Attitude Is Everything

Attitude Is Everything

1st September 2017

This week it was announced that Widnes Vikings’ Academy has maintained its Outstanding rating with the RFL, ‘representing a level of performance that exemplifies best practice’.

The Vikings Media Team caught up with three stars who have graduated from its ranks, Matt Whitley, Jay Chapelhow and Ted Chapelhow, to find out more about the ingredients of its success. The three stars all highlighted that for them that the roots of its incredible impact can be found in the youth development team’s focus on attitude, as well as ability.

“At Widnes, one of the Club’s main focuses is on your work rate and your willingness to commit yourself, so you’ve got to have the right mindset here”, explains Matt Whitley.

“You can develop your talent along the way, but if you don’t have the right attitude, you won’t progress at the Club.”

Ted Chapelhow also highlighted the importance of the Academy’s focus on culture, structure and discipline.

“They put real emphasis on hard work, punctuality and understanding what it takes to be an athlete. They make it clear the commitment needed to forge a career in Rugby League.”

“If you use me and Jay as an example, we were never the most talented rugby players. But, what Phil (Finney) and every coach we’ve ever worked with at Widnes has stressed to us is that it is hard work and your motivation to succeed that pushes you through, not just talent.”

Prop, Jay Chapelhow shared examples of the Vikings Academy team expecting real commitment to maintaining an athletic lifestyle.

 “One of the main things we noticed when coming to Widnes Vikings was the focus surrounding the importance of your diet,” he said.

 “That was one of the key things that me and Ted changed massively when we arrived. As soon as we got to the scholarship ranks and throughout the Under 19s, we had lessons about our diet and lifestyle. Those lessons have stuck with us throughout the whole time we’ve been here.”

Phil Finney, Head of Youth Performance, explains this philosophy: “Throughout our experience of working in youth development and performance, we have seen that positive character traits seem to be the most stable and important attributes that a player has.

“Physical qualities, such as strength, speed or size, can fluctuate. However psychological traits, such as commitment, perseverance and personality, all seem be constant elements of a person’s character throughout their life.

In order to progress in the tough environment of professional Rugby League, players need the right attitude and mindset. The players who can apply themselves consistently are the ones who can make it through the grades.” 

Attitude Is Everything