Category Archives: Rugby Psychology

Rugby Psychology: England – Fly Me To The Moon!

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When the late Brian Clough managed Nottingham Forest, he was prone to conduct unusual team-talks. For example, he would go into the dressing room pre-match and say. ‘Right Lads. Close your eyes’. Then Brian would take a song from the Frank Sinatra songbook, such as Fly Me To The Moon and sing it. To the team. On conclusion of the… Read more »

Rugby Psychology: England – Game Management!

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If the Rugby World Cup was a competition determined by the singing of the National Anthems, then England would surely be crowned champions. In the pre-match ceremony v Wales, the hosts belted out God Save The Queen with the nationalistic fervour of a team about to go to war. Loaded with emotion and heartfelt desire. Tapping into the hype and… Read more »

Sports Psychology: Martin Johnson – The Best Ex-Player!

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So Martin Johnson quits as England rugby coach. With a full review of England’s World Cup under-performance due, Johnson walked before he was inevitably pushed. But how did it come to this? How is it, that the only Englishman to lift the World Cup, should leave the international scene with his head bowed? It’s likely that his players will come… Read more »

Sports Psychology: England – Distractions!

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It’s quarter-finals week of the rugby World Cup. And England coach Martin Johnson is having to face down press questions about the off-field behaviour of some of his players. After Tindall’s late-night bar jaunt, we have Haskell, Ashton and Hartley in the dock for inappropriate comments to a female member of the hotel staff. It suggests that mentally, England are… Read more »

Rugby: Eddie O’Sullivan – What Might Have Been

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So Eddie O’Sullivan steps down as Ireland coach. First a disappointing World Cup campaign. Then a series of poor performances in the Six Nations. Somewhere along the way, the Irish team had stopped performing for their leader. Whilst O’Sullivan can look back on many successful sorties, his record will be blighted by a sense of what might have been. Talent,… Read more »

Rugby: Johnny Wilkinson – Take A Break

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So Johnny Wilkinson is dropped for only the second time in his career. This after being substituted during Saturday’s Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield. Four years ago, Wilkinson carried the England team to World Cup glory. He was at the top of his game. The world’s best. But there was a price to pay for his herculean efforts. Injury followed… Read more »

Rugby: Matt Williams – Pride!

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So Matt Williams begins his Ulster career with a bang. A 38-13 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons, whetting the appetites of the Ravenhill faithful. Afterwards, the new coach, reveals that he has changed little in the Ulster playing structure, apart from the players mentality. Williams has introduced shirt ceremonies, to evoke a sense of pride in wearing the jersey. And… Read more »

Rugby: Johnny Wilkinson – Buddha!

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It should come as no surprise that a top sports professional like Johnny Wilkinson should be extending his reading. The worlds of business, art and spirituality carries many philosophies that sports professionals can apply to improve their mentalities. It is easy to see how the principles of Buddah can be effective in a sporting context. Especially the doctrine of learning… Read more »

Rugby: England – Beyond 36-0

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As England prepare to face South Africa in the World Cup final, one of the big questions being asked, is how do England put behind them the 36-0 defeat imposed on them by their opponents, a few weeks ago? Surely it will have shaken them psychologically? Surprisingly, it may turn out that the 36-0 has benefited England more than it… Read more »

Rugby: England – Supreme Belief

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The bookmakers have spoken and South Africa have been installed as 3-1 on favourites for the World Cup Final. Unbeaten in the tournament, 36-0 victors over England in the group game and beating Argentina in the semi’s with plenty to spare. Surely they justify the status of favourites? On paper – yes. But this is the World Cup Final. And… Read more »