The E.P.L – the English Premier League, is arguably the most exciting professional football competition in the world. It is also the most at risk. The history of professional sport has taught us one thing above all….long term, sustainable success is nearly impossible to achieve. And, the teams and competitions which are most at risk are those who have not learnt from the mistakes of the past. This post discusses the dangers in store for the EPL and suggests some ideas on how the EPL can choose to survive and thrive or die.
The Home and Away philosophy is the cornerstone of all professional sporting competitons around the world. But it is a myth. For the well prepared player and the uncompromising coach, the Home and Away concept is nothing but a sham and a remnant of the “old-days” when sport was unprofessional, coaches uninformed and players uneducated. Now, there are no longer Home and Away Games…there are just Games: Games to be fought and won by the best prepared players and the most uncompromising coaches.
One of the most commonly used expressions around the world is “how long is a piece of string?”. People use this phrase when they want to illustrate a point about a question that ostensibly has no answer. Yet, there is an answer to this question – it is just too obvious for most people to see. Coaches often go looking for complicated answers to questions or want someone else to provide them with the answers for free – instantly. This article discusses the “piece of string” concept in sports coaching and presents a case that for all sports coaches – there are no coaching secrets – the answers they seek are right in front of them.
A head coach can be the catalyst: the driving force who inspires excellence and creates a successful winning culture in a sporting organisation. Knowing this, it is surprising that many sporting Clubs and organisations – even those in professional sport – will often select a new head coach based on anecdote, personality and rumour and not on the outcomes of a rigorous, systematic recruitment process. Many sporting organisations make the most fundamental of all recruiting errors…they themselves are not sure what attributes, qualities and experience they need from a head coach. This article discuss the issue of finding and recruiting a head coach and presents a simple but effective process of ensuring you get your man (or woman).
Every time a professional player or elite athlete tests positive to drugs or is caught abusing alcohol, you can guarantee three things will happen:
- Newspapers and other media will over react and claim an isolated incident is evidence of an inherent drug and alcohol abuse culture in the club or sport (or all of sport);
- The club or sport will over react and ensure a drugs and alcohol education program is put in place as soon as possible;
- Everyone associated with the incident will over react, deny responsibility and blame someone else.
What’s the reality?
They don’t call it the Hot Seat for nothing – the coaches’ box!
The coaches’ box is the place where the coaches sit during the game and make important decisions about tactical, strategic and technical issues that have the potential to impact on the momentum of the game and even change the end result.
Some coaches’ boxes work well.
Some coaches’ boxes don’t.
So what’s the difference?
The Accountability Myth – Why the current Leadership models in High Performance Sport are failing (badly).
Time to be honest about this whole Leadership concept in high performance sport – it is not working.
It’s not working because of the Accountability Myth: The Accountability Myth is the reason why the current Leadership models in High Performance Sport are failing (badly).
Typically the end of season means a well earned rest, a few quiet drinks with team mates, some time with family and then… the end of season review.
Every team does some kind of season reflection or review – in most cases motivated by one or more “P” – Performance, Politics, Pressure.
- The Performance Review: is one motivated by a drive to improve the performance of the team – players, coaches and staff – for next season.
- The Political Review: is a review often driven by the Board or Executive to achieve a political agenda or philosophical shift in the club.
- The Pressure Review: is one forced on a team by media, fans, club, Board or other stakeholders as a result of a poor performance.
By far the most effective review is one that is deliberately and strategically placed in the team’s “performance cycle” each year and is embraced by coaches, players, staff, Management and Board as being an important and positive aspect of progressive performance from season to season.
Here’s a typical football Club scenario. Pick a club – any club – any code – it doesn’t matter.
The team loses a few games, has a couple of bad seasons and the decision is made to sack the head coach.
In fact, Legend AFL Coach David Parkin once said, “There are two types of head coaches. Ones who have been sacked and ones who will be sacked”.
So the club sacks the coach, goes through a search process, finds someone else to be head coach and prepares for the next season.
Next season the team loses a few games, has a bad season and surprise surprise – the Club starts looking for another head coach.
Some Clubs have recruited and sacked several coaches over the past ten years and have not had a change in their on field performance.
Many of these same Clubs have had the same Board, CEO and management team in place throughout that same ten years.
So what they are saying is, “we are doing everything right, we have all we need to win a title, we have a great culture and leadership – all we need is a great head coach and we will be back on track”.
Is it just me or is this a really silly way to run a business?
The Culture Combination: 5 People and Positions You Must Get Right to Build a Winning High Performance Culture in Your Sporting Organisation
There is no one thing that you can do which will guarantee success: no single change which, in isolation will create and sustain a winning culture in high performance sport.
There are however a combination of things that you can do to increase the likelihood of success: “The Culture Combination”: 5 People and Positions You Must Get Right to Build a Winning High Performance Culture in Your Sporting Organisation.
Here’s how it goes.
Your club has had another poor season.
People looking for answers come up with a lot of ideas on how to improve next year.
The management team determine that what the Club needs is a new high performance facility: new stadium, new meeting rooms, new computer lab, new medical facilities, a new gym and of course the obligatory new recovery facility.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
This is the Facility Fallacy.