Ma’a Nonu (All Blacks Rugby Legend) – Faieka (Transformational Coach) & Daughters

I had a facebook memory pop up today from 2015. The picture of me, the legendary All Blacks rugby player Ma’a Nonu and my gorgeous daughters!

I was lucky enough to spend half day with Ma’a, a lot of the time was me and him one on one before I introduced him to my daughters and my employees, all whom were of course super thrilled to have the pleasure of meeting a legend at the height of his rugby career!

Whilst I hold dual New Zealand / South African Citizenship and call New Zealand my home and identify with being a Kiwi, it’s natural I also strongly identify as being South African! That’s where my roots lie, where many of my beloved family and close friends lives and thus for me it was natural to have been a Springbok rugby supporter, however I’ve been a firm All Blacks supporter for many years now! But more surprisingly MOST of my family, especially those still living in South Africa are “staunch” All Blacks rugby supporters for as long as I can remember! My dad was an All Blacks rugby supporter and he was born in 1936 so you can see it’s a long lineage of All Blacks fans for nearly 100 years! Much of this support for The All Blacks were driven by the apartheid era in South Africa, but lets not get into politics!

As I’m driving to Auckland airport to pick Ma’a up from him flight, I wonder to myself what does one talk about when you’re alone with a Legend such as Ma’a Nonu? Yes I was nervous, I’ve never had an All Blacks rugby player all to myself what was I going to say? I meet him inside at arrivals, he’s wearing a hoodie, I guess to not attract too much attention and he walks straight up to me, says hello with a big smile and I get a hug! Phew! he’s normal I think! Yes he’s normal and he was one of the most humble, down to earth, warm and kind human beings I’ve made and later even made me a coffee!

We spoke about all sorts of things, normal stuff, from our professional careers, our families, our likes, dislikes, our eating habits and training habits! This was at a time that I would train twice a day myself! Whilst my training was nothing in comparison to an All Black, we could identify in this area with each other. We spoke about South Africa, he told me how he respected the Springbok rugby team and was in touch with some as mates! Goes to show that there is enough for everyone in the world and you don’t always have to try and beat your competition down, you can collaborate!

But more surprisingly in our conversations, I found out the All Blacks have a “Mental Coach” not just someone to coach him on the field, but off the field too! I was in my element to hear this as I’ve always been drawn to personal and professional development, not just the physical development.

Whilst the All Blacks rugby team is fabulous at their technical stuff, they continuously have sports and performance coaches helping them with those technical stuff so they can be strategic with it, excel at it, but likewise they also have professionals helping them with the Mental Stuff, the Human Skills stuff. The combination of the Technical Stuff + Mental Health | Human Skills stuff = Legend on the field bringing World Cups home!

Comparing sporting legends to business legends, they both need the following:

Technical Skills + Mental/ Human Skills = Winning!

Here’s a few tips to help you with some of the Mental / Human Stuff:

  • Daily Downtime – Schedule some “you” time to recharge your batteries, fill up your tank. You can’t run on empty. This needs to be time out with just you, nobody else. Even just 30 minutes a day!
  • Weekly Playtime – Catch up with likeminded people, great friends! Enjoy the conversation. Have fun together. Once a week is good for your soul so you fill your tank in a different way
  • Family Time – Make time to spend “quality” time with your children and partner. Do something fun together or have a date night without the kids

If you’re keen to find out more about how you can hone your Mental and Human Skills like the All Blacks, contact me

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