There’s a Global Sport Summit that this year is in London. Sport Coaches from around the world gather to swap ideas, and three major England coaches were caught by the BBC discussing how to get the best out of their star players.
Fabio Capello begins by stressing that you must take into account cultural differences, before the startling admission that when he first took training, he was surprised at just how good his footballers were. But when they floundered in their first, and on paper relatively simple, match against Switzerland, he could see why. The players in training that shone, froze in the game, plagued by fear and a lack of confidence. He identified remedying this as his prime challenge. When later playing France, although a one-nil loss, he was pleased that at least for 35 minutes they played without fear. The next step was to prolong that period.
Cricketer Andy Flower talked about the need for perspective, especially when dealing with “personalities”, typically a euphemism for trouble-makers. In this sense, everyone should know where what they’re doing fits in with the wider world.
Rugby giant Martin Johnson then talked up the importance of planning training ‘to the minute, and to the metre’. Specialists can add value even for the smallest of tasks. Why rely on one sales trainer, when you could tap into the services of experts in tightly-defined fields?