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Coaching Edge Magazine Issue 20


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For today's coaches, Coaching Edge is a convenient and time-saving form of CPD that you can access when it suits you. As the official magazine of sports coach UK it's perfect for picking up new ideas to improve your coaching, as you get the chance to learn from other coaches.

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Coaching Edge Magazine Issue 20

  1. 1. SUMMER 2010 ISSUE 20 WWW.SPORTSCOACHUK.ORG EDGE COACHING UNG ’s I KLEADHING AC ECO GAZIN MA ADAPT AND THRIVE How cricket coaches have embraced lessons of Twenty20INSIDE: Football’s Masters • Making Mentors Work • Surviving the Credit Crunch
  2. 2. 2 COACHING EDGE |CONTENTS|CONTENTS04 Learning from the Masters – Peter Shilton and Nobby Stiles 11 On the Way to Wembley Mark Pointer 28 In The Running for 2011 Sam Hawcroft Martin Betts and Craig Smith Pooling Experience 1408 Do Captains Set the Course? John Goodbody Howard Foster One Moment In Time – 18 © sports coach UK Norman’s Wisdom Sam Hawcroft 21 20:20 Vision © Darren Walsh/Action Images Limited Richard Gibson 31 Credit Where it’s Due Lynn Allen 24 Let the (Friendly) Games Begin... John Goodbody Power and Influence 32 David Bloomfield Take a Bow 35 Jeff Thornton Getting the Most from 26 Your Talent Jeff Thornton © Getty ImagesPublished July 2010 by Patron or in sport, as elsewhere, that Coaching Edge is sent quarterly to allsports coach UK HRH The Princess Royal on 0113-201 5457. both genders have equal status sports coach UK members. It is alsoPost: 114 Cardigan Road Chair The opinions expressed in these and opportunities. available to non-members.Headingley Chris Baillieu articles are those of the authors. They The term parent includes carers, For subscription informationLeeds LS6 3BJ Editor do not necessarily reflect the views of guardians and other next of or to purchase back copies of CoachingUnited Kingdom Tim Hartley sports coach UK, its management kin categories. Edge or FHS, call 0113-290 7612.Phone: + 44 (0) 113-274 4802 Chief Sub Editor or staff. sports coach UK will ensure that Cover PhotographFax: + 44 (0) 113-275 5019 Craig Smith Throughout these articles, the it has professional and ethical values and © Action Images Limited/ReutersEmail: Design pronouns he, she, him, her and that all its practices are inclusive Inner The Coachwise Design Team so on are interchangeable and and equitable. © Action Images Limited/ReutersWebsite: Enquiries for advertising sales intended to be inclusive of both © The National Coaching unless otherwise and bulk subscriptions to Paul Rufus at males and females. It is important Foundation, 2010 Designed and produced by Coachwise Ltd 90618:5
  3. 3. |EDITORIAL| COACHING EDGE 3EDITORIAL sports coach UKWelcome to the latest issue of Coaching Edge.For issue 20 we’ve given Coaching Edge a fresh new look and hope you find something which, in the NEWSbest traditions of journalism, will inform, educate and even entertain.Most importantly, it’s designed for you, the coaches. BURSARY SCHEMEWe know that the very best coaches never stop learning, thinking, talking and – perhaps mostimportantly – listening, and within each of the features in this magazine there’s something you maypick up from seeing how others approach their sport and use as a tip for your own work, somethingwhich could be adapted to make your own athlete or team stronger, and you even better.As coaches, there may be ideas and examples you want to add to any of the features in this issue,and we’d be delighted to hear from you (our email address is below).In this issue you’ll see how a new approach helped one small football team come oh-so-close to theirdream, how coaches will use the Commonwealth Games to prepare for The London 2012 Olympicand Paralympic Games, how cricket is evolving thanks to the Twenty20 format, and so much more. Sports coaches are in demand, especially inAs a young hockey goalkeeper, I was glued to the TV every time Norman Hughes’ Great Britain the capital. SkillsActive’s London Coachingside, which claimed bronze in 1984, took to the field – a team which laid the foundations for the Bursary Scheme pays two thirds of the cost of asides of 1986 at Willesden and 1988 in Seoul...and to see Norman urging coaches to get involved coaching qualification course for people newat grass-roots level is inspirational all over again. to coaching, or coaches who want to becomeWe’ll be building on the great job done by previous editor Anne Pankhurst and wish her the best in qualified. More opportunities are likely to beher coaching career and academic work. offered as the Mayor of London announces further initiatives to boost training andSummer’s here, for some it’s the key time of their season, for others it’s the moment for pre-season qualifications in coaching and officiating,training and all those hard miles to begin... backed by the Olympic Legacy Fund. VisitWe hope you enjoy reading it as much as the team here have enjoyed putting it together...see you in for more information.three months! UK ANTI-DOPINGTim Hartley, editor, Coaching Edge UK Anti-Doping, the national responsible for the implementation and management of the UK’s anti-doping policy, has launched a confidential Report Doping YOUTUBE CHANNEL in Sport hotline, and is keen for anyone within the sporting community to help ensure all sport is clean. The line provides a platform for anyone to report any information they may have on doping, trafficking or supply of prohibited substances. UK COACHING The line is hosted by Crimestoppers, which has AWARDS 2010 years of experience handling calls of this nature, and all information received is fed into the UK Anti-Doping intelligence team forIt’s time to think about those inspirationalcoaches, and have your chance to say thanks. analysis and investigation. Callers will not need to disclose their personal details if they don’tThis year’s UK Coaching Awards will take sports coach UK has produced a series of want on Tuesday 30 November at The video clips for parents and carers whoBrewery ( in London. are interested in becoming coaches. The number to call is: 0800-032 2332.Hosted by sports coach UK, the Awards The films provide information on how tohonour coaches and coaching organisations become a coach and what steps to take.that have achieved outstanding success overthe previous 12 months. Visit the sports coach UK YouTube ‘channel’Updates on the event, including categories and and thehow to nominate, will be posted on the sports Coach Zone section of the sports coachcoach UK website. UK website.
