Sharks captain Lukhanyo Am has revealed his biggest lesson is that performing in a team environment is not a burden but a responsibility.
Am was speaking to SuperSport anchor Motshidisi Mohono in a live Q&A on the channel’s Instagram page.
During the discussion, the centre reflected on how much has changed for him since rising from playing for Border in the Currie Cup First Division to starring for the Sharks and winning the 2019 World Cup with the Springboks.
‘You can never forget your past, where you come from,’ Am said. ‘I always find time to reflect on how far I have come and where I am still planning on going in my rugby career.
‘In my surroundings, there are a lot of things that remind me where I come from and why I am here. I played First Division which played a huge role in my mental strength and making me the player and person that I am today.’
When asked about what the biggest lesson he has learned in his rise was, Am said that he has come to understand that when he takes the field, he is not just playing for himself.
‘In my earlier days, I went into a game full on to try to be the best I can be,’ he said. ‘The more I played, and the bigger stages I played on, I realised it is no longer about me. There are a lot of people looking up to me. There are a lot of young kids looking up to me. I am no longer just representing myself. It is not a burden, but a responsiblity that has come along.
‘It does play a role going into games and going into seasons, especially starting a season with expectations from the previous season. But is never a burden. It is a good type of motivation for you as a player to step it up. You have to back yourself within and know what you have done, you know what you are capable of and you just keep on backing yourself regardless.
‘For me it took a long time and I am still trying to work on it. When I go to games, I try to put emotion aside. I try to be prepared as much as I can, so I just back my ability and what I am capable of.
‘As a person, humility is nature, just the personality I have. I don’t know if it can be taught. To respect people around you, doesn’t need being humble, you just need to give respect.’
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