Rugby is a highly emotionally driven medium, but Springbok coach Peter de Villiers will do well to apply some sober thinking as he plans to fix what has gone wrong in the last 10 months.
We have heard from just about every expert in just about every field of what the possible cause for the problems are Springbok rugby has experienced since to European tour in 2009, but like going through the birth of your first child and learning from your mistakes as a parent, Peter de Villiers will be well served to take note of all the advice and opinions, but only take forward what he will need to be a more successful coach from now to the World Cup.
As a first-time parent you are flooded with information and opinions from anyone or anything who regards themselves as an expert in the field of parenting. Of course not really knowing what you are doing at first, you try and read and listen as much to guys out there but you also quickly figure out that only certain aspects of parenting apply to you and your child, and although there are some hits and misses in those initial months and years, you pretty much know and trust yourself to know what the best way forward is for both of you.
As far as metaphors go this is about as close as to what I can imagine De Villiers is feeling right now albeit him being the stepfather in this instance ‘adopting’ Jake White’s baby.
You want to be the best you can be for your ‘baby’ and do all the right things but you are also very consciously aware that not all tips and information applies so much to you and that sometimes, the risk of doing the not so nice things now will pay dividends in the near future which means you have to bear and grunt through the bad times knowing it is for the greater good of your ‘baby’.
Emotionally De Villiers has invested quite a lot in certain individuals when he started out, in many ways those investments paid off but since this baby, the Springboks, have grown and matured he also has to be very honest with himself if those same individuals and investments applies to his child which has now grown and matured a bit in the last 3 years.
These investments include his support staff as much as it does certain players and given where this team finds itself now, Peter will do well to honestly assess if those individuals still add the value, or are as necessary as they were in those initial months and years he took charge.
I also figured out with my own son that as he grew older I could not let him get away with as much as I did in those initial months and years and as he got more mature and wise, I had to be more disciplined with him.
This could also very much apply to Peter and the Springboks to not only make him become a better father or coach, but also let his babies or players benefit from a much harder stance and more disciplined environment to ensure they also develop.
As with your child, you will never be able to totally detached emotion from your method of guidance and parenting, and the same applies with rugby. For a sport so driven by emotion it is one of the key ingredients of the game but it also should never override logic and the obvious no matter how tough it sometimes is or will be.
Now is the time for Peter to take away those freedoms and toys he allowed his ‘baby’ in those initial years and introduce mediums, objects and a more disciplined environment to stimulate this team to better things and not allow them to become stuck and limited to all those things that works for a 1-year-old team.
Pretty soon when it comes to being schooled, he will realise that his ‘baby’ already 4 years old still has the mind and mindset of a 1-year-old and that all his friends has moved on leaving him behind to join the ‘Sonskyn’ class, and no tantrums or fighting will be able to allow him to catch up to his peers.
Being a parent like being a coach is tough, you don’t always get it right, but the reward of seeing your baby or team grow and mature makes all those tough times and tough calls you had to make worthwhile.
All this makes the old cliché of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater take on a whole new meaning doesn’t it?Tweet