England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson has opened up about his battles with perfectionism and the mental health issues he’s dealt with over the years in an honest and open chat on the High Performance podcast.
Jonny has always talked pretty openly about his mental health and how it sometimes puts a damper on what should’ve been huge high points in his life and career.
Take his world cup winning drop goal in 2003. It should be an incredible memory for Jonny, something to be proud of. But instead it’s something he looks back on as if it happened to someone else.
Explaining that the victory against Australia took place in a ‘period of real angst’ for him, scoring that goal and winning the Rugby world cup was something he actually found difficult and unfulfilling.
A lot of this seems to come down to his struggles with perfectionism and mortality.
In his chat for High Performance Jonny explains that from a very young age he felt that he needed to be perfect, so that when he died he would have enough ticks against his name to be let through the pearly gates. And when he then went into competitive sport it spiraled, with Jonny putting immense pressure on himself to always play his best.
After retiring from playing professional rugby though, Jonny’s really been able to reflect on his experiences and use his position as a well-respected expert in the sport to support younger players to be the best they can be without putting that same amount of pressure on themselves.
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