New Year’s Resolutions. Love them or hate them, they are a tradition as old as the Babylonians, who used to promise the gods to repay their debts and return items borrowed from others. While resolutions are often reserved for the individual, the Edmonton Rugby Football Club does have some lofty goals for the 2017 season – developing a more diverse social climate, running a second senior women’s team, rebuilding our men’s program, and growing rugby in our junior ranks. When searching for examples of the ‘best’ rugby programs for inspiration, there is no doubt the All Blacks would clearly be considered top dog using many metrics: they have never ranked lower than third in the World Rugby rankings, they are the winners of the most World Cups, holding three championships, and they were the first to successfully defend a World Cup championship title. But even the best clubs go through transitions. In 2003, the All Blacks faced their lowest world ranking, forcing the program go through an overhaul. The basic premise was ‘better people make better All Blacks’. The results speak for themselves: other than a couple of periods between 2007 and 2009, the All Blacks have been first in the world rankings. The strategies implemented by the organization were outlined in Legacy: 15 Lessons in Leadership, written by James Kerr, who followed the team in early 2010. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own rugby resolutions, grab the book, or check out this summary blog by Gavin Hickie.
There is an intimate link between individual attitude and club or team success. The culture of the All Blacks is summed up in two words: ‘No Dickheads.’ They have a team-first policy. Their values funnel down from that statement and are enforced by the members themselves. For 2017, some of the board members have decided to share their resolutions for promoting a club culture we can all be proud to be a part of. See if you can match the resolution with the board member!
To be more punctual for practices and games. To let cooler heads prevail on the field and let go of disagreements with referees.
To finish every project I start. I have too many half completed projects.
To introduce myself to any new players I see at the club.
To contribute to club unity by bringing back more social events.
To focus on three basic principles: inclusiveness, competition, and success.
To make sure no one goes alone, on or off the field.
To grow my capacity as a leader, as well as others, and develop a stronger connection between the men’s and women’s programs.
To encourage volunteerism within the club by acting as a model of it myself and publicly acknowledging the contributions of others.
Wishing all of our friends and family the best in the coming New Year. We look forward to sharing our success stories with you as we take the pitch.