  4. 4. 4 COACHING EDGE |THE MASTERS|LEARNINGFROM THEMASTERSIt’s often said you can only plan for the future by understanding your history, so anyonewho has the arrogance of youth would do well to listen to two of football’s grand masters– Peter Shilton and Nobby Stiles, men only too aware that coaching analysis andpsychology have long played a part in their beautiful game,as Martin Betts and Craig Smith discovered.
  5. 5. |THE MASTERS| COACHING EDGE 5 T hough he currently saves anecdotes for after-dinner speaking rather than 25-yard thunderbolts destined for the top corner of the net, it’s difficult to argue with Peter Shilton’s views on the beautiful game and coaching. Having made more than 1,000 professional appearances and won 125 caps for England during a 30-year career, he plied his trade under legendary managers Sir Alf Ramsey,Shilton on Robson: Brian Clough and Sir Bobby Robson on a professional journey which took him from‘If you’re talking Leicester to Leyton Orient, with nine clubs in-between.about a great While his list of medals and caps may blind tomanager and great the fact that he doesn’t hold any significant coaching qualifications and that his own foraycoach, then into football management with Plymouth Argyle was unspectacular at best, there’s no doubtI probably would have that one of the world’s greatest everto say Bobby Robson, goalkeepers has some useful insights and advice for today’s coach.because that’s what he His career spans four decades, from awas. He loved to get black-and-white era where a cigarette in the dressing room before kick-off wasn’ton the training pitch uncommon, to the dawn of the Premier League and the arrival of the continental manager,and he loved to join in sophisticated training, nutrition advisorsthe coaching.’ and psychologists. When Coaching Edge catches up with him he is sitting in a pokey dressing room in the bowels of the Savile Rooms, an exhibition venue in Leeds. Even aged 60 he is an imposing character and looks the part in an England goalkeeper’s jersey and tracksuit bottoms ahead of a corporate event that will see him face penalties from an array of star-struck businessmen and women. ‘When I first started out on the early part of my England career, people like Sir Alf Ramsey were basically managers,’ explains Shilton. ‘They had coaches – Harold Shepherdson and Les Cocker – but the coaching was a lot simpler, a lot of playing games and letting the lads have a bit of fun at the right time, a bit of shooting practice, a bit of running. ‘But coaches started to think of new ways of doing things and it got more complicated. ‘I think there is a danger of overdoing things: there’s a desire to improve, to coach better, but better doesn’t have to mean more complicated. Implementing more complicated drills where professional players have to really think, day-in © Getty Images day-out, can jade them.
  6. 6. 6 COACHING EDGE |THE MASTERS|‘With kids, certain drills can improve their ‘If your body is in the right position, your feetconcentration, improve their technique, get are in the right position and you have yourthem thinking. But with professionals, if you weight in the right position, you can be bettercomplicate coaching too much, they can get balanced and quicker to react.tired mentally because they’re thinking toomuch about training. It can be that, when youcome to a match day, players can be a littlestale rather than being mentally fresh.’ ‘I don’t think a lotIt’s the pervading message from Shilton of coaches knowthroughout the day: keep it simple.However, that’s not to say he doesn’t believe in about theanalysing coaching, nor taking the radical step importance ofof taking a coaching lead from one sport andincorporating it into a session plan for another. getting theHe’s also quick to underline the importance of fundamentals ofan area of coaching sports coach UK hasbeen trying to promote in recent months: the movement right.FUNdamentals of movement. I learnt my‘I think I was probably the first goalkeeper tostart to develop alternative exercises and drills footwork and bodyspecific for my position, like footwork exercises positioning off aand quick-reaction exercises, and practisingpunching and analysing different areas of ballroom dancer.‘goalkeeping in order to improve incertain areas. ‘I don’t think a lot of coaches know about the‘When I started it was “catch the ball at its importance of getting the fundamentals of bodyhighest point” and “get your body as near to, movement right.’or behind, the ball as much as you can”– two Nobby Stiles was partvery basic things. I developed my footwork and Shilton, as his posture and demeanour of the success of ‘66body positioning, which I learnt off a fellow suggests, is a very relaxed man, and hiscalled Len Hepple, an ex-ballroom dancer, favoured coaching style is laid back ratherwho started to teach body positions. than dictatorial. He has no time for the rant-and-rave approach of some managers and coaches, and he cites ‘Uncle Bobby’ Robson as the best manager/coach he worked with. ‘It’s important coaches appreciate that if you make a mistake it’s not always a bad thing as long as something positive is learnt. People don’t make mistakes on purpose; a coach has to man-manage those people and get their thought processes positive again. ‘The worst thing a coach can do when things go wrong is to scream and shout, because you then have even further to go to pick people up for the next challenge.’ But if Shilton’s greatest moments on the pitch were during Italia ‘90, it’s another World Cup which springs to mind when Englishmen say just one word...‘Nobby’. Norbert Peter Stiles, ‘Nobby’ to football fans over the last 50 years, was one of the unsung Nobby Stiles, George Best and © Getty Images heroes of the 1966 win. Bobby Charlton lining up for Manchester United in 1968 Mention his name and images of a toothless wonder dancing on the Wembley turf with the
