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The Fiji Times »ABs plan to stop criticism from being finger-pointing exercises

By on December 12, 2021 0

In the demanding and emotionally charged world of top-level sport, there is one component that has the obvious potential to be a double-edged sword.

Seasonal and campaign reviews should be carefully calibrated. If they are too vague or soft, few lessons can be learned and improvements made. But if they’re too brutal, athletes can feel targeted and bruised.

It’s a balancing act that All Blacks coach Ian Foster knows well, and as the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby look at their team’s performance in separate but complementary reviews, he’s determined to do it right.

“The review is a multi-faceted thing and everyone will find different ways of doing it,” Foster said. Things. “For us, we do a review every week. We’re used to having pretty tough conversations with each other after practice matches and after practice sessions.

“Having a difficult conversation is nothing new to us. I think the challenge when reviewing is making sure it doesn’t turn into a judgment from one group to another.

The task becomes more difficult after losses in tests, like the All Blacks back-to-back losses to Ireland and France. Consider the importance of mental health to the modern athlete and the pitfalls become even more obvious.

However, Foster says they remain a powerful tool if done right.

“In fact, you want people to really focus on examining the role they’ve brought to the team, how they think they can improve and grow,” he said. declared.

“And then, what else could you tweak and change that could improve the environment.

“I think when you get that balance I think that’s when the criticism gets pretty powerful. This is when a group will say, “Well, this is what your group did right or wrong,” that’s when I think judgment kicks in and it becomes a not very emotional.

“We give the players a chance to express how they did and what areas they think they could do better in, and then how we could improve the environment / the management / everything.”

The All Blacks’ fate in MIQ has allowed for a fair amount of internal analysis, Foster said, and Sam Cane has previously outlined areas that need improvement.

NZ Rugby’s annual review will take place in the coming months. A combination of one-on-one conversations, group conversations, and online conversations, it will be cross-checked with the All Blacks’ findings to make sure they’re on the same page.

“We won’t know everything that comes out of this until mid-January,” Foster said. “I certainly know the trends, and we tie them to our internal trends.

“What does our alignment look like? Are we pretty good? Where do we have to move?

“The conclusions of our review will probably be either January or early February, before we really get together as a group and say, here are the key things we need to move or here are the key things we did right,” because understanding what went well for us is as important as which areas we need to move.