I just want to draw this to your attention – a conversation in The Times between Jonny Wilkinson and Michael Owen. Pure More Than Mind Games material:
“For a long time I interpreted this training regime as a double strength,” Wilkinson says. “I would go into a game feeling I doubly deserved to win.” Owen counters: “I wouldn’t do that extra hour and a half. I just always find a positive. I can play poorly and make a spin on it, convince myself. I know people who have to train well or they feel they won’t play well — David James, for instance. If he doesn’t train well then three hours later in the hotel he is still talking about it.
“I don’t think that I am a particularly good trainer. I certainly won’t sit there thinking: ‘I missed that last chance on Friday afternoon, so I’m in trouble for Saturday.’ ”
“I envy that in you,” Wilkinson says, “that faith in your natural ability, the confidence of knowing that you will score and that if it doesn’t happen this week, it’ll happen next week. That’s brilliant. I am trying to learn that.”
Wilkinson asks if footballers train as robotically as he does. Owen: “Well, I’m not sure I’ve met a footballer who’s as dedicated as . . . ”
Wilkinson: “Obsessed, you mean.”
“I wouldn’t say you’re the norm in rugby,” Owen says, as if in defence of his sport. “It’s you who are a lot different.”