How Ted handles pressure...

For international readers... we in New Zealand have just been through a very successful period in the life of our national sport, rugby, successful... we won the world cup!  Some might say it was a long time coming.  24 years between championships. Anyhow... The coach of our very successful team, the All Blacks is Graham Henry aka Ted.  I don't know why he is called Ted, it has been his nickname for as long as I can remember.  Being the All Blacks coach is arguably the only job in the country with more pressure than being Prime Minister.  

Now that Ted has coached a world cup winning All Blacks team played on home turf he has resigned on top.  Of course the last few days have been a number of interviews where Ted has let his guard down and opened up on a few things about being the coach of the world's most famous rugby team.  Today I was listening to another one being conducted by Murray Deaker.

 

Ted respond to a question about how he handles the stress that comes with being the All Blacks coach.  He made three very good points.  The last being my favourite.

 

Preparation

In order to be more relaxed about the upcoming event, meeting, coaching session or working day you need to be prepared.  It doesn't guarantee success or a trouble free day.  It does make the chances better.

 

Exercise

According to Ted, exercise helps with the mental clarity.  Something I would have to agree with having put more effort into my own physical exercise in the last two years.  Lack of exercise certainly impacts on my wellbeing. 

 

Control your Environment

This I really liked.  He said you need to watch you listen to and read.  When things are going well, read the papers and listen to talkback in the case of an All Blacks coach.  When they are not going well, don't read the papers, don't allow those with a negative frame of mind.   In the case of a leader watch what you read, listen to and who you take advice from.  It reminds me of an old computer term that has some applicability here, GIGO - Garbage In Garbage Out.  In other words if you allow the wrong people, the negative people to have too much of your time and attention then the pressure will grow and become unbearable.  Surprisingly… or not the bible was great on this topic a couple of thousand years ago.  Finally fiends I'd say do your best by filling your minds on things true, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly. (My paraphrase from the Message, Phil 4:8)   In Ted's words control your environment.

 

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