Navigating New Beginnings With Confidence

Navigating New Beginnings With Confidence

I was riding my mountain bike the other day in Stellenbosch on a very difficult route that I had never ridden before. It is a red route, and it is called the Armageddon (in hindsight the name should have warned me).

My technical skills were tested to the limit and I kept reminding myself what one of the pro- riders once told me. “Pick a line where you want to go and just look ahead at the line. Don’t look in front of your wheel look about five meters ahead.”

Over the years I have had the courage to put my ego in my pocket and get off the bike when it gets a bit hairy. Well, with nobody behind me, I got off once when the drop-off was too big for my liking.

The reason I am telling this story is because there are many lessons in the line “pick a line five meters ahead where you want to go and then go.” It is no different in golf when you have to hit the ball over the water from the tee box. What happens when you think “Corné, just don’t hit it in the water!” Well that’s exactly what happens. You’ll hit the ball in the water. 


When you start something new, you have to be confident and choose the line you want to take. Don’t look at the obstacles and try and avoid them, because then you are focused on the obstacles and not the route that you want to take. It sounds so basic but many of us start something and we are more focused on the obstacles that we are focused on the road ahead.

I remember when I started my own business 18 years ago and had my little office in my house. I sat down the first day and I had to write down all my goals and what I wanted to achieve in the first year. As soon as I did that I was focused on my path and not on my competitors, the municipality or any other obstacles that came my way. 

It was the same with my first test with the Springboks. I had the privilege of Captaining the Springboks on my debut test which was nerve wrecking to say the least. In the build up to the match against Italy in Durban I was 100% focused on my team, the line-out calls I had to make and dealing with the referee. I didn’t even have time to worry about the opposition or even my own play. Luckily my career started on a high note and we beat Italy with a record score of 101-0.

If you have been reading my blogs, then you will know that I love using sport to extract lessons that we can use in our daily lives. If you are starting a new job, a new school year, a 1st year student or a totally new career path, then I want to encourage you to: “Pick a line where you want to go and go for it with 100% of your efforts”. 

Now and then you will pick the wrong line but then you will have the momentum to make it through because you are full committed. All the best.


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