Perhaps your greatest lessons in sport come against your biggest rivals.
“Rugby shouldn’t be something that creates pressure, it should be something that creates hope. We have a privilege of giving hope – it’s not a burden.”
These are the words from Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus after his team had won the Rugby World Cup back in early November.
At the time it made me think of how a team or even individual should go about setting a goal and achieving it.
This isn’t just about the Springboks, but people in everyday life. Often, we set a goal and believe that all our focus should be on it, living and breathing the goal and shutting out everything else.
What happens, though, when an obstacle appears or we lose a game? What is there to fall back on when we are solely focused on the one goal? Stress and worry set in and we panic.
We need something else to take our minds off what we are trying to achieve.
Rassie Erasmus stated that “the team had been inspired by the opportunity to bring some light and joy into the daily lives of their fellow countrymen.”
This was the motivational factor – not how much money they would win, the glory, personal ego, the focus on me only.
There was a bigger focus on what the team could do for other people, not what it would do for the individual.
So in your everyday life, if you want to set a goal, don’t let it be the sole focus.
Distract your mind with something else that will help bring about a positive result. The goal remains in your mind, but it is not the main reason for living.
If you believe that true pressure in life is winning a World Cup, Erasmus stated this: “In South Africa, pressure is not having a job or if one of your close relatives is murdered. In South Africa there are a lot of problems, which is pressure.”
Legendary Australian cricketer Keith Miller, who was also a decorated air force pilot during World War Two, famously stated: “Real pressure is when you are flying a Mosquito with a Messerschmitt up your arse.”
The point of this article is that if you are wanting to achieve a goal, look at how achieving that goal will help others, not just what it will do to yourself.
Not just in rugby or other sports, but in our daily lives.
Siya Kolisi, the Springboks captain, deserves the final word.
“The entire tournament has been a unifying experience for South Africa with the Springboks continually passing on the message that they were doing it for the people at home.”