Graeme College 1st XV 2013

by TimGoodenoughZA on September 6, 2013


2013 was an exciting time for Graeme College rugby. Their 1st XV had gone from strength to strength, and it was a real privilege for me to continue to work with their coach Pierre Jacobs and assistant coach Graham Carlson. I have become an admirer and fan of this particular team, and over the course of the year it was incredible to hear the feedback from their coaches about the rich learning’s the individuals and team was extracting from giving their all  - and discovering the life lessons behind the few moments or games when they didn’t.

It was very special for me to be invited to give the rugby awards dinner speech and to meet these amazing young men in person, after following their stories through phone calls, sms’s and articles in the press. It was obvious to me that evening that the school develops players that care for their team-mates and their coach, this special type of rugby culture was a theme of the school and not just the 1st XV.  I think its awesome what they have achieved as a group; for their school and their families, and I am proud to be associated with them.

It just shows you how much more is possible when hard working and committed people with strong values get together to find out how good they can become – my sense is that for these young men, this is only the beginning of so much more.  I cant wait for what happens next …


Feedback from the Coach – Pierre Jacobs: The Graeme College 1st rugby team had the awesome privilege of working with Mr Tim Goodenough and using his mental techniques over the past 3 seasons.

The techniques introduced to the players were instrumental in building confidence in each member of the team and the team as a whole. The team had an incredible bond and sense of “family unity”, this coupled with the use of Tims mental techniques made 2013 a very memorable season.

“Movies”, “Meanings”, “Scanning” and “Drop-it-like-its-hot” helped the players to focus on their basic roles within the team and the goals and objectives of the team for each match. By focusing on the positives and doing the little things right the team remained composed on attack and defence during matches.

The mental techniques introduced by Tim helped to create a clear and positive picture for each member of the team, for the team as a whole, for each match and for the season.

We, as a team, learnt a valuable lesson that a strong and healthy mind allows you to make use of your God given gifts and talents on the field to the full.

Played 15IMG-20130818-WA001

Won 10
Lost 5
67% win ratio
Points for: 503
Tries for: 78
Points against: 200
Tries against: 20
Ave match score: 33-13
Biggest win points difference 68 (71-3 vs Woodridge College)
Biggest loss points difference 7 (26-33 vs Grey High School in Port Elizabeth)
First Graeme College 1st team in over 20 seasons to have back to back wins over Kingswood College (2012 15-11 and 2013 12-7)

We were delighted that the following players were capped/selected for various teams:

Selected for Eastern Province Country Districts Academy Team: 

Siya Nzuzo, Siyasanga Mthathi, Ethan September Craig Williams

Selected for Eastern Province Country Districts Craven Week Team:

Gordon-Wayne Plaatjes, Sethu Pinini, Xanti Sandi

Capped for Eastern Province u19 (against SWD)

Lungi Dube, Siphe Mhlom, Xhanti Mbane



1. Did you find the mental techniques (“Your Movies”, “Meanings”, “Scanning” and “Drop-it-like-its-hot”) introduced to assist in your preparation before matches beneficial? If so please explain how it helped?

2. How were your performances different and your match experiences different when you used your mental techniques?

3. What difference did using these mental techniques make to your life in general?

4. Would you recommend using these mental techniques to other rugby players? If so, please write a short testimonial about how valuable these mental techniques were for you?



1. Yes, as a member of the team I had dropped all the negative aspects, doubt and simple things that were bothering me. I experienced no stress. My attitude towards the game had changed. These mental techniques made me more focused on the goals for the match and season.

2. As a member of the team I could see that these mental techniques were working in the team. There was a constant “buzz” on match days. The team members had literally motivated me with their match performances. I felt empowered by these techniques.

3. The mental techniques have made me a better person. My attitude towards life has changed. I have gained the power to overcome obstacles in the future. I can use these mental techniques to help plan my future. These techniques have prepared me for life in many different ways. For example, not only in rugby but my school work as well.

4. I would definitely recommend these mental techniques for rugby players. These techniques have helped make me the person and rugby player I am today. These techniques were crucial in the success of the Graeme College 1st team season. These mental techniques developed my mind. I am pleased to say helped me and benefited me. Therefore I can these techniques will help bring success to many people.


