I’ve always loved reading autobiographies of athletes. As it’s been a while since I have read one, I decided to change that this month. Dan Carter is an All Blacks legend with 112 tests for New Zealand and the highest point scorer in the history of test match rugby with 1,598 points.
Authors: Dan Carter/Duncan Grieve
Topic: Autobiography, Talent Development, Psychology, Rugby
Appropriate for: Coaches, Parents, Athletes, Students
Overall rating: 5/5
Overview: This book provides a great insight into the early beginnings of one of the most successful rugby careers of all time, as well as insights into the functioning of one of the most successful sports teams ever.
There are several things that stood out to me reading this book. In terms of talent development, the fact that Dan played both cricket and rugby through his childhood, right up until the age of 17. Another interesting element was his naivety that he could even make a career as a professional rugby player, as he grew up in the game right after the amateur era. Rather, his development was fuelled by his love and passion for rugby and his “mastery” approach. Seeking to master place kicking in particular. It’s clear that this investment in the process of becoming a great kicker, rather than a professional player, resulted in a very rapid rise from a High School Old Boys team, to New Zealand U21’s world cup team to Canterbury Crusaders first XV all within a couple of years. All this for a lad who didn’t make any other age group representative teams! Another interesting element is the insight into the All Blacks culture. The focus on the process over outcome “One thing we talk about over and over with this current All Blacks side is never focussing on the outcome…We view the outcome as a function of following our processes.”
What is interesting throughout the autobiography, is Dan’s response to challenge – relishing the step up, but coupled with the self-doubt that we all sometimes feel. we often think our heroes are inhuman, robots who don’t feel pain, self-doubt or negativity. Dan’s honesty about his trials and triumphs are refreshing and a great
I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down, finishing it in less than a week. I would recommend it to everyone. You can find it here: Dan Carter: The Autobiography of an All Blacks Legend
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