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Jam Tart (Heart)

This is wonderful read. Written by my uncle on passion and heart vs ability and skill. It is written as a rugby coach but I feel the main lesson to come out of it can be manifested into all aspects of life!


'For the past 40 years, I’ve coached rugby across the age groups (from U9 to Open) and what held true for me in the 1980s remains, unequivocally, the case today – passion and heart trumps all!

Players who possess a rare natural ability - that sleight-of-hand, that peripheral vision - are few-and-far between. As coaches, we should marvel at their skill, modestly acknowledge that we had little to do with their prowess and, instead, thank their mothers (sorry dads!) for passing down those hand-eye coordination genes. The vast majority of players, however, are not so fortunate and require hours of coaching to enable them to obtain the necessary skillset to play the game at the top level. That is an achievable goal for a coach - but what is less easy to quantify, and what sets the ‘rank-and-file’ apart, is that beautifully descriptive word – ‘jam-tart’ (tenacity).

Because rugby is not a game for the fainthearted – it requires immense bravery and a willingness to go into ‘dark places’. In this regard, it is my contention that more games are won on account of a team’s collective courage than by the brilliance of those precociously talented few. You see, sheer grit not only serves you well when faced with executing that try-saving, lung-bursting, match-winning tackle in the dying moments of the game – it helps keep you alert during those repetitive, but all-important, set-piece sessions where an adherence to detail is so critical. In a nutshell, fortitude and focus go hand-in-hand.

The more things change in this wonderful game, the more they stay the same – I place as much emphasis on pushing players to their absolute limits today as I did four decades ago. I learn more about the character of my teams in a murderous, 60-minute, conditioning session than I do in a week of practices…and I will select, accordingly.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen of Torque Gym: How hard are YOU prepared to work…? How ‘dark’ are YOU willing to go…? How big is YOUR bloody ‘jam-tart’…??

It will define who you are…'

Dave Mallett

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1 Comment

Beautifully written and a very inspiring perspective. Thank you!

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