Guest Post – Pain Stopped Play

Guest post – Pain Stopped Play by Sunil Bali.

In the aftermath of the New Zealand victory in the Rugby Union World Cup Final, Sunil looks at the career of Ritchie McCaw, one of the games biggest legends, and what it takes to be a winner.  Original post can be found here.

Pain Stopped Play

On more than 60 occasions Richie McCaw has required stitches in his eyebrows. He’s also broken his cheekbones over a dozen times.

McCaw played through the last three matches of a tournament with a broken foot and numerous painkilling injections.

The tournament was the 2011 World Cup, which he lifted as captain of the New Zealand Rugby team, aka the All Blacks.

Last night, McCaw led the All Blacks to victory in the 2015 World Cup.

McCaw is unquestionably one of the world’s greatest ever rugby players and has won 131 of the 148 games he has played for his country.


He thinks that having stitches is an occupational hazard of playing open side flanker. A position which requires him to scavenge for the ball and put his body on the line.

In McCaw’s view pain is temporary, winning is permanent.

Dave Brailsford, Performance Director of the all conquering British Olympic Cycling team introduced lactic tolerance training for his cyclists. This consists of the cyclists cycling flat out until their legs feel as if they are on fire, and then the real training starts to see how long they can keep cycling.

Yes these are extreme examples of going the extra mile, but whatever you want to achieve, there’s a price to pay.

This may mean watching less television, working weekends, or sacrificing your nights out. It means taking a risk and stepping outside your comfort zone.

There’s a price to pay if you want to achieve more, and there’s a price to pay for leaving things as they are.

Whatever you decide, just don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get, with the work you didn’t do.

Ps. There are no queues on the extra mile.