing a wall with your palms on the wall and your feet about thirty inches away from the wall. Then push away from the wall and then lean forward again). Make sure that your feet are not too far away from the wall or you will fall on your face!

You could do ten squats and then ten pushaways. Repeat that sequence for about ten minutes every day and you will become leaner, stronger and fitter both mentally and physically. Back to the game!

Wales had a penalty and the score moved to 25 -13. Victory would seem gettable from this score. The extra points infused the Welsh players with belief. Could they twist the knife and make the Australians doubt themselves?

A Welsh player performed a powerful tackle which would win hearts and minds even though it did not win the ball. Any display of extra effort can inspire and bring results. Leonardo da Vinci came up with a brilliant line about the value of effort which goes a long way to explaining his lasting success:

"Oh God! You sell us everything for the price of an effort."

Latham, the Australian, broke through to score a try. 32-13. Latham makes his own luck He chases everything and never gives up.

Where England had just subsided against South Africa, Wales had come back strongly in their second half. They might start to think: "We can still take on the best teams."

Gareth Jenkins later remarked: "If you have plenty of spirit and belief you can come back."

Wales were not looking for the final whistle. They were enjoying themselves. Someone commented: "The Welsh dragon fizzed but was ultimately doused by the Wallabies."

However, Wales still had something to hope for. They could qualify as second in their pool and then face South Africa in the quarter finals. Stephen Jones commented:

"We need to learn to play over 80 minutes and to improve our rugby."

Michael Lynagh, the Australian commentator, was disappointed that Australia rested on their lead in the second half.

Successful people tend to play and work hard in 'both halves'.

On Saturday 15th September, Ireland played Georgia in Bordeaux

So far, Ireland were not happy with their world cup. Paul O'Connell said: "We are just not playing to our potential."

O'Driscoll, the Irish captain said: "Perhaps we took our eye off the ball."

Will Greenwood agreed: "Ireland need to keep their eye on the game and not on what other teams in their group are doing."

The Georgians are a hugely physical side. They started well and put Ireland on the back foot. Rory Best, the Irish hooker, scored the first try. The score was 5-0 to Ireland after 17 minutes. Ronan O'Gara scored a great conversion. 7-0.

Ronan had practised for a good hour and a half the day before the match. Practise in private and shine in public. Georgia got a penalty near half time and scored three points 7-3.

After half time Stringer threw a long slow pass which was intercepted by a Georgian. A try was scored and converted 10-7 to Georgia. Ireland, who were no longer in the lead, discovered their sense of urgency. Successful people don't usually do this. They have a sense of urgency from the start.

Ireland scored a try in the 54th minute when a Georgian missed a tackle. The Georgians were beginning to tire. O'Gara converted the try. 14-10.

The Georgian forwards moved forward yard by yard and inch by inch. They were happy to take this Irish team on. They continued to shock and surprise. Kashvili kept putting in great kicks to touch

There was now a real sense of urgency from the Georgians. They were sniffing an unbelievable upset.

O'Driscoll, not surprisingly, noticed this: "Once they were within a sniff they grew in confidence. When you are within one score anything can happen."

Anyone who realizes they are close to achieving their goals is capable of putting in the kind of extra effort that produces miracles.

The Irish supporters were on tenterhooks and could not wait for the final whistle. The bigger men and hearts had been Georgian. Ireland scored two tries but were lucky to get off the pitch with a win.

The TV ads continued to be original and to blend in with the French background to the world cup. A character in one of them asked:

"What's French for déjà vu?"

It is worth reminding ourselves of the twelve success tips that emerged from the rugby games described above:

Passion and enthusiasm tend to fade when the 'going gets tough'. That's when the successful and the 'tough get going' and maintain their enthusiasm.

Successful people put in extra efforts when they start falling below their own high standards and see other people catching up with them!

Success is doing your best whatever the results.

Forget past failures, even if they are recent, and start afresh in the present moment.

Build your belief and success on one small step after another. Improve your life by at least one small step every single day. Try out the 10 squat and 10 pushaway 10 minute system suggested above.

God sells us everything for the price of an effort.

Make your own luck by chasing down an opportunity with all your heart.

Successful people tend to play and work hard in 'both halves'.

Don't take your eye off the ball. Focus on your priorities.

Practise in private and shine in public.

Have a sense of urgency when you start any project. Don't wait until the deadline is close.

Let the thought of being close to achieving your goal inspire you to greater efforts.

John Watson is an award winning teacher and 5th degree blackbelt martial arts instructor. He has written several ebooks on motivation and success topics. One of these can be found at http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php

You can also find motivational ebooks by authors like Stuart Goldsmith. Check out http://www.motivationtoday.com/the_midas_method.php

1 comment:

STICKYBOI said...

The opening round of Six Nations fixtures certainly didn’t disappoint. We had a tense thriller (Ireland 16 – 11 Italy), a shocking upset (England 19 – 26 Wales) - which must have cost the bookies in Wales a few quid, seen as though the Welsh were massive underdogs and not forgetting that the Taffies like a bit of Rugby Betting UK. Then there were the brave Scots; who went down 27-6 to France. So many parts of Scotland’s game were working well and all three of the French tries came from schoolboy errors by the Scots... I hope their confidence is still in tact because they actually played really well.