Practice, Practice, Practice: Victory Begins with the Basics

I love this time of year. The days are drawing in, the trees are afire with reds and yellows – and the world’s greatest rugby players are in the depths of the mud and glory of the annual Autumn Internationals.

All sports coaches know that the key to success week after week is mastery of basic skills, and this is no less true for world-class teams like the New Zealand All Blacks than it is for everyone else. Getting the little things consistently right – passing, catching, kicking – is the foundation for succeeding at the big things, like winning test matches.

Every gifted sportsperson has put in hundreds of hours of practice, to the point where their actions seem effortless and instinctive. In the same way, we should never be afraid to take time out to hone our own basic skills, whether that’s practicing a pitch or simply reviewing a delivery process.

It’s a truism that our natural gifts can only take us so far. The people who truly excel in life are the ones who keep practicing, developing their existing skills and adding new ones. For them, just “good enough” is never an option. So what’s the lesson for us all? Never stop learning or striving to go further, faster, harder. If you do this, victory will be yours.