Mental Coach Helps Fiji 7s Reps Bring Out Their Best To Win World Sevens Series

New mental coach, mentor helped Baber extract the best from our reps as they scored 224 points in 6 games in an overpowering performance in Paris.
04 Jun 2019 14:44
Mental Coach Helps Fiji 7s Reps Bring Out Their Best To Win World Sevens Series
Jay Hedley , Executive Leadership Coach, The Coaching Room

We’re the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series champions!

But it was the sterling performance of the Gareth Baber-coached side that has left the other teams reeling of what had hit them.

Despite injuries to key playmaker, Waisea Nacuqu and forward Apenisa Cakaubalavu, the team just got better every time they took the field.

Newcomer Napolioni Ratu who was cited for dangerous play and had a three-match suspension came back with flying colours.

He sat out during the final pool match with Argentina, Cup quarterfinal against France and the showdown against USA in the Cup semi-final.

But the Yasawa native took over the playmaker’s berth during the Cup final as they had to rest Vilimoni Botitu due to a niggling injury.

Not to be outdone, Ratu rose to the occasion by scoring two tries and later was named as the player of the final.

Then we had impressive performances from other Series debutants like Meli Derenalagi, Botitu, Aminiasi Tuimaba, Asaeli Tuivoka and even Isoa Tabu.

They combined with the experienced Seremaia Tuwai, Sevu Mocenacagi, Cakaubalavu, Livai Ikanikoda, Paula Dranisinukula and Josua Vakurunabili to form a formidable force.


But the question everyone is asking is what really made our players tick?

Never before have we recorded such big points in a single tournament. What made them do that?

Well, the decision-makers at Rugby House had been working behind the scene throughout the series to ensure Baber had the best coaching staff behind him.

To hire the expertise of these highly qualified individuals is no way cheap, but however it’s the investment by FRU to ensure that we’ve what it takes to be the best in the sevens world. This we should also applaud.

Throughout the series, we saw the recruitment of former Otago Rugby’s skills coach Kane Jury as the assistant 7s coach.

Then for the Hong Kong and Singapore leg we saw the introduction of legendary Fijian 7s winger, Tomasi Cama (Snr) to take up a mentoring role in the side since we were one of the most inexperienced teams competing.


For the crucial London and Paris, the team travelled with another additional coaching staff- mental coach Jay Hedley.

Jay had been working with Baber for most part of the Series and spends time with the players on a one-on-one session and analyses their progress. Then who is he by the way?

Jay is managing partner at The Coaching Room and is an executive leadership coach and facilitator.

He coaches high-performance leaders, athletes, sports coaches and their teams to unleash their full potential.

These people engage him to enable them to see with clarity, the blind spots in their professional and personal life that are limiting them and their potential.

His current clients includes Fiji Airways, KPMG Australia, Waratahs and NSW Rugby, Rugby Australia, Beiersdorf Australia, Alcon, Amadeus, Ipsos, Goldfields, Optus, UTS Insearch and the list goes on.

It’s the combination of these various elements that have contributed to our success in the Series. Let’s celebrate the win as we honour our winning team.

Edited by Osea Bola

Fijisun Ad Space

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.