Interview with Coach G


To stay motivated, individuals need to have personal goals!

Interview with Coach G

Coach, Mentor, Personal Trainer
Former Rugby player & World Cup Champion
South Africa and Canada


Interviewed by Aina Aliieva
International Correspondent, PM World Journal
Ontario, Canada


As Project Managers and enterprise leaders, we closely work with teams and organizational cultures. We motivate and inspire our employees to keep performing in order to get great results. However, not many of us associate managing people with sports skills. Coach Gurthrö Steenkamp agreed to help me cover this gap and connect sports coaching skills with the enterprise environment.

Gurthrö Garth Steenkamp (Coach G) is a former South African Rugby union player and World Cup winner (in 2007). Gurthrö is a professional rugby coach.  He also started a business focusing on helping front-row rugby players and coaches improve their performance in Scrum. Passion:  help purpose-driven people develop mental resilience, give them tools to overcome obstacles and roadblocks, and give them the tools to achieve their goals and turn their vision into reality. Gurthrö does it through ZUU, which is high-intensity training that helps improving Physical, Social and Mental Health. Learn more or connect with Coach G at https://www.instagram.com/ggsteenkamp/


Q1.      What does Scrum mean in sports, and have you ever heard about Agile and Scrum in the corporate world?

Coach Gurthrö Steenkamp (Coach G):     I’m not going to pretend that I know what Agile is, and that’s what I’m looking forward to learning from this conversation. In sports, Scrum is the engine. It is about fighting for position and for the team to fighting up. For me, Scrum is a collective effort which means eight players are pushing in the same direction, generating power and engaging at the same time. It comes down to synchronization, reaction speed and mental resilience. If one team player doesn’t do his job, the whole team is weak. So, Scrum requires a lot of training. If players are not working in the right direction, if they are not reacting simultaneously, they are not synchronized, the game could be catastrophic.

Q2.      What do you think the most critical skills the coach needs to have?

Coach G:       In sports, we always differentiate talent vs skill. There are always talented athletes who are unwilling to do hard work and less gifted players but focused on developing skills. From a coaching perspective, it is crucial to develop skills that you can integrate into a team’s strategy. In a team environment, we have different players. Similar to the corporate world, where there are people who develop the strategy and others who are implementers, people who are researching specific projects and people who actually execute them. In sports, the primary responsibility of a coach is to build your team. You can use all strategies in the world, all facilities, but if you didn’t build a core, all training tools and facilities mean nothing. So, when we start with the team, any coach will lay down the team culture, i.e. getting players to work towards a common goal. Athletes need to understand that we are sharing a common vision. We need to know what we’re working towards, and each person needs to understand their role in the team.


To read entire interview, click here

How to cite this interview: Aliieva, A. (2021). To stay motivated, individuals need to have personal goals! Interview with Coach G; PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VI, June. https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pmwj106-Jun2021-Aliieva-Interview-with-Coach-G.pdf

About the Interviewer

Aina Aliieva

Toronto, ON, Canada


Aina Alive (Aliieva) has 10+ years working in Project Management and an Agile environment. She has managed and consulted on Technical, Construction, Telecom, Retail and Engineering projects. Aina is a Transformation Leader, Coach & Mentor. She helps individuals, teams and organizations in their transformation journey. Aina is passionate about productivity, creating a positive work environment and building Dream teams.

Aina has a Masters’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in technology. She holds PMP and PMI-ACP certificates. Aina is a proud member of PMI CWCC (Canadian West Coast Chapter), PMIT (Toronto Chapter), PMI Ukraine Chapter and UAE PMI. She is also a Program Manager, Disciplined Agile in PMI CWCC and DA Ambassador in PMIT.

Aina is an experienced public speaker and coach. In her free time, Aina participates in different mentorship programs, speaks at webinars and interviews people for her blog.

She can be contacted at https://www.linkedin.com/in/aina-aliieva/