It's only been a 11 months since Scott Barrett last wore a Crusaders jersey but a lot has changed mentally for the Canterbury franchise's skipper in that time which he hopes will help both himself and his team.
Barrett told media today ahead of this weekend's game-of-three-halves against the Blues and Chiefs he put too much pressure on himself last year after he was appointed the club's new captain while regular skipper Sam Whitelock was on a sabbatical.
However, Barrett never got to lead the team in Super Rugby Aotearoa with the lock sidelined by a serious foot injury, leaving Codie Taylor to instead lead the side.
During that time on the sidelines - and in lockdown - Barrett said he got to assess his early impact as a captain and wanted to make some changes.
“As the first year as captain, there were a few unknowns around that,’’ Barrett said.
“I even got to the first lockdown and I reflected; probably, I was putting a wee bit too much pressure on myself as a captain of this team.
“And I had the chance to reflect back on that - even when not playing.
“I think [reflecting] has done me wonders. I'm looking forward to this year and leading this team."
That new mindset will be tested in Cambridge tomorrow when he leads the side in their first half of the game before Taylor takes over for the second half.
He hopes the experience among others this season will help him mold what his new mindset has him envisioning.
“I guess the more rugby, and (more) experienced I get, when watching the game you filter out what’s important and what’s not,’’ Barrett added.
“You try not to get bogged down with all the clutter and just focus on what is important. What is important to me is playing well for this team, and leading through my actions.’’