To Players, staff and supporters of Randwick Rugby,
For so many players and staff associated with the Club this year, the season ahead will be a battle between knowledge and assumption. Knowing you can win is a good thing. Assuming you will win, not so much.
Being a great player, team and club is about developing a premiership mentality and finding a stride in the season, exerting just enough energy to rack up the regular-season victories required for a high seed in the finals, while maintaining a reserve that will allow you to flourish once you get there.
So in some ways the key to success is actually figuring out how to do more with less, not more just for the sake of it.
With the introduction of development programs, 7s and the NRC, it stands out what a long season it is, with so many commitments and teams that engage the players, all with their own belief systems and ways to play the game. As a result, you have to remind yourself not to get too high when it's good, but not to get too low when you don’t get the result or the selection you want.
The players and staff are fully aware we have a lot of work in front of us if we are to capture the 2016 Club Championship and their respective team Premierships.
Everyone involved from the Club is committed to doing the work necessary to achieve this. There are going to be ups and downs, and no doubt we will be tested, but I have a huge amount of confidence and belief in the quality of our people to be able to handle success and failure with the same demeanor and stay the course over the season.
So how do we cultivate the mindset and attitude for and amongst our players for this to become a reality in 2016? Quite simply it is about the senior leaders in the Club, both in the coaching, management and playing group to get the rest of the Club to understand that coaching and leadership isn't about getting the players to do what you want; it's about getting them to want to do what's right.
What is the essence of coaching and leadership? Getting the most out of your players and putting them in position to win. We need everyone in the Club from the water runner to the Board, to understand and live that if we wish to be have success as a Club. People need to place the Club’s and team’s concerns above their own. We need the maturity and selflessness to acknowledge that winning only comes to people who are willing to merge their dreams and talents, with the dreams and talents of others.
Motivation in a lot of ways is the most misunderstood word in sport. When I was a young player, I thought motivation began about 20 minutes before kick-off. In the sheds the coach and everyone in the room would rant and rave about how we had to hate the opposition and how we had to win. Now days it’s the player manager or hanger on, telling them who’s watching them, what opportunity is available if they play well today.
Then I was fortunate to meet one of the great coaching mentors and influences in my life, the former Wallaby player and coach, Jake Howard. As I started my coaching journey, I was so fortunate that Jake sat me down and asked me the important questions.
How important is football to you? Do you love what you are doing? Why are you doing all this hard work? What is it you want to achieve?Over the course of these times with Jake, I came to the realisation that the strongest
and most successful motivation is simply to not let down the people you care about.
The eco system around a football team is always a fluid and fragile one. Egos, agendas and motives are rarely universal, but the one constant amongst the great teams and clubs is trust and respect. If we work our hearts out in 2016 to not let each other down, then who knows what we will achieve? We could very well be our own toughest opponents if we do not understand this concept around motivation and Club first. The other 11 clubs in the Shute Shield are irrelevant until we master ourselves.
There will be no shortage of encouragement and support from everyone involved day to day in this rugby Club to challenge each other and get the job done, and I look
forward to our supporters and sponsors joining us in the chase to become
ONE CLUB, ONE GOAL: CLUB CHAMPIONS 2016.
Up the Wicks!
Director of Rugby January 1, 2016