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:
â€œFor a long time I interpreted this training regime as a double strength,â€ Wilkinson says. â€œI would go into a game feeling I doubly deserved to win.â€ Owen counters: â€œI wouldnâ€™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 wonâ€™t play well â€” David James, for instance. If he doesnâ€™t train well then three hours later in the hotel he is still talking about it.
â€œI donâ€™t think that I am a particularly good trainer. I certainly wonâ€™t sit there thinking: â€˜I missed that last chance on Friday afternoon, so Iâ€™m in trouble for Saturday.â€™ â€
â€œI envy that in you,â€ Wilkinson says, â€œthat faith in your natural ability, the confidence of knowing that you will score and that if it doesnâ€™t happen this week, itâ€™ll happen next week. Thatâ€™s brilliant. I am trying to learn that.â€
Wilkinson asks if footballers train as robotically as he does. Owen: â€œWell, Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™ve met a footballer whoâ€™s as dedicated as . . . â€
Wilkinson: â€œObsessed, you mean.â€
â€œI wouldnâ€™t say youâ€™re the norm in rugby,â€ Owen says, as if in defence of his sport. â€œItâ€™s you who are a lot different.â€