1. These mental techniques helped me and the team enormously as we can see from our results from the season. Playing my movie before the game gave me the positives I needed prior to the game. This increased the outcome of the final result and how much it meant to me, as an individual, to make a success of my life in everything I do. The ‘scanning” and “drop-it-like-its-hot” was beneficial in the way that anything that wasn’t going to improve my game or make me a better person was to leave it out and get rid of.

2. Performances before I used the mental techniques were below par because I never anticipated what might happen in a game and didn’t have the same amount of meaning as now. Using the mental techniques made me aware and willing to make a success of what I want to achieve in life and on the rugby field.

3. The mental techniques in general have helped me look at the bigger picture in my life and making a success of my life by seeing myself achieving better. In life, now, if something is not positive and doesn’t make me a better person it try to avoid it or “drop-it-like-its-hot” and I ask myself how much does this mean to me and my mentors.

4. Yes, I would highly recommend these mental techniques to other rugby players as it helps you anticipate what might and will happen in the game. The meaning of the matches, makes you aware of the meaning of what you are doing and how it effects your school and the people around you and how you want to make them proud of you and the team.


1. I found the mental techniques very beneficial. As a person who does not like to share my feelings, especially when there is pain involved, these techniques helped me manage and control how I felt in the build up to a match. I found that in the matches that I created a meaningful movie correctly I was able to implement my “movie” on the field.

2. They were different. In matches that I hadn’t created a meaningful movie and used the other mental techniques I went into the match not knowing what I wanted to achieve. In matches that I used the mental techniques correctly I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve and how I was going to achieve it for the entire match.

3. It helped me set goals for myself and plan and know how I to achieve them with a visual picture (movie) in mind. It also helped me “drop” whatever was not needed in order for me to move forward. It allowed me to evaluate myself and “drop” any useless garbage.

4. These mental techniques can be used to uplift your game as we learnt “first with the head and then with the heart”. These techniques can help you set  your goals properly so that you know how to achieve them and what to do in different situations both on and off the field because you have played  them through over and over in your mind. The “scanning” helps to get you ready so that you can “drop” any negatives and only take the positives with you onto the field, as an individual and a team.


1. Yes, they were beneficial. They helped me focus more on my roles in the team and visualize what I had to do and what I could do. They also helped me motivate myself for the game but at the same time staying calm and focused. It also helped me to approach every game in the same way. It helped me visualize how the opposition would play.

2. My game improved so much and I just knew what to do when and where on the field, which gave me confidence and made me a better player.

3. It made me realize that I shouldn’t underestimate what I am capable of as a rugby player when my mindset is right. These techniques are very beneficial because you can also use them in life in general.

4. Yes, I would. These techniques are very good to use as a rugby player who wants to get rid of any niggles (“scanning’ and “drop-it-like-its-hot”) that would prevent you from playing to his full potential. The “movie” technique is a spectacular mental technique to use as a rugby player to get you in the zone and prepare for a game by visualizing how you want to play the game. I would highly recommend it to any rugby player.



1. I found the mental techniques very effective as they assisted me in preparing mentally and getting me focused on the job at hand. Making my “movie” would help me visualize and breakdown every aspect of play on the field. “Scanning” myself always made me get focused and I would “drop” everything that was not game related and just focus on the game itself. And what I was going to do in different situations on the field.

2. When the mental techniques were introduced I believed they would work and they did. My performances would be on par with the previous weeks’ performances (my play became more consistent) in the sense that I would play the same “movie” in terms of my basic roles and only tweaked and fine-tuned certain parts of that “movie” for each game.

3. Using these mental techniques in my life have made me more of calm person. Whenever I encountered a difficult situation in my life I “scan” myself , find a means and make my “movie” in that way I would find a solution and a way to handle the situation. Whenever I face some challenges that do not or will not assist me in getting to where I want to be I think of the phrase “drop-it-like-its-hot” and that is exactly what I do I “drop-it-like-its-hot”.

