Congratulations to Johnny Sexton for being awarded World Rugby’s player of the year.

Dave has worked with Johnny for several years and has been instrumental in evolving Johnny’s kicking game to where it is today.

I caught up with Dave and asked him what makes Johnny so good. Here are his top four reasons:

  • Intensity in practice

Johnny wants to do everything well and in training every shot counts. He gets frustrated when things are not done to the best of his ability. This drive prevents him from allowing bad habits creeping in and makes every session high value.

  • Willingness to go into the ugly zone

Whenever we learn something new or change something it initially feels awkward and the immediate results are mixed. We call this ‘the ugly zone’. Johnny always accepts the challenge of going into the ugly zone and working out to the other side. This means that Johnny learns lots and learns robust lessons.

  • He is prepared to do things differently

Johnny’s attitude towards trying new approaches to increase performance allows you as a coach to keep creating new challenges and new practices to keep stretching him. This shared journey makes him a pleasure to coach and allows more progress to be made together.

  • He remains hungry  

Johnny’s rise has been well documented. His achievements are outstanding including pro 14, Champions Cup, Six Nations and a famous win over the All Blacks during the autumn series this year alone. What is even more impressive is that none of his success has dampened his hunger to keep bettering and pushing himself to be the best he can be.

Massive congratulations Johnny.

An exciting time to be going so well. All the best for this World Cup year.


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