Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt has shared the secret of his success at the Pendulum Summit.
When asked by young coaches how to get to the top, he tells them that they should instead focus on the people they are training right now. He believes that if you have the right team around you, it’s important to get to know that team.
The Ireland rugby coach also said it was important to encourage team members to acknowledge each other, referring to his early Leinster days when he was told the most ‘common’ positive thing he had introduced was to get the squad to shake hands with one another at the start of the day.
It was a habit he’d picked up from his time in France, he explained.
Schmidt felt ‘broken’ by it because he didn’t see it as a glamorous thing to have brought to the room.
But then he realised that the young boys in the Academy felt uplifted by it because it showed them that star players like Brian O’Driscoll – who they’d always felt were otherworldly – sought them out and shook their hand in the morning.
“It drew them out,” he said, adding that it built on their confidence.
Meanwhile, Schmidt told delegates Einstein said it was more important not to be a man of success, but to be a man of value.
He revealed that he never sets a goal for himself and thinks it’s best not to do so because such goals are built on ‘shifting sands’, while concrete foundations are better.
“I often meet young coaches ad they say how do you get on the pathway,” said Schmidt.
“I say you don’t. Instead it was better to invest with the people they’re working with because if they feel they are only a means to an end, you don’t get the same conviction from them.
“If you invest in them, their response will allow you to take a step,” he said.
He said he had learned more from the players he had coached.
Meanwhile, the same philosophy is carried through to Schmidt’s own home – and at dinner, the coach often asks his teenage sons what they did for someone else that day.
“It becomes a base for the people that we would love them to be,” he said.