Hi guys, I realise It has been a little while since I last posted, so I figured I’d make a comeback with a biggie.
Jonny Wilkinson has been my hero for as long as I can remember. Even among today’s professionals, his focus and commitment to training stands out above the crowd. His ‘obsessive desire and competitive nature which borders on the unreasonable’ has become legend amongst his fellow players. From him approaching simple footwork drills at game intensity, to his late nights spent assaulting the flood lights with the ball in his post training kicking practice, it can never be said that Jonny Wilkinson doesn’t put the hours in.
A testament to the hard work Jonny puts in is his unbelievable success on the field, including:
Winning the premiership (1997-98) and two Powergen cups (2001, 2004) with the Newcastle Falcons, winning the Heineken cup (2013) with Toulon while coming runner up twice in the French top 14 (2012, 2013) and the Amlin challenge cup (2010, 2012).
Then there is his international career that consisted of four six nations wins (2000, 2001, 2003, 2011) winning the six nations grand slam in 2003. He came runner up in the world cup in 2007 and of course, won the rugby world cup in 2003 – drop goal anybody?
I am honoured that he took the time to answer my questions and I’ll let his answers do most of the talking.
1-What factor do you think made you successful where other people were not?
IT IS DIFFICULT TO SAY EXACTLY WHAT THE KEY FACTOR HAS BEEN IN HELPING ME TOWARDS MY GOALS. FOR ME IT IS A COMBINATION OF A FABULOUS, POSITIVE SUPPORT NETWORK AROUND ME, A LOVE AND PASSION FOR THE TEAM AND THE SPORT, AN OBSESSIVE DESIRE TO GET BETTER AND A COMPETITIVE NATURE WHICH BORDERS ON THE UNREASONABLE!
2-How strict is the nutrition for the elite rugby players?
EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO ALL THE RIGHT INFORMATION, SOME MORE THAN OTHERS AND SOME TO MORE ADVANCED GUIDANCE. HOWEVER NO ONE CAN BE THERE 24 HOURS A DAY TO MONITOR WHAT YOU EAT AND HOW YOU REHYDRATE SO IN THE END THE NUTRITION IS ONLY AS ELITE AS THE PLAYER CHOOSES TO MAKE IT. HOWEVER, DURING MY TIME WITH MY CLUB SIDES NEWCASTLE AND TOULON AND ESPECIALLY THE ENGLAND NATIONAL TEAM WE WERE OFFERED A TRULY WORLD CLASS ARRAY OF PRODUCTS AS WELL AS SUPPORT AND EDUCATION. IT DOES MAKE AN INCREDIBLE DIFFERENCE TO PERFORMANCE.
3-How important is it to be fitter than your opposition at the end of a game?
FITNESS COVERS A LOT OF AREAS DURING A GAME BUT ESSENTIALLY FITNESS IS ABOUT HOW QUICKLY A PLAYER RECOVERS AFTER BEING STRESSED AND HOW CONSISTENTLY HE/SHE CAN PERFORM AT OPTIMUM LEVEL DESPITE FATIGUE. ADD THESE TWO TOGETHER AND A VERY FIT TEAM WILL NOT ONLY BE ABLE TO FUNCTION BRILLIANTLY THROUGHOUT 80 MINUTES RIGHT UP TO THE FINAL WHISTLE BUT IN FACT A WORLD CLASS TEAM WILL ACTUALLY IMPROVE THROUGHOUT THE GAME MINUTE BY MINUTE AS THEY GET INTO THE GAME AND ADAPT TO THE OPPOSITION AND REFEREES ETC.
4-How do you approach challenges in your life?
100% HEAD ON WITH A DESIRE TO BE THE BEST I CAN POSSIBLY BE AND TO GET BETTER EVERY SINGLE DAY. I USE A PROCESS OF SETTING GOALS, PLANNING A DETAILED PATH TOWARDS ACHIEVING THEM AND CONSTANTLY REVIEWING AND ANALYSING MY PERFORMANCE. THEN I RE-EVALUATE AND RE-ATTACK THEM IN A BETTER WAY.
5-If you could give a young player 1 piece of advice, what would it be?
CELEBRATE THE GOOD MOMENTS AND LEARN FROM THE SETBACKS. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE. IF YOUR INTENTIONS ARE TRUE AND YOU REMAIN TRUE TO THEM THEN THE WORLD WILL REWARD YOU WITH WHATEVER YOU DESIRE – SUCCESS- AND WHATEVER YOU NEED- SIGNPOSTS TO A BETTER WAY.
“Nutrition is only as elite as the player chooses to make it”. I think this quote perfectly encapsulates what makes Jonny Wilkinson so successful. He has used every single advantage available to make him that player that he is today, but in the end it all comes down to that internal drive to be the very best he can be.
I hope you can use some of what he has said to help you be the best you can be, if not I hope you enjoyed this insight into the fiercely competitive mind of one of England’s great heroes.
Thanks for reading,
George Studd Fitness Training