  7. 7. |THE MASTERS| COACHING EDGE 7 Stiles on Ramsey: ‘Tactically, Sir Alf was so far ahead. As a manager, he was tremendous.’ © Getty ImagesJules Rimet Trophy are often conjured up. This position we have a certain Bobby Moore”... THE COACH’S EDGEjig following the 4–2 win over West Germany that was how Alf spoke to you,’ says Stiles. Don’t overdo things: there’s aonly touches upon the success of the diminutive desire to improve, to coachball-winner who plied his trade under the A boyhood Manchester United fan who thinks better, but better doesn’t have perhaps the nearest player to him these days to mean more complicated.stewardship of some great coaches. would be someone like Owen Hargreaves, Develop alternative exercises‘I joined (Manchester) United in 1958,’ Stiles believes communication and listening and drills specific for positions,recounts Stiles, who made his first-team debut to the manager was, and remains, the key such as footwork exercises and to success. quick-reaction exercises. If youragainst Bolton in October 1960, having athlete learns that their body isoriginally being signed as an inside-forward... in the right position, and that ‘I tried to balance their two opinions (those ofthe Frank Lampard of his day! their feet are in the right Busby and Ramsey). Alf cemented a great position and they have their bond within the England team of ‘66, which is weight in the right position,Stiles, who along with Bobby Charlton shares still there today.’ they can be better balancedthe distinction of being the only Englishman to and quicker to react.finish on the winning side in a World Cup Final After earning 28 England caps and following aand European Cup Final, considers himself Coaches must appreciate that spell at Middlesbrough, Stiles moved into if you make a mistake it’s not‘very fortunate’ to have worked under management with Preston North End, whom he always a bad thing as long asfootballing knights Matt Busby and Alf Ramsey, had originally joined as a player-coach. something positive is learnt.whom he calls two great managers, but with For more on thevery different philosophies and personalities. Jobs with Vancouver Whitecaps and then West FUNdamentals of movement, Bromwich Albion followed, and the last visit where‘Alf picked me for the under-23 international v coaching job for the 68-year-old was back at you can purchase AnScotland in 1965. My dad had told me my Old Trafford from 1989–1993 under Alex Introduction to thebest position was playing at the back, so I Ferguson, helping develop a new generation of FUNdamentals of Movementasked Alf to see if I could revert to the back talent which would include David Beckham, resource and DVD.and he said “you may if you wish, but in that Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
  8. 8. 8 COACHING EDGE |CAPTAINS|DO CAPTAINSSET THECOURSE?How important really is the captain? Are they simply the ones who toss thecoin at the start of a game, or are they the ones who organise the coachingsessions and whose turn it is to provide the bacon butties and ensure the kitis clean? It varies between sports, between levels of those sports, and isoften dictated by a sports club’s finances.But, as John Goodbody points out, at the top level the role hascertainly changed... The role of the rugby captain – such as British and Irish Lions’ leader Paul O’Connell – is very different to that in other sports
  9. 9. |CAPTAINS| COACHING EDGE 9T he era of the god-like captain would have coped with a director of cricket. This will follow extensive consultation before Not well I suspect. the game. is over. In team sports, the captain used to be regarded However, I could see Mike Brearley, so acute Lord says: ‘The shift in recent years has been as the fount of most as a captain of England 30 years ago, as the increased amount of performance analysis.knowledge and would plan the being far more amenable. This is trawled through by the captain and manager or coach. Previously, strategies werestrategies and tactics, and often the Still, unlike shorter and more fast-moving games, based on intuition. Now they are based ontraining and preparation for games such the captain in cricket remains responsible for facts. Captains now go out on to the park withas football, netball, rugby union, hockey, decisions on the field, such as the change of very clear plans.’ bowlers and the field and lacrosse. Asked if messages are still sent out, in theHowever, gradually over the decades, with the Gordon Lord, the head of elite coaching traditional manner, through the 12th man withincreasing professionalism of sport, the role of development at the England and Wales Cricket the drinks, he replied: ‘Yes, there are occasionalcoach and manager has become more and Board (ECB), talks of the ‘clarity of role’ of the messages but these might sometimes be in themore significant. captain and the coach. form of a question rather than a statement.’Now the emphasis is on the partnership ofcoach and captain. ‘In 2009, there Michael Fordham, a former lecturer at Loughborough University who has workedThink of Sir Clive Woodward and Martin were seven new extensively on the managing and coaching of cricketers, points to the structure of manyJohnson, architects of England’s 2003 RugbyUnion World Cup-winning team, or Duncan county captains counties who have a director of cricket or cricket manager, the person responsible forFletcher and Michael Vaughan of the victorious2005 Ashes squad. but two had ‘getting the team to win’.What matters is not only the ability of the relinquished their Below him, he has several coaches. At bigplayers, but the way in which they are preparedphysically, technically, psychologically and posts by the end of counties, such as Yorkshire and Lancashire, these may number six-plus others for youngernutritionally for their matches. the season.’ teams, whereas Worcestershire have three full-time coaches plus part-timers.Cricket has remained a sport in which thecaptain has continued to have a major role, He says: ‘The ideal model, to which the vast Fordham, who has beendespite the arrival of, at county, let alone majority of coaches aspire, is for the captain to instrumental in the Level 4 awardsinternational level, the director of cricket or have the information to make all the necessary at the ECB, says that thecricket manager. decisions on the pitch. The job of the coach is relationship between the captain to prepare the captain and the team in such a and the director of cricket is One wonders how celebrated ‘absolutely crucial. They must sing way that the captain is totally in charge on martinet captains of the past, from the same hymn sheet’. the field.’ such as Douglas Jardine of England’s Ashes-winning Bodyline team or Warwick Armstrong of Australia, nicknamed The Big Ship, © Darren Walsh/Action Images Limited England netball captain Sonia Mkoloma fights for the ball against Aussies Sharelle McMahon and Alex Hodge
