Sam Whitelock – three thoughts on dealing with disappointment

Three thoughts on dealing with disappointment

Thankfully so far in my rugby career dealing with disappointment isn’t something I have needed to manage too often. When the unexpected does roll round though, here are three little tips I use to manage the tough times and to also learn from them.

Full focus

Focus on the whole job and not just the last play that went wrong.

In rugby it’s easy to zone in on that try or kick at the end that tipped the score against you. To really understand why you lost however, you need to look at the whole game–including preparation.

If something hasn’t worked on the farm, there might be a number of reasons why. If you only look at the last part of the process, which is usually the one fresh in your mind, then you may be missing something.

That leads me to my next point.

Take time out to debrief

If something hasn’t gone right, an easy thing to do is move on to the next job.

Taking time to analyse the whole job is something we do in rugby. It not only helps us to see where we went wrong, it can also show that the problems we thought we had may not have been as big and as bad after all and the remedy is quite small.

Review your work as a team with a focus to improve the team. Avoid finger pointing, you’re in it together.

The team

My last point is more focused on preventing the bad stuff from happening.

Whatever you’re working on, chances are you can’t do it alone. I’ve got 14 other guys on the field helping me for 80 minutes—so don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re not.

Also, think about all the people you need in your team to help you through. In rugby, people see the contributions of the players and the coaches, but there’s a stack of others out of the limelight helping.

Whoever you have as your core team it’s important everyone knows what they need to do and equally as important, is ensuring everyone feels valued for their contributions.

When the time is right, make sure you celebrate the successes.

Sam Whitelock is Farmstrong’s Ambassador. Sam draws on his experiences of growing up on a farm and as a professional rugby player to share tips and advice on what he does to look after himself physically and emotionally to help improve performance.




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