What The All-Blacks Can Teach The Next Generation About Success...

The New Zealand All-Blacks… Quite possibly one of the most dominant & consistent sporting teams we have seen dominate a sport over a series of decades. They just seem to keep producing phenomenal talent, after talent, after talent… But maybe it’s not necessarily all physical skill that’s led to their dynasty - perhaps there’s a hidden mental aspect to it that many can try and replicate with success

All-Blacks - The Youth Academy

“The challenge is to always improve, to always get better, even when you are the best. Especially when you are the best.” 
- James Kerr

Kerr wrote a phenomenal book titled “Legacy: 15 Lessons in Leadership. What the All-Blacks Can Teach Us About The Business of Life” - and it may be one of the most powerful books a young athlete and adolescent can absorb and learn from

Throughout it, there’s a common theme that reverberates from lesson to lesson… and it’s this sense of oneness as a team. This sense of everyone common together to pursue one common goal, leaving all individuality & selfish desires aside, and working together…

“The challenge of every team is to build up a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another… Because the question is usually not how well each person performs, but how well they work together.”
- Vince Lombardi

And the All-Blacks get this better than most… they respect the jersey, and their aim is to leave the jersey in a “better place” once they’re done with it. That is, once their career is over

There are two key lessons I wish to share here that the All-Blacks use to instill a culture of success that’s seen them dominate their sport & build their dynasty…

Sweep The Shed - The Youth Academy

1) Sweep The Shed

No player is better than any other. Some might have played more games, or earn a higher pay than others… but in the All-Blacks, everyone is equal and no task is above anyone. That’s why, at the end of a game, some of the best players will clean the sheds afterwards… They’ll bust out the brooms and do the work

Why? Because they care… because it’s this lack of entitlement that helps them succeed… this lack of ego. No task whatsoever is below them, and that’s a powerful mindset for young athletes & adolescents to adopt and learn

Laughing - The Youth Academy

2) No Jerks

They don’t care how good you are, if you’re a jerk, you’re out. And personally, to myself, this is huge - as you get out of life what you tolerate. This rule sets the standard, and it’s an incredibly high standard to achieve

It begins with the coaches placing culture above winning - as at the end of the day, winning isn’t everything. And if you listened to The Academy Podcast #010 with 20yr veteran and StrongFirst’s Head SFG Brett Jones, you’d hear his biggest life lesson that he wants to pass on 

“be a good human” 

simple as that. above all else, be good and treat others the way you wish to be treated. as if we could all achieve this simple task, the world would be a better place

So, take a look at your sport, education, relationships with parents and friends, and ask where you could utilise these two lessons more… 

  • where can you begin to do tasks you think are below you, but truly aren’t..
  • where can you be nicer to someone, or react differently and better to a specific situation…

After all, if these simple actions are good enough for the best Rugby Union players & team in the world, then they’re perfect for you and I

Nick Maier