I rarely stop thinking about rugby and the sport that has been the love of my life since I discovered it as a child. I learnt during my rugby career some of the great values that I continue to uphold today, in my adult and professional life. They are the same values that guide me in my professional work and how I conduct myself in the world.
One of the principles that remains important to me today is the conviction that you never win alone. For example, in my professional life, this means that I have huge respect for those people who get out of their comfort zone, come to a gym and hire a personal trainer to help them achieve fitness.
I’m not a dancer (and that’s putting it mildly!) and I remember very well how it felt while trying to move on the ballroom floor years ago. It was not an award-winning experience, exactly. I felt silly, wanted the ordeal to stop and knew then (as now) that dancing is not for me! Not unless I would be willing to take professional coaching to become a better dancer.
Or take a look at what happened recently in the early stages of the Six Nations rugby tournament.
Against all the odds, the current young French team came out with spirit in Paris to beat England on the pitch, producing an excellent defensive performance that helped them to raise their game.
Defending in rugby is vital. It is a matter of organisation and trust in your teammates as they play next to you and it contributes to the strong feeling that engulfs the team when it succeeds on the pitch. It is something that is learned, through training and experience and which, when delivered with a focus, delivers results.
Which is similar to the feeling that I endeavour to share with my clients when we train.
I try to develop an honest, open relationship with each client and to work towards the client’s goal, whatever it may be, with the two of us working as a team, putting in place a strong foundation and moving forward as one. I may bring professional experience and accumulated knowledge to the training process, but it is a collective effort that delivers the rewards, just as on the rugby playing field.
To my mind, if something in the training process is important to the client, then it is important to me. Without my input, the client may not get as fit as he or she would like, but without the client, I am just a guy exercising on the gym floor.
You don’t need to wear a jersey to be part of a team.