From a young Wigan lad to the longest standing Rugby League Head Coach for Scotland attending 3 world cups. He has travelled the world, worked at a number of clubs and has found that humour, hard work and remaining humble are key.
It is such a great conversation if you are keen to hear somebody who is striving to be themselves and honest about who they are and have been. Authentic leadership comes to my mind!
Steve is now the Head of Welfare at Rugby League Cares in the UK. He took up the role after heading up the education and welfare position at the Wigan Warriors.
Steve is a highly experienced individual having coached at all levels of the game. He has been Head Coach at Super-League level and also coached the Scotland national team in three world cups and the 2016 Four Nations Competition. Steve made the decision to concentrate on his main passion of player care and wellbeing and ensured the Wigan Warriors welfare structure is one of the best, not only in rugby league but in professional sport. His recent appointment at RL Cares has seen him make a massive impact on the player welfare structure of all players playing in the UK.
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Success quotes or sayings:
Surrounded myself with good people
Humble hard working and respectful were key values to me
Players ended up driving the culture in the best teams I was involved with
Everyone bought into the culture on and off the field
I was often outside my comfort zone
I just worked hard and lived my values
Winning became an obsession
Being a head coach can be a lonely place sometimes
Balance between winning and being driven and making sure you look after yourself enough
Learnt to delegate better and more. Sit back, delegate and trust my staff more has been a massive benefit and learning
I really valued the Sport psychologist input. The value of an impartial and confidential conversation was so helpful
It is very different being head coach to being an assistant coach
I just started putting time as side to spend time with my family – I started to recognise the importance of this. Spending time watching my lad now playing football.
I have become more aware of those around me and valuing the time with them. These are valuable lessons learnt from my early days when I didn’t do this
Recognising the elements of your life away from the sport – business, education, family etc… If only focussed on one thing and its not going well then things may be very difficult.
All coaches get sacked…
If I wrote everything down regarding my career it would be an interesting book.
A peak – being involved in 3 world cups with Scotland especially in 2013 and then the 4 Nations in 2015 (drawing against New Zealand)
You have got to keep those same principles – humble, hardworking etc… are non-negotiable and go wherever you go.
I would have to work at a different pace in different environments/clubs. Same principles yet different timelines
Leave the club in a better position/place than when you came
When you leave a club you always want to go back and shake peoples hands
Really valued speaking to other sports and key people in businesses. Go speak to people.
I have learnt to immerse myself more in my family
(podcasts and autobiographies) It’s just brilliant to look at other peoples perspectives and how they deal with the challenges of life.
Make sure you learn something everyday and be at your best.
Quick fire questions:
The books that you would recommend are?
Legacy by James Kerr by Jim Kerr
How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…
Every morning I speak to myself…..set myself for the day
Laugh everyday! Enjoy what you do!
In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?
Choose wisely who you spend time with
Ask for help when you need it – we all need help at some time in our life
Who has made a big impact on you?
My wife – Rebecca
Dennis Mc Hugh at Wigan
Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?
Can’t think of any specifics…. There are too many
Coaching questions I would like to pose:
What in your life is distracting you away from being truly focussed and how can you change this?
Who do you ask to get the feedback from to help you uncover blind spots to impact positively on your performance?