A Bona Fide Catch Up With Rugby Realist Max Argyle
"Prepare to work for nothing and don’t make excuses for yourself. No one owes you anything."
Today we are joined by Max Argyle for a Questions & Answers session.
Max is a professional rugby player signed with Jersey Reds and also carries a 1st Class Law Degree under his belt.
His experience and views on professional rugby are grounded, to-the-point and unfiltered; which is certainly refreshing. Max proves that with the influence of words, taking on-board criticism and maintaining a realistic mind; any young athlete or new business professional can keep a cool head in the face of the unknown.
Authentic and unfeigned; this is Max Argyle.
Maisie from Words Do The Talking:
Hi Max, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, are you happy for us to start?
Hello Maisie. Yes I'm ready.
Q. If you were a brand, which would you be and why?
A. Volkswagen: it has withstood ups and downs over time, nothing special but reliable, and you know what you’re going to get.
Q. Do you think these personality traits helped influence the decision to juggle a full-time Law Degree with a full-time rugby contract?
A. Perhaps. I performed better at university when I started playing rugby full time. It forced me to be more efficient with my time, and also gave me a less uni-centric view of the world (which is a good thing).
Q. What was your first memory of playing rugby?
A. Playing my first game for Derby under 13s against Boston. The entire experience was awful.
Q. What (and who) got you into rugby?
A. My dad. He played amateur rugby and I always wanted my picture on the wall like his.
Q. And the same question for Law?
A. Probably my parents too. They both worked for the police so I enjoyed listening to their stories. I also enjoyed English literature at school as there are a lot of transferable skills between the two.
Q. What were the factors which resulted in you being offered a professional rugby contract?
A. My parents taught me to have honesty and a strong work ethic. I enjoyed training and didn’t mind missing out on drinking and nights out to do it. I got dumped by the academy systems that were local to me so had to start playing men’s rugby when I was 17, which helped. It's good to have luck as the overriding feeling though; you’ll stay grounded that way.
Q. What advice would you offer someone who was fresh on the rugby market struggling to find a contract?
A. Prepare to work for nothing and don’t make excuses for yourself. No one owes you anything.
Q. Straight to the point, I like it. How do you feel about mental fitness, such as mediation and relaxation, and its impact on your game and other athletes you have played with?
A. Massively underrated. I’ve always been happy talking and thinking about my mental health; I enjoy reading stoic literature too and understand that mental stress sometimes has a much worse impact on performance than physical stress. Mental weakness and fatigue killed way more careers than poor performance ever did in my opinion.
Q. We use words and speech as a given in every day life, but if you took a moment to think about their impact on your career and getting you where you are today, how would you say they influenced and aided you?
A. My parents give me lots of words of encouragement and criticism, which helps a lot. I think it’s important to tell the truth especially when it hurts.
I have a few close friends whose feedback I value, mainly because of how brutally honest it is.
My first professional coach pretty much made me into the player I am though. He gave the most honest feedback I’ve ever heard in my career, whether it was good or bad. That was invaluable.
Q. What's next for you? Any short-term and/or long-term focuses for you?
A. Play Professional Rugby for as long as I can. Hopefully make it into the Premiership. Plan an exit strategy.
Q. What are the three most important things you have learnt in your rugby career, which you feel will be most applicable to your next career?
A. If you bear in mind that “this too shall pass” then you’ll never be overly disappointed or unnecessarily happy about anything in life or work. That usually helps me put what I need into perspective.
Words Do The Talking
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