For a man with the motto of his old school tattooed on his bicep, it is perhaps no surprise that James Hume was willing to spend lockdown studying.
Back in 2017, having played a starring role in RBAI's three consecutive Schools' Cup titles, the soon-to-be leaver was instructed by his then coach, Dan Soper, to write down where he wanted to be at the end of each of the next five years.
Soper, now the skills coach at Kingspan Stadium, reminded the 22-year-old of the list recently, most pertinently the entry for the end of 2020 - 'start consistently for Ulster at 13'.
A tick under two years on from making his debut for the side in a harrowing record defeat to Munster in Thomond Park and he's doing just that, not only starting Ulster's last four games, but really catching the eye in a burgeoning partnership with Stuart McCloskey.
His talents have long been touted locally thanks to his stellar schools career, though injuries have meant outings at senior level have been sporadic, but he has announced himself to the wider rugby world this month, not just with the brilliant solo try that gave Ulster a dream start to their PRO14 final loss last weekend, but also a textbook tackle on the usually rampaging Edinburgh back-rower Bill Mata in the semis the Saturday prior.
While he caught the attention of none other than Brian O'Driscoll for his performance against Leinster, Hume jokes that he leaves the monitoring of what's said about him to his mother and father, instead intent on maintaining the work ethic that ensured he has emerged the other side of lockdown ready to confirm Dan McFarland's belief that he was capable of replacing the injured Luke Marshall for Ulster's biggest games of the season.
"Obviously, it's nice to be recognised like that but I have so much further to go," Hume said.
"I'm only 22 so I expect to go a way further than I am now.
"When I first came into the seniors, my attitude was a wee bit off and, again, my mental strength was just a wee bit off.
"I've had some tough chats with (McFarland) over the past year or two, kind of 'knuckle down' type things.
"He told me what I do well and just to stick to it. It has obviously started to pay dividends over the past while."
The mental strength was a particular focus during the enforced break from training. While the general public sees only that worthy of an Instagram post - such as Hume firing a no-look, behind-the-back pass down an alleyway and into his recycling bin - it was the more mundane hitting of the books that he found to be especially beneficial.
"That trick took a lot more takes than you think it did," he laughed of his Carlos Spencer-style skill uploaded to social media. "I actually threw one over the fence and I had to get it back from the neighbour.
"But I have an old mini rugby coach, Sam McBurney, who does a lot of under-age coaching and he gave me a bag of balls and a couple of poles with a circle thing through it.
"So I was just at the park doing an hour's passing and then doing my own individual stuff.
"I found a lot of time to read and do a lot of mental strength stuff because I don't feel prior to lockdown that I was a mentally tough person, to be honest.
"I felt that was something I could definitely work on, so I read a couple of books and watched a load of documentaries.
"It just drove me on when I came back from lockdown. When there are dark times, when you're doing fitness or in a tough part of a session, it's for your own good and it's definitely going to make you better, having that kind of mindset."
While there are not many players who have a try-scoring performance in a PRO14 final on their CV - indeed, Hume is just the second Ulsterman to manage the feat, Tommy Bowe having also done so for Ospreys - he is yet to appear in the Champions Cup, Sunday's quarter-final set to be his debut in Europe's top competition.
There are few more intimidating venues and scenarios in which to do so than Toulouse at the Stade Ernest-Wallon in a high-stakes last-eight clash but the former Irish Under-20s international is relishing the prospect.
"I was speaking to Nick Timoney about it and he says it just hits differently because you're standing in the tunnel and you hear the European Cup music," Hume said. "It's a bit of an eye-opener.
"Obviously I've had the pleasure of watching some big European nights at Ulster - Clermont, Racing, Harlequins and Bath to name a few.
"And they've looked like they're unbelievable matches to be involved in. Unfortunately I've been plagued with injuries and been out for previous Champions Cup games.
"It'll probably be another surreal experience playing away to such a big French team in the European Cup. I'm really looking forward to it."
One more item to check off that list.