How NLP techniques are helping rugby professionals achieve peak performance in the Rugby World Cup
Were you in-tranced by Welsh Kicker Dan Biggar and his seemingly crazy pre-kick routine during their come-back victory over England. You probably realised from his performance consistency that something very powerful was going on. And it is a technique which you can use in your everyday life to choose how you think, feel and act.
Rugby is still a gentleman’s game where we want the best team to win. Since my rugby days at university, the game has progressed away from the bar to the highest professional levels of sportsmanship. After players achieve their peak in physical performance the best of the best seek ways to achieve their peak mental performance, and to be able to do that on cue, time after time.
Remember in some other sports, where genius has shown itself but performance has been erratic, and sometimes the demons have taken them out of the game before their prime. Best, Gascoigne, Hurricane Higgins, etc. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Dan Biggar’s pre-kick routine has become an internet sensation with millions of views. In fact he has invented the new dance craze ‘the Biggarena’. And each time his kicks sailed between the posts in textbook fashion, no matter what his physical, emotional and mental state in the heated moments of that claw-back from defeat. Would you like to be able to do that in your work and everyday experiences; to be at your peak performance whenever you wanted, whatever was happening around you?
What do you think is going on? Obviously, his routine is unique and precise every-time. And do you notice how he looks like he goes into a semi-trance just before he kicks. That is because he does. He goes back into the semi-hypnotic state in which he clinically practices kicks from every spot on the pitch using a technique NLP calls anchoring.
Marketing people know all about anchoring. The way familiar music takes you back to a certain space, time and feeling. The way every brand has a precise logo and font so that your brain registers even the smallest glimpse of it on the high street and subconsciously triggers those advertising messages.
Ironically, the kicking that beat England can be traced back to the routine of England’s favourite kicker when he helped them win the Rugby World cup. Remember Johny Wilkinson’s pre-kick routine, special stance, and composure?
To use Johny Wilkinson’s own words from an article in The Guardian: ‘As I got more into kicking, I became more involved in looking at other aspects, and one area I looked at was focusing from the inside, slowing down the breathing, relaxation, ‘centring’, which is a way of channelling my power and energy from my core, just behind my navel, down my left leg and into my left foot to get that explosive power.’
Now, I don’t propose you do Biggar’s chicken dance, but you too can recall any resourceful state you want using a unique anchor. We used to use them a lot when I taught martial arts and I had to calm my beating heart when stepping out in front of an opponent who had been training for twenty years to kick people in the head. (For that I used to press my tongue firmly against my mouth guard). All that practice means that when I step in front of an audience to present I can choose to be present in that moment and do what I am there to achieve.
And this next couple of weeks I will have the pleasure of watching France, Canada, Fiji, Samoa, Uruguay and Japan all competing in the 2015 Rugby World cup in my home town stadium Milton Keynes.
Article by Dr Peter Parkes MBA