Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

All Blacks and West Point Share Expertise, Learn From Each Other

College Men

All Blacks and West Point Share Expertise, Learn From Each Other

Left to right: Steve Hanse, Matt Sherman, Dave Geib (WP ’11 and Operations Director), Army Forwards Coach Marty Veale, Gilbert Enoka.

The US Military Academy officers, coaches, and players at West Point got a special visitor this past spring when New Zealand All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen and Mental Skills Coach Gilbert Enoka visited the rugby program and instructors.

During their visit, Hansen and Enoka focused on studying, discussing and learning about the following a number of aspects of leadership and team-building, including:

How to maximize the ability of leaders to step up and do what is required when under consistent pressure;

Developing leaders to perform as leaders off the field naturally;

With a recent changing of the guard in the All Black leadership team, how can they accelerate a new generation of leadership;

Performance under pressure


Hansen and Enoka (whose job description is now Manager of Culture and Performance) met with senior leaders of the Army Special Forces, Cadet Team Leadership of Men’s and Women’s Rugby teams, West Point Varsity Head Coaches Matt Sherman and Bill LeClerc, and Army Football's coaching staff

IN addition, Army Football Head Coach Jeff Monken had his entire team read Hansen's book Legacy. Hansen and Enoka also met with the USMA leadership from the Center for Enhanced Performance and Behavioral Science and Leadership Department, led by Dr. Nate Zinnser and Dr. Mike Matthews. Dr. Zinnser works with many professional sports organizations and athletes (including Army Rugby) and Dr. Matthews works with Angela Duckworth (recent author of Grit) to discuss leadership development and performance under pressure.

While Hansen met with many members of the West Point staff to learn more about developing teams and athletes, the West Pointers also had several questions for Hansen as a Rugby World Cup-winning coach.

Hansen and Enoka also visited the Officer Candidate School at Quantico, and Marine Corps Commandant in Washington DC. More on this visit here.

"It was really an honor to have them visit us," said Army Women's Rugby Head Coach Bill LeClerc. "It's tied into our approach of looking further down the road and thinking bigger things, not jsut about winning rugby games, but developing leaders."

"Steve and Gilbert’s visit to West Point provided a tremendous learning experience in leadership development and team building for all involved," added Army Men's Rugby Head Coach Matt Sherma. "Perhaps the greatest lesson was their actual visit in itself. Global leaders of both the rugby and special forces world took the time and energy to fly across the world and continent to look for new ways to learn and improve. Their striving to continually get better, even while at the top of the both of their respective disciplines, was a great example and lesson to us in the value and importance of humility and chasing continual improvement."