Mental Resilience Tools from The Teams in Black for GRNDHOUSE to incorporate within each workout:

Leave any ego at the door

First thing’s first - in these classes, we are all a team. We’re equals completing this session together.

A part of what makes the All Blacks one of the most successful teams in the world is their concept of a humble approach to performance. 

They believe ‘we’ trumps ‘me’ and see themselves side by side - never above and below.

Ego doesn’t connect people. They strive to create an environment where people feel safe and comfortable to be themselves. 

So, I need you to really focus your energy on the process and be a great team player.

One minute of mindfulness

Something which is relatively new in the rugby world is mindfulness.

This is something which The Teams in Black focus a lot on - and take the time to practice for two minutes at the start of their sessions.

They work on being aware of where their mind goes - and being able to pull it back and stop it from wondering.

So, before we begin this workout - we are going to take one minute of mindfulness to see where your thoughts go, with the aim to refocus and bring them back.

Now let’s crack on. 

Think clearly under pressure: red-head vs blue-head thinking

Want us to let you in on the secret to building resilience? It’s thinking clearly under pressure.

The All Blacks teams are masters at it. To optimise their performance, they use something called ‘red-head and blue-head thinking’. 

Say you’re having intrusive thoughts at the beginning of a class, or not aligning your mindset with your session goals. It can manifest itself as anger, stress and frustration - this is red-head thinking.

But if you are thinking clearly, feeling focused and engaged, that’s rational blue-head thinking. 

Pressure can cause our decision-making process to shut down.

So, to help yourself think clearly to build physical and mental resilience - you need to acknowledge that you are under pressure and see it as a positive.

This is an opportunity to embrace the challenge at hand. 


Once you have put yourself in that positive mindset, to build mental resilience and switch from red-head thinking back to blue-head, you need to give yourself a way to refocus your attention. 

This is called ‘anchoring’.

You might often see athletes tap their foot, or gently pull on their ear. This is a technique called ‘anchoring’ which is a physiological reminder for them to keep focused on the task at hand.

It doesn’t always need to be a physical reminder - you can also anchor yourself visually. 

If you feel distracted, or like you can’t finish your reps, switch your mindset to focus on one object, thing, or person. Like your hands, your mat or me.

Making this behaviour a conscious decision will help get your head back in the game and you’ll find your attention refocusing.

Don’t dwell 

If you made a mistake or didn’t quite smash your set, squat as deep or lift the heaviest weight - then don’t dwell on it. 

A mindset tool which The Teams in Black use is moving forward and not getting stuck on failure.

Instead of ruminating in your head and feeling frustrated - let it go.

Instead, focus on what’s in front of you - so the things that are important NOW and NEXT. Keep moving forward.

Spend downtime with things that bring you pleasure

Well done guys, we smashed that workout.

Now you need to recover - something which is so important to developing resilience. 

Working with waves of stressors and periods of recovery is a great way to build resilience. 

So, embrace your downtime and make sure you do something you enjoy. 

The All Blacks teams see downtime as a purposeful way to boost wellbeing. To have a well-rounded lifestyle, we need to find balance, so we don’t burn out.

Using ‘emotional recovery activities’ will help you perform at your best, so think of a quick 10 or 15 minute activity that you love and schedule it to do it after this workout.