Boks need to shift mindset

Morne Steyn (Gallo Images)
Morne Steyn (Gallo Images)
I have been a big Bok supporter since high school in the 1950’s.  I watched my first Springbok vs All Blacks rugby match around the early 1950’s at the old Ellis Park.    Sad to say, the most recent game against Argentina must rank amongst the 3 worst Bok performances I have seen in more than half a century.     

Bob Skinstad put his finger on the problem when, while commentating, he pointed out the difference between the body language of the Pumas compared to that of the Boks.    To me the Boks, as a team, looked washed out, reflecting a lack of physical energy, commitment and passion.    All the indicators of an unfocussed mindset were present.     

My field of expertise is Mindset.   Here is the thing; on the one hand we have a functional mindset and on the other hand a dysfunctional mindset, with several shades of grey in between.    A functional mindset is in touch in ever changing circumstances and a dysfunctional mindset is out of touch.    In general terms; when in touch people are oriented and able to focus, when out of touch people are disoriented and unable to focus.    Why is it that a team can be counted on to do better on home-ground?   They are better oriented at home in front of their fans.    In subtle ways, players are capable of better “focus” at home.  

The point being there are many ways in which a team’s mindset can become dysfunctional resulting in disorientation and an inability to focus as required.

Typical symptoms of the above are:  

An unacceptable number of injuries to players.     

Giving away too many penalties.

All too often loosing the ball when only a meter or so away from the opponents tri-line.  

Too many turnovers at the breakdown. 

Poor judgment calls by individual players.

Poor communication between players. 

The remedy to virtually all the above is improving orientation and consequently focus-ability of the team.    Too many changes in terms of players and game plan, burdening the team with too much information are guaranteed to disorient a team.   

This has little to do with psychology; it’s common sense. 
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