  10. 10. 10 COACHING EDGE |CAPTAINS| England captain Charlotte Edwards lifts the ICC Twenty20 trophy at Lord’sHowever, it is also important that the captain A footballer, hockey or rugby player will always Simon Drane, a performance psychologist atis worth his place in the side. Fordham have a partial view of the game, even if that the English Institute of Sport based at Bishamexplains: ‘If not, he will start getting worried. view may be most illuminating, whereas someone Abbey, believes one of the greatEven the power base of Mike Brearley used watching from the touchline is better able to disadvantages of the player/coach is that ‘heto fluctuate.’ is trying to do two jobs at once, whereas appreciate the ebb and flow of the match. modern sport demands 100% focus’.The other players also like to see their captainin form. It gives them confidence. In rugby union, you now often see the captain ‘In cricket there is an enormous strain on the or player looking to the touchline for advice on captain because an outfielder can switch onMuch of Fordham’s work has been with and off. But a captain has to be switched on alldirectors of cricket and county captains, and he what they should do when, say, a penalty is the time and if he drops a catch or misfields,points to the pressures of the modern game. awarded in the latter stages of a game, the mistakes are so much more explicit than in querying whether they should go for goal, kick many other games, when you may be able to‘In 2009, there were seven new county to touch for a lineout, or take a scrum. In make up for it very quickly. It is simply verycaptains but two had relinquished their posts by demanding to be a captain.’And also very general, therefore, it is better to separate thethe end of the season,’ he says. demanding to be a coach or manager. two jobs of player and manager/coach.Fordham has also worked in football, where theconcept of a player/manager or coach hasdisappeared from the top flight in England, THE COACH’S EDGE How to make the most of the role...although there have been many celebrated The successful partnership of a captain and his manager/coach is a matter ofnames enjoying both roles – such as Terry chemistry. It is like a marriage. They have to have similar ambitions and ‘sing fromVenables, Glenn Hoddle and Ruud Gullit. the same hymn sheet’.Probably the last really outstanding success In cricket, their knowledge has increased greatly in recent years because of thewas Kenny Dalglish, who led Liverpool to the development of performance analysis. Captains now go out on the field having aDouble while having both roles in 1986. much better factual and statistical basis of the strengths and weaknesses of their own players and those of the opposition.Fordham says: ‘The advantage of a Captains in any sport must be worth their place in the team, otherwise theirplayer/manager is that he can lead from the confidence will suffer and the players will no longer believe in them.front. However, nowadays it does put a huge Player/managers are no longer commonplace in top-flight football because theburden on the individual. A good coach uses pressures are too great. Modern sport demands 100% focus. However, furthertheir background as a player in their work but, down the levels in the game, the player/manager role still exists and, financially orof course, you don’t have to have been an practically, it is worthwhile for the club.outstanding player to be a successful manager If a player/manager is appointed, that person must lead from the front and set an– look at Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.’ example to the rest of the team. Managers/coaches on the sidelines will better be able to see the pattern of theOf course, lower down the leagues, game as a whole than the captain. This is why in sports such as rugby union, youplayer/managers survive, but this is often often see players looking towards the touchline to get guidance on what particularfor financial reasons. Doubling up simply tactics to adopt.saves money.
  11. 11. |LIVING THE DREAM| COACHING EDGE 11ON THE WAYTO WEMBLEY How many millions of children have played in their back garden and dreamt of Wembley? For most it remains just that, a dream, but one small club in East Anglia showed that with great planning and the right spirit, nearly anything is within reach. Mark Pointer spoke to the coach who masterminded their run to the big stage... © ArchantG ood communication more than £3.5 million and is a national leader with your players is ‘The time you have in sports teaching for children. fundamental to with the players is ‘How to communicate with the players and to communicate in the right manner – how to sustained success.So says David Batch. The man who guided precious and you do impart our message to the players is really important and is probably more important thanWroxham, a small village club on the edge ofthe Norfolk Broads with an average not get much of it football-specific knowledge at this level,’ says Batch, who cites José Mourinho and Aidyattendance of less than 100, to last season’sFA Vase final at Wembley. and you have to Boothroyd as two managers who have mastered that particular art.The Yachtsmen have been Norfolk’s dominant take into The successful entrepreneur applied some coreforce at Eastern Counties level for the past 20years – or step five of the non-league consideration that business fundamentals to the task of guiding Wroxham to Wembley – after first establishingfootball pyramid. people have been with the Trafford Park club’s board the FA Vase was their top priority last season.Until Batch’s close-season arrival, nationalsuccess had eluded this well run club. But he working all day.’ ‘It came totally out of the blue when Wroxham asked if I wanted to become their manager,’brought with him an impeccable coaching he says.pedigree: a UEFA ‘A’ qualified coach and theyoungest-ever to achieve the FA advanced Batch gained experience in the professional ‘Most of the time you get asked to become acoaching licence when he was just 20 – the game with Cambridge United at youth level manager when that club is struggling.same year he became the youngest manager before founding his own company, Premier Wroxham has a great pedigree and were farin Norfolk senior football history at Downham. Sport, which now has an annual turnover of from struggling, but they felt they
