As we approach the end of the year of 2011, it’s also the end of the career of a top flight sportsman. I haven’t written a sports related post for a while, so read on for some tried and tested goal achievement tips..
That’s who I’m talking about in this article. December 2011 sees him announce his retirement from international rugby union. As it happens, it doubtful as to whether he would have got another game for England, with young pretenders seemingly to offer more flexibility after his years of dominance in his position.
He cemented his place with 2 aspects of his game – his preparedness to get involved in heavy tackles, which was unusual for his position on the field, and his kicking.
His kicking made him famous, being called a kicking machine, and seeing him win the 2003 World Cup with the last kick of the final.
The England team came to rely on him converting his kicks so regularly, that it was assumed a certain number of points would be banked during a game. So, how did he get to be in such a position?
You won’t be surprised when I say hard work, dedication and overcoming adversity!
Wilkinson developed an odd stance whenever he set about his kicking. He used it every time, going through the same routine, and it was the fact that it was routine which fostered the success – it allowed him to slow his breathing, to take emotion out of the equation, and focus on the mechanics of the process.
He admits he wasn’t the first to develop this – there has been other kickers before who had done the same thing, but it could be argued that he took it to a new level of consistency.
A classic goal achievement tip is to develop habits, by repetition and hard work, and Wilkinson would practice kicking for hours, long after the other players had gone home.
Another part of achieving goals is commitment. Wilkinson not only committed time, he lived his whole life around the game of rugby. That included planning and watching everything he ate and drank, and scheduling his days – not just for a few days, or weeks, but for *years!* As he said, if he wanted to succeed at the highest level, he needed to make the choices that allowed him to do so.
As for overcoming adversity, well Wilkinson was rather injury prone. Although it helped the team that he was prepared to get stuck into meaty tackles, his body suffered with several long term injuries. It cost him many years of his international career, and on at least two occasions it was doubted if he’d pull on an England shirt again.
It seems fitting that with control and self discipline being so much at the heart of his success, that he should be in control of the end of his international career. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that he was in control of the decision, and it’s clear that the England career of Jonny Wilkinson gives as good a lesson as any form sport about the elements you need to have on board to achieve hard goals.