I was at the gym this morning, on the treadmill actually, watching Fox Sports. They were interviewing various members of the Wallabies team and also the kicking coach. I wasn’t paying that much attention to begin with so I can’t tell you his name, I know he’s South African because the interviewer asked him where his true allegiance lay. He promptly brought up Robbie Deans and stated this was the professional era of rugby, so I read between the lines and decided the ARU must have a good sized chequebook.
And then I did tune in, he said something that sparked my interest, it was after he was talking about the goal kicking and how the percentages are down for this Rugby World Cup. What he said was something like, it doesn’t matter how much talent you’ve got, you won’t withstand the pressure if you haven’t got the technique.
I still had about 10 minutes left of the treadmill so I had time to ponder that statement. He was right, talent alone won’t get you to where you want to go. This wasn’t just a sports thing, this was a whole of life thing. Everybody has some form of talent, the difference is some people choose to use theirs and develop it.
Let’s head back to rugby for an example, Jonny Wilkinson (England’s No 10 and goal kicker) has a very specific way of kicking, and is considered one of the best in the world – sorry Dan I’m using Jonny because of his stance. Now sure he has talent, but he has also developed a technique that works for him. He goes through exactly the same routine for every single kick he takes, and he practices a lot, also using the exact same routine. This is his technique, it’s what he relies on when he’s under pressure to preform. I can hear some of you thinking so why isn’t he performing at this world cup. Let me tell you why, he’s put to much emphasis on the fact that the ball is slightly different and this has taken his focus away from what he has been brilliant at in the past – and that’s to slot the hard kicks that count.
Now there’s a point to all this, since the 2003 Rugby World Cup there have been other players around the world copying Jonny’s kicking style. This is referred to as modelling and it’s a great way to improve what you’re currently doing. Very briefly, the steps to modelling are:
- identify someone or someone’s behaviour that is worth modelling.
- find out how they do what they do.
- copy what they do, install it in yourself.
- fine tune it so it becomes your way.
I’ll cover modellingin a lot more depth shortly. Let me finish with this as an idea. We all have excellence within us, and it’s a matter of choice – your own choice – of just how much of it you use.
I’ll leave you with this picture, would you rather be the person standing on top of the arrow or one of the many holding the arrow up?