Players often think success on the rugby field comes down to pure physical talent and the hours spent honing these talents with hours of practicing. Although important and crucial factors, a positive and strong mind is also vital for success. We look into mental toughness and the role it plays in achieving your rugby potential.
Part of becoming a true sportsman is about learning to control nerves, develop physical discipline, keep attitudes and emotions in check and train your mind to be tough and rugby-smart. These skills promote a solid foundation for players, that will better prepare them for their rugby future.
MIND OVER MATTER REALLY MATTERS
Mental toughness is defined as how well a player is able to “handle” their minds in pressurised situations and when experiencing physical exhaustion or pain. Of course, this doesn’t mean pushing through potentially dangerous injuries; instead it refers to how well a player is able to make quick decisions, is able to put his fears aside and is able to look at each game with a fresh outlook.
THE 4 C’S
Mental toughness is measured using the four C’s. Demonstrating these traits is a good sign that you’re on the right track to developing good mental toughness.
- Control –owning up to a mistake and taking control of the situation to avoid it reoccurring.
- Commitment –being fully and selflessly committed to the team, always willing to give your best, irrespective of personal feelings and opinions.
- Challenge –being able to remain level-headed in stressful situations and reflecting on such situations as challenges and opportunities.
- Confidence – recognising your own abilities and the unique value you add to the team.
At the Investec International Rugby Academy, we include lessons on mental toughness in our courses – a topic that is often undervalued. Skills and physical development are often brought to the fore in the game of rugby but there is much to be said about the importance of mental toughness on the field. Join one of our upcoming courses to glean valuable insight and techniques from our mental toughness experts.