Image: Richie McCaw, Captain of the New Zealand All Blacks
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All Black Captain Richie McCaw Debunks Success, Talent and Hard Work
Richie McCaw is a mainstay in the rugby pantheon. His near perfect resume boasts being the first All Black to reach 100 caps, the first rugby union player to win 100 tests, the most capped player in rugby union history (148 caps) and the only captain to win the Rugby World Cup twice. In his one on one interview featured in the Debunking Your Growth Mindset Podcast, the 3-time IRB player of the year gives insight into the Richie McCaw mentality and how a winner like him ticks.
On the limits of talent, and the importance and dedication to craft:
McCaw gives listeners an idea of his character and philosophy, both of which have played a role in his personal success and the success of the various teams he’s been apart of. He speaks on preparation and having the commitment to do what is necessary to win. “Talent will only get you so far,” McCaw warns. He speaks on how many people will rely on what they can do naturally, not taking the time to refine these abilities and persevere. When your talent can’t carry you anymore it takes extra work to overcome obstacles. He offers the advice to work smarter, not harder. Yes, you need to push yourself but do it the right ways and be mindful of overworking yourself. Being burnt out is only going to hinder your performance.
On dealing with adversity, set backs, and turning things around in the World Cup:
Having only captained the All Blacks for a little over a year, the team was unceremoniously kicked out of the World Cup in the quarter finals. The All Blacks earliest exit from a World Cup ever. When the pressure came, they didn’t have the answers and the young captain was criticised heavily for the loss. McCaw responded by going right back to work as usual. McCaw talks about how the adversity helped mould him as a leader. He needed to go back to the grind, it made him comfortable again and the doubts slowly passed. Leading up to the next World Cup campaign critics asked, ‘what happens if the All Blacks don’t win the next World Cup?’ McCaw responded by rephrasing the question, ‘but what if we do win the World Cup?’ Instead of a burden it was now an opportunity, he could look forward to the big moments as a chance to excel rather than the risk of failing.
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