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Natasha Brennan England Rugby International – The addiction of elite sport training!

25th November 2014
Autumn is upon us, the dark mornings, short days and drops in temperature have finally arrived and despite being outside most days training; the buzz and excitement of training as a full time athlete still hasn't worn off!

This has again been a busy month of training, both from a conditioning perspective as well as rugby perspective with the first leg of the World Series in Dubai looming in December. Having had some training games recently, it was rewarding for both the players and coaches to be able to see the hard work from training being implemented into our games individually and collectively.

From a personal perspective it's great to be able to test yourself in game scenarios to see the small gains on and off the pitch, as it's those small progressions that give you the motivation to keep improving each day. Training full time there are no excuses for dropping off your standards. Everyone is striving for perfection as they know that to achieve greatness we have to be top of our game as often as possible as there is someone desperate to jump into your shoes if you fall short! It is a harsh reality but the nature of elite sport.

I recently read an article by an international netballer who wrote a piece about culture in sport and she said that to play elite sport you have to "have an element of craziness about you." I thought this spoke volumes given the element of obsession, addiction, routine and perfectionism that comes with the territory of making it in performance sport.

People who read this might not play sport or consider themselves "sporty" and in turn may find it hard to empathise with those feelings, but I can't help but think they are not different to people in the general work place? Having worked in recruitment and speaking to people from all areas, I don’t think it is a coincidence that those people who love their job, that are engrossed by what they do and strive for that ultimate perfection are the people that are extremely successful.

Of course keeping a healthy work/ life balance is also extremely important as it is imperative to switch off at times to keep you fresh and motivated, which leads me to mention our England 7’s social outing to Top Golf! Even if you are not a seasoned golfer it is still really good fun and something I would definitely recommend. While we had an awesome two hours of playing golf, and even converting a few girls to the sport, it was safe to say that we would certainly be sticking to playing rugby!!

Natasha Brennan is part of the England Women’s Rugby 7 Olympic squad and is sponsored by Betting Appointments, part of the St George’s Recruitment Group
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