Sharks lack mental edge: Hargreaves

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 26 May 2011 at 09:13
Tagged with : ,

You can always count on Alistair Hargreaves to say it like it is, which is one of the reasons I so enjoy reading his weekly column on Sport24. The big Sharks lock touches on a subject that has been the topic of much discussion here on Sharksworld over the last few days in this week’s piece.

Not to repeat everything that Hargreaves wrote here, in short, he feels that the Sharks lack mental toughness and it was this factor in particular that led to the frankly horrible performance against the Bulls this past weekend. The vexed question of “how good teams become bad teams overnight”, Hargreaves feels, can be answered by the difference in how players respond when the pressure is on, both as individuals and as a team.

He’s hit the nail on the head, of course and one of the areas we identified in our discussion of the Sharks coaching structure yesterday is the lack of a specialist mental coach in the set up – something that both the Bulls and Stormers have on board this year. I, for one, am pretty pleased that Hargreaves is prepared to speak out on this topic and I only hope that he is pushing this point internally within the Sharks structures as well as writing columns about it.

The Sharks need their senior players to stand up and take responsibility and I’m really pleased that Alistair seems to be doing just that. If the players identify areas in the current setup that they feel leave them inadequately prepared, then they need to take these up with management and get them resolved. I’m sure they would far rather have those potentially difficult discussions internally than have to suffer the “slings and arrows” of armchair critics everywhere telling them how “kak” they are after each loss!

Keep up the good work, Hargs. We’re right behind you.


  • How to get yourself dropped 101?

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.05.11 09:18:01 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : surely they won’t be that petty…?

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.05.11 09:20:58 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :

    He is a future (maybe) captain, he needs to be able to speak his mind and have a say in the structures. He has been there long enough!

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.05.11 09:23:11 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    All the Sharks coaches need to do is to read Sharksworld everyday…..or at least be forced to :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.05.11 09:23:36 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : I’m Glad I put a question mark in there.

    After reading the column Hargreaves doesn’t actually say they need a mental coach he just says they lack mental toughness.

    Good thing or else he may have been on the bench 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.05.11 09:26:26 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I just went through the article – well written, direct – forthright – they know that the pressure is firmly on them – and should they concede defeat then things are going to start to boil over. The Sharks have now publicly said that they are not mentally tough – big words really…

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.05.11 09:32:50 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • I don’t know if The Sharks need a mental coach; but more they need to create a Vibe and atmosphere on game day that Promotes the right Frame of mind. Don’t know what that is, but i think it starts with the Senior Players in the Group to set the tone.I get the sense that The Sharks listen to all the negative stuff said and don’t really block it out and just Focus on their job. That is just the feeling i am getting, could be right, could be Wrong. C’Mon Sharks!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.05.11 09:34:20 by JJR Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) :

    Had YOU read the article Rob posted yesterday you would understand what Rob is on about!!

    Age catching up with ya Oubaas?? 😈 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.05.11 09:34:45 by wpw Reply
  • What does this say about Plum specifically??

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.05.11 09:34:56 by Crock Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) :
    He also says they need to “find” that mental edge. The best way to do that is not to reinvent the wheel, but bring those in who are experts at helping people find that mental edge.

    He may not have pointed out the doctor, but he sure as hell arrived at illness and the means of a cure.

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.05.11 09:35:15 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @wpw (Comment 8) : Dude. do you think I didn’t read the article? ❓ ❓

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.05.11 09:36:04 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Big Fish (Comment 10) : Okay?????????
    So then you’re saying he is doing a bit of “how to get dropped 101”

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.05.11 09:39:54 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • This dude is going to get booted out the squad

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.05.11 09:45:15 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : I think they will.He is talking out of the back of the change room and what team do you know that would allow that, proffesional or otherwise?

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.05.11 09:47:12 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 12) :
    I hope not. I don’t imagine that his articles don’t have some form of Sharks management review. I could be wrong of course.

    In any event, nothing he says is left-field or critical of the management. Directly.

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.05.11 09:47:14 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 15) : It just depends who is doing the review and who is doing the team selections……..

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.05.11 09:49:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 13) : I don’t think that what he says justifies being dropped. He is addressing the fans and being honest about their assessment – and acknowledged where things are at fault. Kudos to him. But what it does do is place more pressure on them to perform – you don’t come out of the closet and not stand up to it…

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.05.11 09:50:38 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Under related posts for this article.


  • Comment 18, posted at 26.05.11 09:51:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Ah someone finally switched on the lights…

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.05.11 09:54:24 by Morné Reply
  • I wonder how much THIS will distract them? 😛
    Storm in a teacup IMO.

    DURBAN: The Sharks’ preparations for Saturday’s crucial match against the Waratahs have been beset by injuries, crisis talks and an unwanted adult toy controversy.

    An adult entertainment manufacturer has released products bearing similar logos to the Sharks and fellow Super Rugby franchise the Bulls, potentially breaching licensing rights. The Sharks are furious about the toys, which went on sale last week before they played the Bulls but only became known to them afterwards.

    ”All our licences are approved by Signet [licensing and marketing agent], but we would never, ever want the Sharks brand to be associated with something like that,” said Sharks chief executive Brian van Zyl

    The product was created by STA Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Engineering, which has previously courted controversy by producing a ‘Tiger’s Wood’ toy.

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.05.11 10:11:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 20) : haha first a horse, now adult toys next thing you know we going to be getting a low cost airline “Sharks – turbulence guaranteed”

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.05.11 10:15:48 by Mocho Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : was I wrong about that? I’m still not convinced

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.05.11 10:56:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 22) :
    I’d say the evidence overwhelmingly indicates you weren’t wrong.

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.05.11 11:17:24 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 23) : lots of guys will look at the pics of Stefan holding the Currie Cup last year and say I was wrong

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.05.11 11:56:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 24)
    : @Big Fish (Comment 23) :

    I would say you WERE wrong THEN.

    Write that article again, now.

    ,but then again if (when) the Stormers and Bulls go to the RWC, then Stefan might lead us to another CC. 🙂

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.05.11 12:27:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : I’d say you weren’t wrong then. Even though he was a great captain he didn’t really offer us much more on the field. He should NEVER have been moved to 13. The TEAM won the CC in 2010 not Stefan. Sure he’s a good leader but who says we wouldn’t have won the CC without him?

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.05.11 12:40:48 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • John Smit should be considered for the mental coach position once he retires. He was born for that sort of stuff.

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.05.11 13:26:05 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Mocho (Comment 21) : I love the horse and all it stands for. Not so sure about the toy.

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.05.11 13:38:05 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • i agree that is just what our team lacks really we got a great team one that can win the S15 comp but sth is lacking and i couldn’t put it together but thanks Rob it is true if they can get past the lacking of mental toughness we got a wining team altogether

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.05.11 19:27:32 by chaz Reply


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