Football used as model of best practice in training sessions


source of inspiration or an own goal?

Where do you turn for fresh ideas to either pep-up a training session or dissect as a model of best practice? A trend which seems to be accelerating this summer is sport.

World Cup fever will have waned as you read this, but attention will no doubt be focus-sed on Wimbledon or the impending Common-wealth Games, and sporting metaphors will continue to resonate throughout our working lives.

On page 37, we attempt to kick-off (all puns intended) a debate on the extent to which these analogies are useful. We felt prompted to do this because an element of danger lies ahead – with the current upsurge of interest in coaching, there is a strong temptation to blur the boundaries between business and sports coaches. But they do need to be kept separate, particularly if the traditional view of a coach who yells from the touchline rears its head.

Coaching in a business setting is more likely to succeed if the coach is metaphorically jogging alongside, issuing words of encouragement. But what do you think? I am interested to know your thoughts. Ian Lawson, training director of Lyreco, tells me that he favours rowing imagery drawn from the Oxford/Cambridge boat race because those races imply “not just passion and energy but also planning and co-ordination”.

As this is the last issue until September, we are indulging in a light-hearted competition and inviting you to e-mail your top five motivational phrases or images, or those five sporting phrases which you think are a definite turn-off in the workplace. Send them by 2 August to the e-mail address below. We will publish the best and award the most champion effort with a bottle of bubbly.

Stephanie Sparrow, Editor

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