How do you manage change? For most people, change is a scary thing. For a rugby player, it can take away a player’s confidence quickly. An established player being asked to change their habits to fit a new law, a new game plan or work with a new team mate /coach often creates self-doubt. This self-doubt can erode self-confidence and negatively impact on a player’s ability to compete on the field and change their enjoyment of the game. However, change is inevitable so how can you embrace change and ensure that you use it to create a better player.
The first thing is listen. When I say listen, be an active listener by asking questions or re-phrasing to improve your understanding of the topic. Listen to feedback and attempt to implement immediately.
The second thing is be positive. Change is a challenge and if your attitude toward it is negative, it will negatively impact you. If you accept the challenge and are determined to excel in the new environment, you are already halfway to using the change to improve you as a player and a person.
The third thing is to be involved. With a new team mate, get to know them. With a new position, actively seek feedback from experienced players. With a new game plan or rule, seek feedback at training after completing a drill or game. If necessary, challenge at an appropriate time with modifications to the change (BUT ALWAYS BE READY TO HERE “NO” TO YOUR IDEAS). If you are involved, then you take ownership of the process and you will be successful.
So is change good? Yes. Change helps you grow, gives you experience and creates a team. The question is will you help change be impactful or will you stand in its way?