In a slick, cinematic movie-style promotional video, Queensland Reds head coach Brad Thorn has made a passionate speech extolling the values of hard work and grit as his side prepares to embark on their Super Rugby pre-season.
In the hype video released on social media channels, Thorn re-told his own stories around what training on his own did for his mentality, free from the ‘pats on the back’ and ‘false’ motivation.
It was a true test of how far he was prepared to push himself, where he was able to find out how much determination he had within himself.
Thorn believes if his players’ can find that level of ‘steel’ within themselves, it will hold them in good stead at the back end of rugby games without the need for anyone else ‘to pick them up’.
“That way, when it’s the last 20 minutes and the pressure is on you’re not relying on anyone,” he said.
“When the pressure is on my mindset is steel and I am going to work but I am also helping others – there is a real strength in that.
“Talent is not enough. Hard work is required.
“When we talk about team culture, it’s not just about ‘happy high fives’. It’s about work ethic, it’s about humility. To keep learning, to keep growing.
Thorn’s plea revealed that high on his priority list is the ‘mindset’ of his team, and is perhaps the single biggest driver he is pushing to turn around the Reds.
“The mindset is massive and when you achieve stuff – at the end of it – everyone is happy and it’s great.
“The way you get that fun moment is by working harder and putting everything you have into it again.
“It’s good old-fashioned hard work.”
Relying on talent isn’t enough, but relying on ‘hard work’ likely won’t be enough either.
Mental toughness is one part of the equation but the Reds will need to become a smarter, more polished side with greater skills and show more attacking intent in 2019 to do more than what they have in the last five years.
Let’s hope for everyone’s sake there is more ball-handling and skill-work being done than what is shown, otherwise, this epic video might be the best thing we see from the Reds all season.
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