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PERFORMANCE UNDER PRESSURE©

Uniquely designed programmes proven to enhance performance under pressure. Choose your sector here:

 

Was this weekend a game changer for the All Blacks?

A rough few weeks

Despite Saturday’s result the last few weeks have been pretty torrid. Steve Hansen had to make some really big calls ahead of the match and he is a coach that is not afraid to make big selections choices. Although New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup they have suffered defeat to South Africa and Australia and drawn with Argentina. They have also lost the number 1 spot in the World Rankings to Wales after their victory against England. For most team’s that would not have been the best build up to the Rugby World cup which is just over a month away.

Weight of Expectation

New Zealand commentators such as Paul Gregor (New Zealand Herald) are still feeling nervous

“The essence of a World Cup campaign is the ability to respond to pressure and the All Blacks are quite clearly under considerable amounts”

There is also enormous pressure on All Blacks coach Steve Hansen who will want to be remembered as the coach who led the All Blacks to a historic three consecutive World Cup victories.
Pre 2011, the All Blacks had a reputation for being ‘serial chokers’ as they repeatedly failed to cope when they found themselves under pressure in a World Cup situation when the opposition produced unexpected things.

Will it impact their World Cup Performance?
Toby Booth, the former First Team Coach at Bath Rugby Union, believes it is too early to write off New Zealand as they’ve been preparing for just this type of scenario.
“As an organisation, the All Blacks understand the value of ongoing mental skills development. They will regularly be training at very high intensity and pushing individuals in or towards the red. From this they can see how they cope, recognise and return to blue quickly. They can then be deliberate and more accurate in their next action and not double up poor execution or decisions.”


Toby is referring to the Red2Blue mental skills methodology from Gazing Performance Systems. Dr Ceri Evans, a founding partner of Gazing, first began working with New Zealand ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and introduced the squad and management team to Red2Blue – red side is when you are distracted and off task, and the blue side is when you feel calm and in control. The All Blacks adopted the Red2Blue methodology and integrated the specific development of mental skills within their wider coaching framework, allowing all elements to be coached and developed into a more cohesive way. Ceri has been integral to the All Black’s mental transformation over the last nine years. This summer Ceri releases his book – Perform Under Pressure - which talks in more depth about the Red2Blue approach to help cope with everyday pressures. Richie McCaw has a copy and believes that can not only help elite athletes, but anyone looking to improve performance.


Using the Gazing approach elite sports people can prepare for pressure, much like they do for injuries and fatigue. In fact, it’s imperative that they do as without preparing for scenarios or what if’s a players’ ability to focus and think clearly can be affected if the situation changes, having a knock-on impact on their mentality and overall physical performance. Red2Blue is still being applied by the All Blacks, and everyone from head coach to the most junior player understand and recognise that a focus on mental skills is key to success.

So, Toby’s final prediction?
“As the expectant favourites in a World Cup the All Blacks will be under extensive pressure to perform and achieve. Their ability to control their attention by using Red2Blue in key moments and make good decisions could ultimately will decide whether they can defend their crown.”

Sir Graham Henry (New Zealand Herald) believes they still have what it takes.
“There’s no hiding from the country’s expectation and I think that is what brings out the best in the All Blacks”

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is shaping up to be one of the most open tournaments in history, and with just a few weeks left, what key points should the All Black’s consider as part of their final mental preparation:

• Mindset - preparing for every aspect of Expectation from all areas
• Embracing and welcoming the Scrutiny on them at every moment…verses resisting or fighting it
• Be ready mentally for all Consequences linked to performance and results at every stage…how to think clearly and adapt when needed

 

Red To Blue Image

“We have incorporated your language in to our day-to-day activity. I hear ‘blue head’ and ‘stay on task’ being used routinely. At our recent battalion headquarters training we used your concepts and language continuously, and it worked. I found it useful to keep people on task and to operate effectively when under pressure or when the situation changed unexpectedly.”
Senior Officer, Royal Gurkha Regiment, BRITISH ARMY

“From time to time I still bump into players at all levels of the game who vividly remember the ‘different’ sessions that we were engaged in . . . players enjoyed the CHALLENGE of being in pressurised situations and finding solutions. Red2Blue enabled them to lead change under intense pressure.”
Brian Ashton - Head Coach England Rugby 2006-2008

“Having skills to go from red to blue or maintain the blue was pretty important in the scheme of things”
Graham Henry, All Black Coach, RUGBY WORLD CUP FINAL 2011

"Gazing remains some of the best training I have ever received throughout my career and life would have been very different if I hadn't attended the inaugural week-long course at Wokefield Park all those years ago."
Mark Ash

“Gazing training not only helped me from a professional standpoint but also changed the way I think in general.”
Rob Phillip

“Gazing Strategic Account Management remains the best course I have attended.”
Janice Durham

"Martin, thank you for bringing out the best in me. You've influenced my career for the better.”
Husam Al Zughayyar

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BACKGROUND

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You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website..

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Changes to this Cookie Policy

6.1 We may alter this Cookie Policy at any time. If We do so, details of the changes will be highlighted at the top of this page. Any such changes will become binding on you on your first use of Our Site after the changes have been made. You are therefore advised to check this page from time to time.

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7. Further Information

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7.2 For more information about privacy, data protection and our terms and conditions, please visit the following:

7.2.1 Privacy Policy

7.2.2 Terms and Conditions