The Irish rugby team went over to Twickenham having already won this year’s championships, but had the incentive of winning only our third ever Grand Slam (winning all your matches in the tournament). Here’s some lessons I took from the campaign that I’ll be trying to apply to other areas.
Consistency Trumps Flashes of Brilliance
One criticism that was levelled agains the Irish team was their rugby hasn’t really been flashy or there’s been no stand out players. A counterpoint I heard was that because every member of the team did their job really well no one person stood out. All the small parts working in sync got the job done, not one great thing. No one stellar workout is going to grow your muscles nor is one salad going to eliminate excess body fat.
Focus on The Process
An extension of the above point, is focusing on what you can do. Schmidt has rocks for his team on winning rucks, pass percentage, tackle count, etc. These things alone don’t guarantee success but they put the odds of it firmly in your favour. Put in the work, don’t focus on the scoresheet.
Don’t Rest on Previous Success
Going into the final day of competition, it would have been easy for the Irish team to switch off, lose the match to England, and pick up their trophy. But they had strong motivation to keep playing hard. Ireland have had only 2 grand slams before this, and everyone kept talking about how the players deserved this for all their hard work. Essentially they had a real strong why and intrinsic drive.
Whether you’re on course or not having that why, that reason, to fuel your motivation and give your best regardless of whether it “matters” or not will pay off.
Take a Chance
With all their planning the Irish Team did they still got decimated in midfield and had to take a chance on very young inexperienced players. This showed good “disaster” planning by the management (another lesson) and also shows that it’s worthwhile trying out new experiments. Maybe try workout in the morning or change up your nutrition strategy? Trying something new and seeing that it doesn’t work is only a failure if you let it be. And treating new methods as experiments rather than This-Better-Be-The-Solution permanent fixes helps shield our ego and keep trying.