Better Learners Make Better Players

In the week the first tranche of European qualifiers for next year’s football’s world cup are all confirmed, I saw a touch of insight into the English FA.

It emerged when presenting Booby Charlton with the honour of naming a training pitch after him at the no-expense-spared St George’s Park HQ complex. (An aspirant sporting champion factory which produced its nascent tournament winners – U20s in S Korea – this Summer that I’ve blogged on before.)

Various quotes festoon the walls. One of them is from current coach and former international representative himself, Gareth Southgate;

Better Learners Make Better Players

Of all the many slogans inside the Sales discipline, this fits in perhaps the category of the most lip-serviced.

I truly cry inside when I meet salesperson who answers a training status enquiry along the lines of “we’re always learning”. And that’s that.

Attitudes to ‘training’ can be linked to the perceived calibre of sessions experienced, of both internal or external delivery. Opinions also meander on the precise slice of sellers for whom ‘training’ is a vital oil in their machine – insert your own polite/impolite labels here. Then there’s the classic nuisance/lifebuoy of the intervention/coaching mandating/imparting fresh wisdom and whether they ought be ignored/worshipped.

Even the gentlest of delving encounters empty space.

What are you currently working on?

What you interested in getting into next?

What’s the most recent new trick you’ve nailed?

Silence. Wing-it fiction. Subject change.

So why is it that footballers, eye-wateringly stratospherically (over?)paid performers, do not answer in such a vacant way?

They talk of wanting to improve everyday. Actively embracing the ‘new’ whilst not neglecting levels already set. How to tweak their preparation so they focus on getting better, reversing weaknesses, sharpening strengths. Constantly seeking different elements to look at and work on.

Where are you on this scale? Old School Traditional Rep through to Modern Day Elite Level Footballer?

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