  12. 12. 12 COACHING EDGE |LIVING THE DREAM|needed to step up a level, which made it quitean interesting challenge. FACTFILE‘I wanted those priorities and that remitbecause there was going to come times when I David Batch, Wroxham Footballwould need to give players a rest. Therefore, if I Club managerknew what their criteria were, it would make it  Youngest-ever manager in Norfolkeasier to work to.’ senior football when appointed boss of Downham Town aged 20Batch surrounded himself with backroom staff  Youth team manager at Cambridgewhose complementary skills he could blend as United when they were then ahe built foundations off the field before the key League Two club. Developedtask of player recruitment. He knew he had a several academy players whodecent base to work with and that would make graduated to the professional ranksattracting the right players a little easier. – including Trevor Benjamin whoWroxham brought in players from their own joined Leicester City for £1.3m inleague and the best local talent from the lower 2000leagues which might have been overlooked in  Cambridge City manager atthe past. Southern League level for a year‘We had certain player criteria – but probably  Only the second manager to guide a Norfolk football club to the FAthe most important thing for me was what they Vase final when Wroxham reachedwere like as people,’ says Batch. ‘We wanted Wembley this seasonpeople who were hungry to improve andhungry to win. We made no promises to the  Chief executive and founder ofplayers at the start, apart from that they would Premier Sport, which is abe treated the most professionally they could nationwide coaching company withbe treated at this level of football.’ an annual turnover of £3.5m–£4m specialising in sports teachingBefore a ball was kicked, Batch sat down with and instruction.his playing squad to find out what they wantedfrom the season ahead and what keywords Whitley Bay vwould form part of a collective blueprint. ‘So there are different factors involved. ‘We Wroxham FA Vase final tried to design our sessions to have an impactBatch would refer frequently to that agreed on as many people as possible. My style hastemplate during the campaign. The players now evolved into setting up the sessions withwanted to create a ‘family’ environment at the ‘We have had to coach in different ways and it restrictions to coax things out of the players thatfootball club – somewhere they liked going, might mean not even putting on a session, but I want, and then letting the game and lettingseeing their teammates and where their families coaching people into our way and how we the players find that – rather than saying youliked to accompany them. want things done, to educate them away from do this and you do that. the pitch.’‘The time you have with the players is precious,you do not get much of it and you Inevitably, given the desire for a successful FAhave to take into consideration Vase campaign, preparations for those gamesthat people have been differed from the league, mainly because ofworking all day,’ he says. time and budget. Batch had every FA Vase opponent watched. ‘We trained to expose any weakness they may or may not have and organised ourselves for specific situations that may arise,’ he says. ‘As for budget, if we went away we would stop and have a pre-match meal or stay overnight if we had a long journey to make. © Archant
  13. 13. |LIVING THE DREAM| COACHING EDGE 13 © Peter Cziborra/Action Images Limited‘We trained and prepared like you would do horrible experience, but one I would take Last month, Batch, along with his staff andat a professional football club – we might not again – because not many people have players, again sat down to devise a freshhave had much time, but we dealt with it.’ done it. blueprint for the new season that looks to evolve the ‘family’ ethos which underpinned lastWith Wroxham’s progress to within touching ‘I would rather be in the ring than watching as season’s achievements.distance of Wembley, Batch also had to an outsider. Losing in a game like that hurts andmanage the rising expectations and pressures we can do something about that this coming ‘I am really proud of the environment of honestyaffecting his players who were on the verge of season and when we do beat teams we will we have created and the biggest word thatmaking history. do it in the right way and be professional about came from the blueprint was trust. Trust between it with humility.’‘It was great testament to the players that they the players and the management staff,kept referring back to the blueprint and the Batch believes Wroxham Football Club now which hopefully we can use to our benefitwords that kept coming up were improvement has the foundations for sustained success. in the future.’and humility,’ he says. ‘Winning each roundwas good, but we knew we had not won THE COACH’S EDGEanything and needed to step it up and improvein order to compete.’ Good communication with your players is the number one priority. David Batch says: ‘How to impart our message to the players is really importantWroxham’s memorable FA Vase run ended and is probably more important than football-specific knowledge at this level.’without the fairytale postscript as holdersWhitley Bay proved too strong on the big day. Core business fundamentals are needed – establish the top priority/target.But Batch knew his squad had done everything Choose your fellow coaches wisely. Work with staff whose skills complementthey could to prepare. And he learned another your own.invaluable lesson from the Yachtsmen’s If changing players, consider what they are like (as Batch says) ‘as people’.humbling 6– defeat. 1 ‘We wanted people who were hungry to improve and hungry to win.’‘The journey was a brilliant one,’ he says. Establish what the players want to gain from the season ahead and ensure they‘I am sure I will look back on it fondly and I buy in to a ‘collective blueprint’.am really proud of the players for doing it, butthe biggest thing is I hate losing – that was a
  14. 14. 14 COACHING EDGE |MENTORS|POOLINGEXPERIENCE Coaches are meant to inspire their athletes and teams, to always be there for them with a word from the wise. But who is there for the coaches themselves? Howard Foster examines the importance of the mentor, and © Austyn Shortman what qualities they ought to possess...
