Sharks CEO John Smit tells a story of a
player that came into his office one day complaining of his lack of opportunity
in the side, saying that he believed he was a much better player than the
incumbent and deserved more game time.
Smit heard a lot of “I’s” in the story...
I this, I that... so he asked the player what the coach’s child’s name was. The
player could not answer. He asked him if the player currently starting had any
pets. “Not sure” said the player...
“I want my players to be accountable, but
from an effort level,” said Smit in an interview I did for SCRUM Magazine a few
weeks into his new role in Durban.
“I want to create an environment where
players feel like they have room to be human beings, but when it is rugby time,
which is 12% of their day, they have to give 100%. I will help them with their
whole day - I will get them work experience, help get them into university, I
will get them into a trade. I will do whatever I can to create better people
with a life after rugby, but then these people must commit to the Sharks. It
won’t happen overnight, and I think players are liking what they hear, but
perhaps thinking that they have heard all this before, so we will see how we
Tank is a former Western Province tighthead prop and editor of the recently launched free monthly digital rugby magazine called SCRUM
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