Saturday, 19 December 2009

Dealing with negativity

Talking Bear was saying something about this yesterday.  

Then, this afternoon, I started to watch a game of rugby on telly, and I found a real life case study to follow.

Leinster were playing the Scarlets.  Leinster have a very talented full-back called Rob Kearney, who was one of the stars of the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa earlier this year.

On 25 November 2009, Kearney told the Irish Times:
“I suppose I have to be (confident),” says Kearney of his own faith. “It’s something that I try and work on. I build up in my own head a level of confidence because I find that I play my best rugby when I am and if I do doubt myself and people around me then that’s when things start to go wrong.

“Everybody has their own different techniques,” he adds, ignoring Earls’s flattering reference. “You try and relive some good games that you’ve played, the good aspects that you did that week in training; maybe you made some good tackles. You try and put all these things together and slowly but surely it will manifest in your head that you’ve trained really well this week and you are prepared for the task ahead.”

And in today’s Irish Times:
The sight of Kearney jumping to pluck the ball out of the air as masses of opponents descend upon him as become of the sporting year’s true defining images. While he’s been delighted with this aspect of his game for the last good while it’s only good “until I start dropping them”.
“But that’s a confidence thing too as well. When a ball is kicked up and you think to yourself I haven’t dropped one of these in a while then you wouldn’t have any negative thoughts in your head.”

So how did he play in the game against Scarlets?

In the first 20 minutes he dropped three high balls.  After 65 minutes he allowed the ball to bounce in front of him, rather than trying to catch it.  The problem is that a rugby ball is oval, and the bounce isn’t always predictable and it sailed over his head, was collected by an opponent who scored a try.

But… he scored a try in the 7th minute; and another in the 22nd minute; and in the second half added his weight to a colleague’s backside to help him score a try!  Also, in the second half he took two high balls in his normal comfortable, confident style (although he did make a couple of other mistakes).

All in all - a mixed performance.  So the question is, which events form this afternoon’s match will make his highlight reel?

I guess that he’ll remember the good stuff, but I also guess that his coach will be giving him some extra practice sessions catching high balls!

One final thought.  After he allowed the ball to bounce over his head, one of the television commentators said something like:
‘He’s so much better when he’s attacking the ball.  These little chinks come in when he waits for it.’

I wonder of that can be said of some of our efforts in other walks of life?


Talking Bear said...

Love the Post, well done. This is exactly what I was referring to and how it plays out in our daily lives. I would loved to hear what he was thinking at the moment the "chinks" occurred.

When we re-play our positive highlight reels we build our confidence and self concept. The goal is to do this in manner that transcendence our egos and plays out in positive efforts.

Once again, well done Sir.

His Girl Friday said...

excellent posts, gentlemen.

Rob's an excellent rugby player, figures he follows this truth