Foreword by Chester Williams
I met Steve Harris more than 20 years ago when I was playing for the Springboks: he had been hired to give motivational sessions for the Springbok rugby team and he subsequently became part of the Springbok management team on several of our tours. Since our first meeting, we have developed a close professional relationship. I have particularly valued his mental toughness and career development expertise, his willingness to act as a sounding board for many of my decisions, and his appreciation of issues around cultural diversity.
I am particularly grateful for Steve’s role in helping me transcend cultural prejudices. I have had the good fortune of being a black South African rugby role-model. However, my involvement in Springbok rugby so early in the genesis of our democracy combined with my marriage to someone who is outside what is generally accepted as my community, has it seems, been frowned upon by some influential gate-keepers. This has exacted a price on my ability to access coaching jobs in South African rugby.
With Steve’s support I have carefully developed my skills and abilities to ensure I will be difficult to ignore when opportunities arise. Since playing for the Springboks, I have achieved a diploma in coaching science and a degree in sport management. I am currently Coaching Director of rugby for the University of the Western Cape. Steve is providing a valuable resource in relation to the mental aspects of this team. So far we have gone from the second last place in the Varsity Shield to the top spot in one season.
This second edition of Steve’s book: Mental Toughness – Mastering Your Mind, attests to my appreciation of Steve’s knowledge and skills in this important aspect of sport and of life performance. I encourage anyone who is interested in self-improvement to read this book, I loved it.