Characteristics of the learner is a key component for Factors Affecting Performance in HSC PDHPE. Characteristics of the learner greatly influence skill acquisition and its performance. With the passing of Jonah Lomu, I thought I might look at the characteristics of the learner by analysing Lomu and how they helped him to be arguably the best winger Rugby Union has ever seen.
Lomu’s personality traits helped him to become the first millionaire in professional Rugby. Lomu was a self-determined young athlete, becoming the youngest All Black in history (19 yrs and 45 days) when he pulled on the jersey in 1994. The characteristics of the learner also helped him to come back from injuries and fight his personal battle with a kidney disorder (eventually requiring a transplant). Lomu was dedicated to his Rugby. He trained hard and played harder. He cooperated as part of a team, playing 63 cars for the All Blacks and scoring 37 tries.
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Heredity is another of the characteristics of the learner, and Lomu was greatly blessed. Of Togan decent, Lomu was 1.96 m tall and weighed 119 Kg. When it comes to Rugby size means is a blessing. It is helpful in line-outs, tackling and makes you harder to tackle. Add to this Lomu’s greatest characteristic – speed. Lomu could run 100m in 10.8 seconds, making him not just big, but powerful and fast. Lomu had plenty of type 2 muscle fibres and genetically speaking was built to play Rugby.
Characteristics of the learner also includes confidence, and Lomu had plenty. He was the unstoppable force in New Zealand Rugby during his day, and is portrayed as such in the movie Invictus, where the Springbok team fear his size and speed.
Prior experience also worked in Lomu’s favour as a characteristic that helped his skill acquisition and performance. Characteristics of the learner, particularly prior experience began at a young age for Lomu as he began to play Rugby. Being the national sport, Lomu grew up playing Rugby, both competitively and recreationally. Lomu was playing for New Zealand’s U-19 side at 18 and the national side at 19. His experience continued to grow throughout his career, which officially ended in 2007 after his comeback in 2005.
Ability is the last of the characteristics of the learner, and Lomu had ability and had it immensely. Lomu’s fluid movement on the field and great execution of his skills testify to his astounding ability as a Rugby player.
Lomu will also be considered one of the greatest Rugby players of all time, as his induction into the International Rugby Hall of Fame indicates. His death at a young age is a loss to the game, but more importantly to his family.
Lomu would also be a great example to use for characteristics of a skilled performers in HSC PDHPE.