Jessica Ennis-Hill has been advising England’s squad on how to deal with expectation after being invited to talk at their Brighton training camp.
The London 2012 heptathlon gold medallist took part in a Q&A organised by Maro Itoje and George Furbank to assist Eddie Jones’ team in their Six Nations title quest.
“She was obviously an outstanding athlete and it’s a great story with the resilience she showed and the expectation she had to cope with,” Jones said.
“I embarrassed myself at the start by calling her the wrong name. It’s a bit embarrassing for the team that their head coach is such a dodo. We all make mistakes and we get on with it.
“She was really good and had good messages for the team, particularly for the young guys coming through.
“They’re all dealing with expectation and Jess spoke about how she did that, how she handled social media and communication with her coaches. There were some really good points for the players to absorb.”
Ennis-Hill was part of Team GB’s ‘Super Saturday’ success at the 2012 Olympics and four years later took silver in Rio, having given birth to her son Reggie in 2014 and battled back from career-threatening injuries.
“It was about her process – you’ve got an expectation, but it’s about not pushing too hard and making sure you keep improving,” flanker Tom Curry said.
“Especially when she had her setbacks and injuries – her expectations changed, but then she’s got to keep pushing and progressing.
“Her ability to adapt and keep evolving was massive and it showed with her coming back from her pregnancy to win a silver medal which is testament to her work.”
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