  15. 15. |MENTORS| COACHING EDGE 15 edication, perspiration ‘Nowadays, with coaching courses and theD Internet, coaches can get access to techniques and…inspiration. We all have sporting idols and things of a more technical nature. Mentors provide the help for troubleshooting, the things KEYQUALITIES whose methods and you don’t find in a textbook.’ achievements spur us on. Christine Nash’s research states Dame Kelly Holmes, who founded her ownBut a poster of Muhammad Ali, or a mentoring scheme ‘On Camp with Dame Kelly’ the top qualities a mentor should possess are:worn-out VHS of the Barcelona 1992 recently, told The Sunday Times: ‘For me, it’s 1. Effective communication skillsOlympic and Paralympic Games aren’t about an exchange of knowledge and learning 2. Knowledge of their sportmuch use when it comes to rolling out of to benefit a person who’s on the same journey 3. Experience as you. But it’s as much about nurturingbed in the dark for yet another 4. Approachability self-belief and confidence.’ 5. Enthusiasmuninspired early-morning training 6. Qualifications of the mentorsession, or helping you realise why your One of her ‘mentees’, athlete Laura Finucane, 7. Success in their sportmost talented protégé’s competition said Dame Kelly’s help was invaluable when 8. Organisational skills she suffered an injury: ‘When I hurt my calf lasttimes don’t match up to their year, having just recovered from another injury, The top three qualities identified bytraining sessions. having her there gave me the extra self-belief I student coaches in a study by Nash were: needed to stick with the sport.’You need real-life inspiration to fill the gap 1. Effective communication skills 2. Approachabilitybetween training courses and job experience –which is why more and more coaches arebeing encouraged to work with mentors. ‘For me, it’s about 3. Enthusiasm Mentors ranked different skills in an exchange of their top four:Long-established in the business world, amentor is defined as a ‘wise and trusted guide knowledge and 1. Knowledge of their sport 2. Experienceand advisor; a teacher or counsellor’. learning to benefit 3. Organisation 4. LeadershipIn his pioneering 1998 book A Guide toMentoring Sports Coaches, Bill Galvin points a person who’s on Key ways in which a mentor canout the vital role the mentor plays – stressing:‘Mentoring is a powerful tool in the education the same journey as assist a coach are: 1. Being a resourceand development of sports coaches at all you. But it’s as 2. Building confidence 3. Developing knowledge and skillslevels. Successful coach educationprogrammes change the behaviour and much about 4. Being challenging and questioning 5. Being a role model.practice of coaches – whether they are novicesor (at an) international (level)’. But he adds: nurturing self-belief‘The process of mentoring is difficult to pindown; this is a strength, not a weakness.’ and confidence.’ to work together. What we need to do is share techniques and advice. We are now working together for the common good.’This view is endorsed by Christine Nash, Austyn Shortman is widely acknowledged aslecturer in sports coaching at Edinburgh Napier one of the finest swimmers Britain has ever Shortman – who cites his own father as hisUniversity: ‘Mentoring can fill the gap between produced. His record speaks for itself: Double coach/mentor during his competitive career –a good training course and on-the-job Commonwealth silver medallist in 1990 in the has these tips for mentors to impart to coaches:experience, offering a mixture of both. A lot of 4x100m freestyle relay alongside the likes of ‘Stick to your beliefs – dont be distracted.coaches, when they finish doing a course, don’t Mark Foster, and in the 4x100 medley relay Young inexperienced coaches need to havealways see the direct relevance of what they when teammates included Adrian Moorhouse. the courage of their convictions and not behave learned, and being able to have And, until recently, Shortman was World swayed by other influences, especially parents.someone to talk to about it is a very Masters record holder for 50m freestyle. He ishelpful thing.’ now the county swimming development officer ‘The strength of conviction comes with for Carmarthenshire County Council. experience, and a mentor can take the‘Some people learn better practically than in a pressure off by reminding the coach of theirclassroom environment. The difference is Shortman is in the process of developing a qualities and supporting their right to coach inhaving someone who has been through the formal mentoring scheme and currently mentors their own way.’same thing.’ his junior coaches on a more relaxed, ad hoc basis. He says the advantages of the new Echoing what Shortman tells us about a keyNash, who has coached swimming at scheme are clear, with a pooling of experience mentoring role of allowing less experiencedinternational level in both Scotland and the the obvious benefit. coaches to find their own style, and to haveUS, gives the example of a training course confidence in their abilities, Galvin says:role-playing exercise where other course ‘We are getting cooperation between three ‘Mentoring means different things with differentmembers take on the role of, say, a group previously separate regions. Where once coaches at different levels. With noviceof 10 year olds. However, such a group in coaches jealously guarded their techniques coaches, mentoring may be abouta real-life coaching situation can act and information, now, crucially, they are empowering and helping coaches to controlvery differently… sharing – perhaps not everything – but enough the learning process for themselves.’
