“Your mindset and the way you think is crucial to performing at the top level and to really being the best you can be. I feel as if your outlook on life, let alone your sport, is very important and it has a strong correlation to you succeeding or not.”
– Maro Itoje, Saracens and England Rugby Player
I noted with interest last March, that England rugby coach, Eddie Jones, announced that he was planning to hire a sports psychologist in preparation for the World Cup.
This was in response to England losing leads to Wales and Scotland (in particular not holding a 38-0 lead against the Scots) and as a result losing the rugby 6 nations championship.
Last Saturday, the English team gave perhaps their finest ever display against the New Zealand All-Blacks, defeating them 19-7, to give themselves a place in the World Cup Final next Saturday.
Indeed the score could have been higher because this wasn’t a team who was holding on for dear life against the reigning world champions. This was a team with a mindset locked onto victory, and an honesty in their performance. They all showed up and backed themselves.
The Irish and Welsh teams will look on with envy over the next week as the World Cup final looms on the horizon. Both teams have the talent, but were not able to raise their games to sufficient levels.
Surely at the core of that is mindset?
So subtle that when you’re winning perhaps you don’t recognise its value.
But when you lose, everyone can see it.
And without doubt, it’s plain to see that the motivation to improve your mindset for top performing individuals or teams usually occurs when the going gets tough. When things don’t go to plan
That’s when ‘The Choice’ kicks in.
The Choice of which mindset to stick with – one that admits defeat but blames things outside your control. Or the one that takes the pain of defeat and focuses with intent on really improving – on looking for the opportunity to get better.
For real influence in any team, family or community, the right mindset has to start with the leader.
And sometimes we think it’s better than it really is.
What is the reality of yours?
PS – 3 tickets left for my upcoming dinner event with legendary food icon, Darina Allen on the 6th November. Booking here.