4. I would definitely recommend these mental techniques to other rugby players because for me personally and from a rugby point of view they have helped me grow. Whenever I encounter a situation I would go back and “scan” myself  and make a “movie” of how to solve the problem which is something we can all use and do. On the rugby side, I have grown, I established goals that I personally wanted to achieve on match days as well as striving for the result we wanted to achieve as a team. These mental techniques have helped to shape and mold me into the rugby player I am today.


1. I found all these mental techniques beneficial. These techniques helped me analyze my game by making my “movies”. “Scanning” and “drop-it-like-its-hot” benefitted me mentally and physically both on and off the field. “Scanning” helped me to “drop” any unwanted or unneeded things that were not beneficial for to my game and playing my “movie” also helped me prepare. These techniques have improved my game.

2. My performance on the whole improved. These mental techniques helped me keep only positives and “drop” everything I didn’t need in order to succeed and reach my goals. “Movies” helped by knowing my role and making good decisions on the field and doing everything to the fullest. It helped me prepare for games.

3. They have made my life more enjoyable. I smile much more than I used to and it helped me to focus on the good and positive things in my life. They have changed my attitude towards life and making good choices.

4. Yes, I would. These techniques give you a different meaning to life by making sure you “drop” the things you don’t need helps a great deal. It gives you a positive attitude at all times. Playing your “movie” in your head helps because you are putting in the things you do best and by taking it into the match you are prepare for the challenges ahead. All these techniques help a rugby player be what he wants to be. You can create yourself over again with only the positives this time.


1. Yes these techniques helped me a lot. They got me psyched up for the game and also got me mentally ready and focused. They helped me to do the things that the coaches had told me to do. They helped me think about what I needed to do on the field.

2. They helped me to get stuck in from the start of the match because I knew exactly what I needed to and had to do before the time, I was mentally ready and prepared. I could play with more controlled aggression and emotion.

3. These techniques proved to me that I can do anything I set out to do if my mind is right. They helped me to see that focus is the key for everything I do in life and also to treat people the way I want to be treated.

4. Yes, I would recommend these techniques to other rugby players because I have experienced what they can do for me as a player and a person. The “movies” and other mental techniques prepare you for the task at hand. With a good mindset you can do anything because as a team we started at the bottom and we worked our way up all thanks to our minds being right. A personal thank you to you, Mr Goodenough, for helping me become a better rugby player.


1. Yes, my “movies” helped me to visualize and have an understanding of my role on the field. The “meanings” and “scanning” prepared me mentally for the task ahead. While “drop-it-like-its-hot” helped me personally with my thoughts and feelings prior to the match.

2. Well for me they helped with how I start the game (on a positive note) and I feel that when I didn’t use these techniques I didn’t play to my potential.

3. The “movies” and “drop-it-like-its-hot” helped when it comes to just being around people and reacting differently now to their negativity when they tried to bring me down.

4. Yes. They were valuable for me in the sense that they brought me closer to my team and when we developed into a close team/family we worked together for the one common goal..


1. Yes, these mental techniques were something new and I think I adapted well to using them. As this was my first season playing for the 1st team I was very nervous especially in the first few matches. As the season went on, these mental techniques helped me to stay calm and focus on the job I had to do and they made my preparation so much easier.

2. I focused more on doing my job and the basics right first and then on improving my game and trying new things on the field. I feel that my performances have improved since using these techniques.

3. It changed the way I approach new things. It will definitely help me make the right decisions both on and off the field in future. It also helped me deal with things in my everyday life, if it isn’t beneficial I just “drop-it-like-its-hot”.

4. Yes, I would recommend these mental techniques, not only to other rugby players but all sportsmen. It is a really good way to prepare for a match. By planning and playing your “movie” you imagine the atmosphere and what you need and want to do where and when on the field.


1. I found the mental techniques introduced helped me to prepare for games. We were already using the “movies” and “meanings” last season but the “scanning” helped me a lot because it helped me go into the game with a clear mind and a goal. If something was bothering me I “scanned” myself before a game and if it did not help my game I would “drop-it-like-its-hot”.

