Taking control

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content on 28 Apr 2011 at 14:12
Tagged with : , , ,

It never seizes to amaze me how South African rugby teams and coaches remain oblivious to such obvious solutions to their problems.

The Vodacom Bulls find themselves in one of their worst runs in Super Rugby in the last 8 years. As defending champions they have suffered uncharacteristic defeats to teams they would have been a sure bet to beat in the past.

I think to pin-point one reason for this would be ignorant as the problem is far too complex, but part of identifying a problem would be to listen to the players and where, how or why they are struggling.

Having read interviews with Frans Ludeke and most recently a column by Bulls loose-forward, Dewald Potgieter, it is clear to me that the Bulls have in fact no bloody clue as to where the problems are.

Of course they identify the obvious as reasons for their continued failure such as poor execution or loss of confidence, but no-where will you read on how they plan to fix this!

It is almost as if the Bulls are waiting for the ‘wheel to turn’ or for the ball to ‘bounce’ in their favour, or for a bit of ‘luck’ to go their way.

Scrap that – they are not ‘almost waiting’ they are waiting and doing nothing themselves to correct the issue.

We continue to read comments from players or coaches that they can only ‘control what they’re capable of controlling’, but more and more it becomes glaringly obvious that they cannot even do that. They would rather wait for some ‘miracle’ of some sorts which will magically sort out all their problems.

If execution and confidence is the problem as Potgieter and Ludeke eludes to, why not get specialist coaches in to address this?

Coaches are quick to appoint skills coaches if there is a problem with player’s techniques, or defense experts to sharpen up defensive structures, or even kicking coaches to help with players skills in that department – so why not recognise that problems with execution and confidence are also areas of the game of rugby in which experts can be called upon to assist?

Not only is there massive amounts of information available on experts in these areas like mind-coaching and co-ordination specific experts to help sportsmen and women, but there are practical examples of this at work and evidence of its success!

If Dewald Potgieter thinks it is frustrating for them as players to go through what they are currently experiencing, imagine what the likes of Sherylle Calder or Dr. Ross Tucker feels like knowing they have the tools to help these players overcome something which is very ‘coachable’.

Professional sports people and teams who embrace the value of these experts should never fear their team or individual form going through cycles or dips, because believe it or not, it can be explained and even fixed!

Take control, pick up the damn phone and change your destiny, it is easy.


  • well said

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.04.11 14:28:04 by GeneralSpecific Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Is Pieter Rossouw still the Backline coach at the Bulls?

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.04.11 14:35:15 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 2) :

    He is indeed, but coaches as players also get stuck in a rut – coaches also need coaching…

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.04.11 14:40:37 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 3) : Didn’t mean anything just weren’t sure.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.04.11 14:50:17 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 4) :

    Yeah I know, and its a fair question given the success of the Bulls in scoring tries in the recent past, I think the whole setup has fallen into a rut though.

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.04.11 14:51:44 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 5) : If I knew what the problem was there and I knew how to fix it, I’d probably be in coaching today!

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.04.11 14:53:50 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 6) :


  • Comment 7, posted at 28.04.11 14:55:03 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 7) : 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.04.11 14:57:52 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • And I’m surely not complaining! I love seeing the Bulls do badly!

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.04.11 15:00:30 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 9) :

    You can add the Lions and Cheetahs in there quite easily too…

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.04.11 15:01:18 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 10) : Nah the Lions are my 2nd team, and I love the running rugby that the cheetahs play or try to play shall I say. 🙂

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.04.11 15:02:34 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • The proverbial pooh that the Bulls find themselves in is completely of their own making and a direct result of them resting on their laurels and thinking that they are naturally ordained as SupeRugby champions.
    Asking for help is beyond them because to do so would admit that there are problems not just within the team, but within the coaching and management staff as well.
    The string of embarrassing losses has done little to teach die Blou Bulle humility. Indeed, if recent interviews with Matfield and Ludeke are anything to go by, are as steadfastly arrogant and complacent as they have always been.
    If revenge is a dish best served cold, then the Bulls are going to be eating gazpacho this winter as life pays them back for their stubborn refusal to eat humble pie…
    The winds of change are whistling through the corridors of “Fortress Loftus”, with even their sponsor getting a might itchy over the home-ground’s colour scheme… Perhaps a touch of “red” bull will give ’em wings this weekend, but unless they learn that the world does not revolve around them the Blue Bulls are going to be bullocks for a long time to come, methinks!

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.04.11 16:32:06 by SharonvanWyk Reply

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