England Rugby Union legend Jonny Wilkinson’s shares his secrets on how to handle pressure in sport

Jonny Wilkinson says “there is no such thing as pressure” – and that this mantra has been central to his success.

The retired rugby legend is currently in hot demand from businesses as one of the world’s most sought-after motivational speakers.

Wilkinson, who kicked the drop-goal that won England the World Cup in 2003, specialises in sharing his insight on leadership and as a mental resilience speaker.

Outlining how he lives his life he told the Express: “If something knocks me back, I have to get back up and fight for what I originally decided. Pressure isn’t inherent in the world. There is no such thing as pressure; it’s not real. If I get what I want, it will be amazing, but if I don’t, it will be okay, too, so where is the pressure?

“When you think, ‘what will people think of me if I lose this?’ or ‘I’m letting people down’, that’s where pressure exists. It exists in those ideas; it doesn’t exist in the world.”
Wilkinson also outlined the key ingredients behind team-building and leading a group.

He said: “Start with the simple question: What do you want from your team?’—individually and collectively. Starting individually, what do you want from each of those players? The answer is I want them to be at their best.   The second question is, do you know what their best is? If your answer is ‘yes,’ then your leadership is gone because if you know someone else’s potential, you’ve already placed a limit on it.

“So, the second answer should be, ‘Of course I don’t; their potential is unknown’. And from that, you have your leadership laid out for you. You have a choice, ‘am I going to try and control these guys or am I going to allow them to be who they can be?’.”

“Leadership has got nothing to do with anyone else. The moment people start trying to inspire each other, life goes horribly wrong. The moment people start inspiring themselves, it leads everyone around them. Therefore, follow your own passions and reveal the limitless and boundaryless experience of who you are.  Within that new space, there’s room for everyone around you to live and be all they can be as well. That’s when you get a real team.”