  16. 16. 16 COACHING EDGE |MENTORS|Nash states the relationship between thementor and coach should be based on mutualtrust and respect, and allow both to developtheir respective skills.‘Initially’, she says, ‘the mentor has the relevant © Sandra Teddy/Action Images Limitedexperience and generally more power, orinfluence, within the organisation. The successof any mentoring relationship relies on thementor allowing the beginner to extend theirknowledge and play a more dominant role Great Britain’s Kelly Holmesthan at the outset’. celebrates after crossing the finishNash firmly believes mentoring should be a line to win the gold medal in Athensprocess, with the end product seen as theempowerment of the coach. those with a less notable record on the world the 1st4sport Level 3 Certificate in Mentoring in sporting stage. Sport, developed in partnership with sports‘You are looking for the development of the coach UK, is the qualification for you. Theperson who is being mentored. Older coaches shouldn’t discount the need for qualification is being used by a growing mentors too, although Nash believes many number of governing bodies of sport as the‘They should eventually be able to give advice already have a mentoring system in place, benchmark qualification for the mentor. In the beginning there is a flow of albeit an informal one: ‘At a higher level they Alternatively, you can take your support skills toinformation from mentor to novice. Then it develop networks. They don’t use the word the next level and attend the sports coach UKbecomes more reciprocal.’ mentor. They know who has been in their sport workshop ‘A Guide to Mentoring Sports quite a while and that they have someone to Coaches’. To find your nearest workshop, visitBut she warns: ‘In some organisations and talk to.’ the workshop finder at www.sportscoachuk.orgmentoring situations, the idea of the mentorrelinquishing authority, especially to a beginner, Coaching is a long road – there will always beis a difficult concept to introduce.’ room for development. And the way to ensure you are always moving forward and staying on ‘The strength ofChoosing the right mentor – and choice is theoperative word – is vital to a successful top of the game is to choose a mentor who is conviction comes doing likewise. The support they will provideprocess. Nash stresses: ‘Difficulties arise if amentor is imposed. It should be someone you could provide that crucial extra five per cent with experience, andknow and respect. If you know next to nothing difference between coaching the gallant contenders or the gold medallists. a mentor can takeabout who they are it’s very difficult to get intothat situation. After all, it is very hard to tell Where to go next? the pressure off bysomeone your weaknesses, and a lot ofcoaches see mentors as having an impact on Clutterbuck, D. (2004) Everyone Needs a reminding the coachwhether they are seen as a good orbad coach.’ Mentor. 4th edition. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. of their qualities andVital attributes for a mentor are, she believes: ISBN: 978-1-843980-54-4. supporting their‘Someone you trust, admire and respect, Galvin, B. (2005) A Guide to Mentoring right to coach in Sports Coaches. Leeds: Coachwise Businesssomeone who has knowledge and the abilityto communicate that knowledge.’ Solutions/The National Coaching Foundation. their own way.’ ISBN: 978-1-902523-03-2.Getting a mentor can be a tricky business, Kay, D. and Hinds, R. (2004) A Practical Austyn Shortman’s key THE COACH’S EDGEhowever, especially if you are in a minority tips for mentors to impartsport or already the most senior in your local Guide to Mentoring: Play an Active and Worthwhile Part in the Development of to coaches:field. However, Nash believes you can searchfor your mentor across other sports – many Others, and Improve Your Own Skills in the Stick to your beliefs – don’ttechniques, psychological tips and injury Process. Oxford: How To Books Ltd. be distracted.problems will cross over. ‘If you’re talking about ISBN: 978-1-845280-18-5. Have confidence in your abilities.someone who is just starting in coaching, Pegg, M. (1998) The Art of Mentoring.there’s an awful lot of transfer between sports A huge part of what a mentor can Gloucestershire: Management Books 2000 do for a coach is to enhance theirat the early stages. A lot of team sports are Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-852522-72-8. ability to self-reflect, but with thevery similar, so are a lot of athletic sports.’ determination to analyse what you Zachary, L.J. (2000) The Mentors Guide: do and change as necessary.You can also broaden the field – we can’t all Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships.have a Commonwealth silver medallist as a San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Young inexperienced coachescoach – but it is respect that is vital. In Galvin’s ISBN: 978-0-787947-42-2. need to have the courage of theirwords ‘the technical knowledge of a coach convictions and not be swayed bywho has competed at a high level’ can prove If you’re interested in developing your other influences, especiallyinvaluable. But it does not bar the way for skills in the area of mentoring other coaches, parents/families of team members.
  17. 17. Give your coaching the edge with sports coach UK workshopsWHATEVER LEVEL YOU COACH,SPORTS COACH UK HAS AWORKSHOP FOR YOU.For more information
  18. 18. 18 COACHING EDGE |ONE MOMENT IN TIME| NORMAN’S WISDOM Many of us enjoy a defining moment in our sporting career, a time when things come right either as a coach or as a performer. For Norman Hughes, successful coach and businessman, it was an Olympic Games which by rights his team should not even have qualified for, as Sam Hawcroft discovered.N orman Hughes was part friends at Crewe County Grammar School for As he reached his mid-20s, an international Boys cajoled him into playing hockey for a few career beckoned; after becoming a senior of the Great Britain weeks, although Hughes took a fair bit of professional in 1977, Hughes went on to bronze medal-winning become the first English male hockey player to convincing – as far as he saw it (and to a hockey team at the Los certain extent people still do), hockey was a reach 100 caps, and he captained theAngeles 1984 Olympic Games. Here he girls’ game; he admits he didn’t really want to national team more than 70 times in a careertalks about his journey towards that be seen as a ‘nancy boy’, to put it bluntly. spanning nearly a decade. At Los Angeles 1984, he was initially awarded thedefining moment, and how it has However, another of his fellow pupils, David Swallow, who went on to be a leading vice-captaincy, but finished the tournament asinfluenced his highly successful coaching captain – leading a team seen very much ascareer since then. international hockey umpire and who is now outsiders to an unprecedented bronze-medal the head teacher of Barry Comprehensive victory against Australia, who had beenHughes, now 57, somewhat reluctantly School in South Wales, finally managed to favourites for the gold.embarked on a career in hockey in 1968, at persuade him to play – and Hughes realisedthe age of 16 – relatively late in life compared that he did, after all, have a bit of a natural flair The road to the 1984 Games wasn’t awith today, he points out – after his football for the sport. ‘I had a go, and I thought – “I straightforward one, however; Britain’s hockeyteacher told him he was too short to forge a can play this”. You know pretty soon if you’ve players had been due to go out to thecareer as a centre-forward. A couple of school got the knack of playing a game.’ Moscow Games four years earlier, but their