2. My match performances were different because my decision making was much better in different situations. I also knew what I had to do in different areas on the field.

3. These mental techniques have helped me because if something is bothering me but is not important I just “drop it” and move on with my life.

4. I would recommend these mental techniques to other rugby players because they helped me as a player to clear my mind. They helped me focus on the goal and the challenges you face by planning your movie you get an image of what you are going to do in different situations, what move or play to call when and where on the field. It also helps to get you excited about the game because you imagine the supporters running onto the field in celebration at the end of the match.


1. Yes it has, when doing my preparation I feel a lot calmer and after doing it a lot more prepared. It definitely boosted my confidence because I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.

2. I felt a lot more confident with what I was doing and it allowed me to try and do things (which sometimes worked) but at least I now have the confidence to try something different.

3. It allowed me to really be myself as I got more confident on the rugby field so my confidence grew in the classroom. It helped my confidence in general.

4. Yes I would most definitely. The mental techniques allowed me to leave all the negatives in my life behind and keep moving forward. They also built up my confidence to the point where no one can break me down. It doesn’t only help with sport but also with life in general. You do learn and grow as a sportsman but also as a person.


1. Yes, the mental techniques before a match were beneficial in that they helped make it easier for me to get into the “zone” and ensured that my mental state of mind was 100% before I ran onto the field.

2. In the past when I did not use the mental techniques (“movies” in particular) it took time, 5-15 minutes, during the game before I was fully focused and that wasn’t good because it meant that I would have a bad start which often resulted in me having a bad game. Not anymore though.

3. The mental techniques had a positive effect on my life in general because using “drop-it-like-its-hot” has helped me to get rid of any negatives that aren’t beneficial and to focus on those things that are positive and beneficial.

4. Yes I would recommend the mental techniques to other rugby players as it had a positive influence on me and has helped me to improve not only as a rugby player but as a person as well.


1. Yes, a lot. The “movies” enabled me to approach the game with a good mindset because I knew what to expect from myself. The “meanings” helped with how I approach the game. The “scanning” and “drop-it-like-its-hot” helped me play without any stress about my personal and physical state. It helped me to not hold back.

2. I used to knock the ball on a lot and was indecisive with ball in hand. The mental techniques especially the “movies” helped me visualize myself catching the ball and making good decisions with ball in hand. When match time came there were no mental doubts of knocking the ball on. The techniques gave me a broader mindset and helped me try new things on the field.

3. I felt more important in the team and that I was worth more because of my performances on match days. This then lead to me being a confident rugby player. I then started feeling like a role model to younger rugby players at the school and started encouraging them with regards to their rugby. I used rugby to encourage others.

4. Yes, I would. These mental techniques are very valuable because they develop self motivation as you prepare in your head and not much external assistance is required. These techniques help improve your play because on the field it feels like you are reliving the moment and you know exactly what to do because of your “movie”. These techniques helped me become the top try scorer in 2013. These techniques work but you have to believe in it first.


1. I did find that these mental techniques beneficial. They helped me in many ways as I prepared myself mentally for matches. These mental techniques helped me to understand what I had to do in certain situations on the field. It also boosted my confidence and made any doubt disappear. The techniques strengthened my mind and help me overcome any challenge I faced.

2. My performances were different in many ways. Using these mental techniques I ran onto the field with a smile because I knew what my job was and I knew how to do it and what to do where on the field. Once I understood my role and the use of the mental techniques my performances improved every week and ultimately I had fun doing it.

3. The difference these techniques have made is to always change a negative into am positive and smile. Another difference was it helped me to never give up and always work harder. The biggest difference these techniques have made is that I realized in order to perform physically I first had to prepare myself mentally and this has played a major role in my life.

4. I would recommend these mental techniques to other rugby players because it helps you to understand that you cannot just go out there and play, you have to be smart (mentally prepared) first. I will definitely use these mental techniques in the future and I will pass them on to others because of how much the techniques have helped me in my life. They have made my mind stronger and I am prepared to face any obstacle in my way. Thank you, Mr Goodenough, for introducing me to something so special and powerful.

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