The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

ON Wed­nes­day I vis­ited St Ge­orge’s Park for a work­shop led by Sir Clive Wood­ward in part­ner­ship with FA Learn­ing.

I have huge ad­mi­ra­tion for Sir Clive. His book ‘Win­ning’ is a mas­sive source of in­spi­ra­tion to me. I love his ob­ses­sion with win­ning; his at­ten­tion to de­tail; his will­ing­ness to think dif­fer­ently.

Sir Clive held up Cris­tiano Ron­aldo as a foot­balling equiv­a­lent to Johnny Wilkin­son.

Sir Clive de­fines the key to suc­cess as hav­ing con­fi­dence and the key to con­fi­dence is hav­ing in­for­ma­tion and un­der­stand­ing. To im­prove per­for­mance, he as­serts, you must ac­cess the right in­for­ma­tion and then un­der­stand it.

You only need to look at Sir Clive’s ob­ses­sion with de­tail and the cost of that de­tail to un­der­stand the ad­van­tage of re­sources. At ba­sic one per cent lev­els, he had spon­sors for lap­tops, kit de­sign, anal­y­sis tech­nol­ogy and vi­sion spe­cial­ists; sim­ple things that make a big dif­fer­ence.

I may ap­pre­ci­ate the ben­e­fits of cryother­apy but at Steve­nage we just can­not con­sider rou­tine use of these sup­port sys­tems.

But any coach or man­ager should be search­ing for unique ways of adding value that he/she can af­ford to im­ple­ment.

Mick Clegg, Man United’s power and de­vel­op­ment coach from 20002011, is quoted as say­ing that the ‘dif­fer­ence’ was the un­der­stand­ing and knowl­edge of how to be­come the best and that Ron­aldo was above ev­ery­one else.

He searched for world class per­for­mance which is why he be­came world class.

If I took one thing away that I would en­cour­age ev­ery player to con­sider it would be this; don’t prac­tice un­til you get it right – prac­tice un­til you can’t get it wrong.

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