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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Team Sky tell us how it should be done

There was an absolutely brilliant interview on the Tour de France coverage with David Brailsford, the Sky boss, today.  They talked about the mess that saw Chris Froome in a cycling race running up a mountain after three of them had crashed into the back of a motorbike that suddenly stopped in the road right in front of them while surrounded on both sides by big crowds..

He said Sky had done an awful lot of work on disciplining themselves not to make emotional decisions and that when things happen, when the goalposts move, make decisions without emotion.

That is so so important, someone who rants and raves, while it may look good for the crowd, isn't doing the best for their team. A team playing have to be cool, calm, collected under pressure and they need to see that calmness on the sideline. There will always be times for a rant, to gee someone up or to get a message out, but being analytical allows solutions to problems to be allowed.

You can not expect your players to be calm and handle pressure if you can't handle it yourself, your team take their lead from you so you need as a coach to display calmness so they remain focussed on their role within the task and keep searching for that one opening that makes the difference.

I go back to Aston Villa a couple of years back when we were useless quite frankly and Ryan Mason got Christian Benteke sent off. He knew exactly what he was doing I;m sure, he hadn't lost his temper. It was a tactic I used as a bowler, I'd rant and rave and give the batsmen I had lost my rag so he'd expect me to fire one down as fast as I could and probably short, when in fact I was totally in control and knew exactly what ball I'd be bowling next while still ranting.

All this talk of changing everything if Plan A isn't working is nonsense, you have to believe in what you are doing, you have to have faith in yourself, your teammates and your system. The longer a game goes on the more fatigue the opposition feel and thus there is more likelihood of a mistake, you have to be alert and totally focussed for that and that is easier if you are playing a role in a system you know, rather than changing to a system you don't know as well and don't practice.


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