  19. 19. |ONE MOMENT IN TIME| COACHING EDGE 19 © Norman HughesNorman Hughes and theWakefield girls celebrateanother success (including five golds) – but field hockey bosses spent a lot of that time at Lilleshall getting very, ‘Play with a smile at the time decided to support the government’s stance and stay at home. very fit.’ on your face – For the Los Angeles Games, Britain’s hockey In a lot of senses, this meant the pressure was off. Hughes said: ‘Nothing was expected from because life’s too team did not initially make the cut, but were made first reserves. Fortunately for them, us, but deep down as a squad we realised that we were in with a shout – we wouldn’t be far short to take sport however, in what appeared to be a clear off the mark. But people outside the squad too seriously.’ retaliation against the Americans’ 1980 boycott, the Soviets refused to turn up to the obviously didn’t realise that, and with us being first reserves, they’d pretty much written us off. 1984 Games – meaning GB hockey were set They thought we’d probably come 9th or 10th, challenge was scuppered by a boycott of the to play a part after all, earning a very late but no better than that.’ event by Margaret Thatcher’s government, call-up a little over two months before the start along with the US and many other countries, in of the tournament. ‘We thought we’d blown it However, Great Britain’s men won through to protest over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. about nine months earlier when we went the semi-finals, topping their group above Most UK sporting governing bodies defied the through a qualification process in Hong Kong eventual gold medal-winners Pakistan, but then ban, and Great Britain ended up coming an and lost out to Malaysia,’ says Hughes, ‘but narrowly lost out to that familiar sporting impressive seventh in the medals table, with 21 now we’d got 10 weeks to prepare – so we nemesis, West Germany. Their performance in
  20. 20. 20 COACHING EDGE |ONE MOMENT IN TIME| COACHING THE HUGHES WAY ‘Hard work, in the end, pays off.’ It may not be a particularly flashy motto, but it’s the overriding lesson Hughes has learned from his numerous achievements, and it’s the main message he tries to get across to the youngsters he works with daily – as well as their parents. ‘The mums and dads may get agitated about their children not having made the various squads, but I just keep urging them to hold on; it comes in waves, and if you keep working and working, you’ll get where you want to go. It’s determination never to give in – maybe a selection might go against you, or the ball might not run for you, but keep going, keep working hard, and over time, things will level out.’ Hughes also has a message for elite coaches, whom he says have a ‘duty’ to give something back to their sport at grass-roots level. ‘Some of the top coaches and performers get so involved in the elite that they don’t have time – or they don’t find time – © Norman Hughes Norman Hughes coaching at to work where they’re most needed, and that’s with kids. A lot of sports, not the National Seminar for just hockey, put their so-called top Lithuanian Coaches performers and coaches working with just the elite 30 senior internationals inthe group stages – drawing against Pakistan, give it all out there – guts and everything – the country – when really, if the next crop coming through is going to be aand beating the Netherlands, New Zealand don’t bring anything back. Don’t leave anything healthy crop, they should be workingand Kenya – was the best ever by any British on the pitch.” The game should have been with the eight to 12-year-old kids,hockey team in the Games thus far. ‘We just completely beyond us – but we managed to instilling in them the right habitslost the wrong game!’ says Hughes. turn it around and won 3–2.’ and skills.’The battle for third place was not just a Though this was undoubtedly the pinnacle offormality, though – it was to be another Hughes’ career, what he has gone on to the England Hockey Cup for the past threegripping contest among old rivals, and one achieve since then – and, more to the point, years in a row.almost worthy of the Olympic Games’ final what he has helped others achieve – is, in hisitself. Hughes adds: ‘Without a shadow of a ‘To be honest, that’s just as inspirational as eyes, equally as important.doubt, the best team there were Australia – but playing in any Olympic final or World Cupthey lost to Pakistan in the semi-final, so we final’, says Hughes. ‘A young player might not He retired from the international game afterended up playing against them for the bronze think that at the time, when they’re, say, 24, but playing in the World Cup final in London inmedal – and they absolutely pounded us for now, to see a bunch of young players grow 1986, when England lost 2–1 to Australia, and35 minutes. The game should have been and achieve their potential is really inspiring – it later coached Great Britain’s men to sixthdead and buried – but we dug deep, and becomes a lot of fun.’our goalkeeper, Ian Taylor, was place in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games,absolutely outstanding. and England to bronze in the European And despite the fact that Hughes – now the Championships in Paris. Since then, he has owner of West Yorkshire-based equipment‘Just before half-time, when we were 2–1 down, returned to club-level coaching with Wakefield specialist Wasp Hockey – has played andwe sensed that the Aussies’ legs had gone – Hockey Club, becoming involved with both the coached at the highest level, he insists that funthat they’d given everything to get the game senior men’s and women’s teams, as well as is what sport should be all about.over with. At half-time, several of us senior pros leading the girls’ teams – aged from six to 15 –got the lads together and said, “Look, they’ve to a series of impressive victories. Under his ‘Play with a smile on your face – because life’sgone – they’ve absolutely gone. Go out and guidance, the under-16 team has triumphed in too short to take sport too seriously.’
  21. 21. |CRICKET LESSONS FROM T20| COACHING EDGE 2120:20VISIONEven a year ago, could you have predicted England’s men would becricket world champions? But that’s precisely what happened in theCaribbean this May and, as Richard Gibson discovered, it’s noaccident... coaches throughout the sport have been adapting to a wholenew discipline in the grand old game.