Do Your Best!
In my time I have been to a number of events, for one reason or another (usually a charity fundraiser), where there has been a guest speaker – more often than not this person has been an elite sportsperson talking about what it has taken for them to rise through the ranks of their chosen craft to elitism. As a lover of all things sports, weekend warrior and coach, these stories of hard work and discipline are somewhat inspirational.
In 2015 I went to one such charity evening where a high profile sports person was interviewed. In this case the interviewee was Wayne Bennett, long time rugby league coach and current coach of the Brisbane Broncos (which just so happens to be my team) and England. There would be very few people reading this article that are not well versed in “Benny’s” coaching feats, having coached numerous NRL teams, Queensland, Australia, New Zealand and as previously stated now the old enemy, England.
Through the media Bennett comes across as a terse and at times arrogant coach, delivering short, monosyllabic answers to questions posed by journalists – so on the evening in July 2015 I was hesitant of how he would come across and the message that would be delivered. HOW WRONG I WAS??!! From answering the very first question posed he had the audience in the palm of his hand and it was clear as to why he was considered such a father figure/man manager to his charges.
Of all his responses the answer that resonated me the most as a coach was when he was asked how he motivated his players. His response was as simple as it was genius. He just asks all his players to “give their best effort”. HOW SIMPLE IS THAT? Arguably one of the best coaches in the world and his inspirational message to his team is “to do their best”.
As a coach, all I want from my athletes, whether it be a one-on-one program or a squad session, is for them to give me their best effort. That does not mean you have to be first or the fastest! Only one person can ever come first. As athletes you and your families (if you have one) sacrifice so much for you to compete in this great sport, whether that be setting 4am alarms, $1,000s of dollars on equipment, race entry and accommodation and the most important investment – your time. Accordingly, when you show up at a training session, race, recovery session or whatever it may be all I ask from each and every one of you is to give me your best effort.
I have said at too many training sessions to remember that you need to focus on your own performance, your own square metre and do not care what “Joe Blow” is doing, has done, will do etc etc. Thinking about them or watching them will not make you a better athlete. Focus on yourself ( and not a stupid farken watch) and give me the best effort you can.
I can promise you one thing – if you do that every single session you will wring every last drop of athletic ability out of yourselves – and in doing that you can walk around with your head held high as the BEST in my book!