Poetry fan Matt Peet hoping Wigan Warriors go with the flow at Wembley

Matt Peet will draw on his interest in Beat poetry in a bid to give his Wigan side the edge as they head on the road to Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup final against Warrington at Wembley. Peet is convinced that some of the psychological methods favoured by the likes of 1960s counter-culture icons Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg can be successfully applied to the cut-and-thrust action of the 13-a-side code.

Breath work and meditation have become key elements of Peet’s coaching philosophy as he encourages his players to achieve their ‘flow state’ – a central tenet of Zen Buddhism in which a person becomes entirely absorbed in a specific, singular activity. “Finding flow is something we talk about a lot, and that will be no different this week,” said Peet, a poetry fan who who obtained a 2:1 degree in English from Manchester Metropolitan University prior to pursuing his increasingly successful career in rugby league.

“We’ve got an open-minded team and the lads practice breath work, meditation and yoga on a daily basis. It’s about freeing themselves up, and all the work they do, the visualisations, is about trying to put them in that flow state come game day.”

Peet marked his first full season as Wigan head coach in 2022 by lifting the Challenge Cup at Tottenham and has subsequently steered them to a Grand Final win and victory in the pre-season World Club Challenge over Australian champions Penrith. But as the silverware stacks up at the DW Stadium, the 41-year-old Peet is intent on heeding the example of some of his literary heroes and imploring his players to prioritise the moment, rather than constantly projecting forward to potential future successes.

“A lot of those great works from Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg come out of eastern philosophy and the Buddhist religion, and they are about being in the moment and not getting caught up with chasing certain things,” added Peet.

“It’s something we try to instill in our team and our coaching staff. The breath work is about bringing the lads back to centre, not getting too high or too low, not being too excited or lethargic, but finding that perfect flow state. It’s something we speak about a lot.”

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