Life, Vision, and Jonathan Sexton.
Little more can be said about Jonathan Sexton’s piece of genius, except perhaps, to draw attention to the the practice, rehearsal, dedication, relentless concentration, on the kicks, and the shaping, and the crafting of himself, to the task.
All three seconds of the strike, from kick to finish, was the culmination of a life’s devotion, allowing him to express what was needed in the moment.
He personifies, for many, like O’Gara, Wilkinson, Farrell do, the probable results of diligence.
We can all learn from it.
And here's an example of how we can apply the same quality. People often ask which is the best type of exercise, aerobics, weight training, Pilates, Yoga, spinning, and so on.
What’s best, I believe, is one that you can start, can do well, get good at, can enjoy, and that you can do consistently.
Do the one thing. Do it persistently, with a bit of will, a bit of intent.
Hopping from one to another makes a perpetual beginner. Find a system you like. Start it. Stay on it for three months at least. You’ll have good days, bad days, in-between days, but as you persist, you’ll learn, refine, intensify, progress.
Learn the basics. Attend to them. Regard the exercise as a practice session, where you focus on every move as a skilled manoeuvre, training the mind to teach the body how to do it.
An effective routine can be readily learned, simply practised, and then developed into a powerful mechanism for self-development. That’s what gives real value to training, in fact it’s what turns physical exercise into a meaningful, mindful form of meditation.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, professional bodybuilders in the sixties and seventies, were strong on this approach to training. Zane was also a devout Yogin, who went on to advocate the practise of the mind/body phenomenon in other areas of life.
Closer to home, there are three individuals, one lady, two men, of my acquaintance in this city who wouldn’t be seen dead in a gym’, or a track suit, but apply themselves diligently to posture, breathing, food use and relaxation. They’re in superb shape. Their minds are as fit as their bodies, They concentrate on HOW they’re doing WHAT they’re doing.
Their ages range from 42, to 52, to 67. They’re busy people, and have time in their lives to live. They’ve emptied and replenished their wardrobes. Their routines are part of who they are, not just some chore in their days, that’s why they enjoy immensely their routines
And that’s why it’s impossible for their minds and bodies not to respond.
Find what you like. Keep it simple. Do what suits you. Do it with a will.
05/02/18 Getting Anything Accomplished…
Whether on a hurling field, a rugby pitch, or running a business, we need to be able to access our best qualities for any endeavour.
Over the years, working with individuals, sports people, corporate groups, assemblages of all colours and origins, I am left in no doubt that the most accomplished of any of these people are open-minded, open-hearted and are life-long learners.
A hurler works on a particular skill, like catching a high ball, getting really good at it, regardless of his height. This lets him become a platform from which a team can launch an attack, or build a sound defence.I’ve seen a rugby player spend hours, days, weeks, bringing speed, timing and accuracy to his pass, making it a dependable and effective play on which his team mates can rely, and cause confusion to his opponents.
In business and in politics, a good leader learns to read people, see the subtle signs, hear what is not said, catch the nuance that alters the entire meaning of a statement. This is what alerts him to simmering dissent, or incipient treachery, or a hidden potential, so he can then protect his status, or exploit an opportunity.
These are basic skills in any activity. And that’s the point.
The most accomplished groups, teams, individuals, in my experience, are those who learn, practise, and apply the basics. And they never go very far from theim.
Back in the sixties, I was privileged to attend a clinic given by one of the greatest percussionists the world has known, Joe Morello, in Ronnie Scott’s jazz club, in Soho, on a Saturday afternoon.
As an aspiring drummer at the time, my teacher, Frank King, got me into it.
Throughout his exposition, Mr. Morello relentlessy repeated the need to learn the rudiments, to practise them endlessly, to get them so firmly embedded in the mind, the heart, the spirit, so that when you played, they guided the whole performance. And this applies to anything in life, doesn’t it?
There’s a story about Michael Jordan, the basketball player, who was shooting a commercial for a soft drink.
In the scene, he’s meant to miss a shot, and then console himself with the drink.
The story is that the production was seriously delayed because the athlete, who had conditioned himself so thoroughly to be able to fire the ball, from any angle, into the hoop, that it took ages for him to make the necessary miss.
After the shot, he then insisted on spending a couple of hours, before leaving the site, shooting into the hoop, to erase the experience of missing.
Learn the basics. Practise them. Get really good at them, not only so you get them right, but so you can’t get them wrong. Never abandon them. Any complicated skills, sophisticated developments you may subsequently learn, will only have their origins and fluency in the basics. Start, or restart, today.
So, later today, when you go out into the world, and meet your fellow man, do it with a will.
Be glad to meet, and meet gladly.