Having the most enviable winning streak in all of world rugby for over a decade, it is pretty safe to say that the All Blacks are workhorses for both their sport and the team ethic. With an invigorating mix of speed, strength and endurance, these dedicated athletes always pull through with flying colours when it comes down to crunch time. A better team you will not find on the 21st century sporting scene.
So why do they make such excellent role models? Well, let’s start off with some reasons…
1. They are only satisfied with excellence: There is no good enough in New Zealand Rugby – just not good enough! The players have got their sights set on greatness and being the best in not just their own sport, but in all sports. And the only way to get there is through dedication and hard work.
2. They are disciplined: Even though they are elite athletes, one thing that separates them from any other team is discipline. It starts with the players knowing what they can and cannot do off-the-field – what works for others may not work for them so they know better than anyone else how to prep themselves for game time.
3. They never give up: You don’t win back to back World Cups by being quitters! It takes a lot of resolve and faith in your training to go out onto the field every week knowing you have prepared well, given your all in both training camps and the lead up games.
4. They are humble: The team make no bones about it – they don’t want to be famous or rich, they just want to win as a team and every time they go out on the field, that’s what is most important to them. They know there is more meaning in teamwork than anything else and they stick by those values at all times.
5. They have a winning mindset: When you have been at the top of your game for so long, knowing how it feels to lose is not a pleasant feeling! That ring of the victory bell has got their stomachs turning with anticipation and desire to hold that trophy aloft once again, but this time with even greater success.
6. They are selfless: Whether its on-field or off, the All Blacks play as a team and although they may be superstars in the rugby world, the club culture is all about putting yourself second for the sake of your comrades. This also helps create an environment where nobody gets too ahead of themselves because they know that if one of them lose their drive or motivation, there are plenty others who are ready to step up to fill that gap.
7. They have core values: This sounds cheesy but it really does play a big role in helping teams function at their best. Teamwork, excellence, respect, commitment – these core values help bond the players together into something bigger than just 15 individuals working towards one goal.
8. The players support their team: The All Blacks don’t just rely on the coaching staff and managers to help drive them into becoming better athletes, they also back each other up with a few pep talks here and there in order to keep them all psyched for whatever is coming next at training and in games.
9. They are self-aware: No matter how successful the team has been over the last decade, every week they go back to square one and start from scratch trying to make sure that nothing goes wrong when it comes down to playing against different teams around the world. Even though they pull out some good wins along the way, they never take anything for granted and know how quickly things can turn bad if you stop working hard and put your faith in luck.
10. They are all leaders: Every single person on that field is a leader, with players having the ability to take over if they see someone slacking off or not carrying their own weight. Because of this, each player knows that if they don’t do what it takes for the team to succeed then somebody else will be there to pick up where they left off.
11. Each individual has an important role: Whether you are the captain or one of the rookies, there is no special treatment when it comes down to performing tasks at training camps – everything is done equally by everyone even though some team members may have more experience than others when it comes down to serious game time!
In our opinion, there is no sports team in the world that are better role models. RugbyPass are a great source of All Blacks news and results and I’d suggest adding them to your reading list as a source of inspiration! You should also take a look at their articles about South African rugby – arguably the current best in the world and the only team to come anywhere close to New Zealand’s many records. One of our other favourite sites for rugby is Rugby Dump. They’re always posting big hits, funny rugby videos and amateur rugby videos and they’re a great way to pass the time.