Steve Borthwick’s Hidden Emotions
Emotion Behind the Stoicism
Steve Borthwick, the England head coach, may not display his emotions outwardly, but those who know him can attest to the depth of his feelings. Despite his reserved demeanor, Borthwick cares deeply about his team’s performance and success. It is crucial, however, for him to vocalize these emotions when necessary.
England’s Tactical Approach
England’s approach to rugby has often been characterized by control and strategy. However, as they face their most challenging match in Pool D, a change in their approach is warranted. This upcoming game demands a different emotional intensity, as it is the first critical test in their World Cup campaign.
The Power of a Pre-Match Speech
In the moments just before kick-off, there remains a place in rugby for a rousing speech. While rugby is highly technical and tactical, the right emotional state is essential to secure victory in a World Cup match. Connecting with the players emotionally is vital, as it binds the team together and produces the collective performance necessary for success.
The Importance of Emotion
To achieve victory, a team must meet various performance metrics. However, England has struggled to connect on the mental and emotional fronts. Bridging this gap between strategy and emotion is now paramount.
The Need for Vocalization through Performance
Perhaps the most effective way to express the emotions of the players and coaches is through their performance on the field. Beating Argentina requires a display that communicates the passion and commitment that Borthwick and the team feel. At times during their World Cup preparations, England’s players and coaches have appeared somewhat disconnected.
Different from 2007
While some have drawn comparisons to the situation in 2007 when England rebounded from an initial loss, the circumstances are different. This group of players has not previously competed together in a World Cup. There are key distinctions, including the fact that some players are making their World Cup debuts.
Addressing the sense of fragmentation within the team is essential. The absence of Owen Farrell, along with senior players heading in different directions, has created challenges. However, it is crucial for this senior player group to realign, support each other, and back their coach. While there may be similarities to the past, England’s talent and potential remain significant, but alignment is necessary for success.