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James Willstrop on having faith with a coach

Fascinating article by James Willstrop in the Yorkshire Evening Post:









By James Willstrop

Published on Tuesday 17 January 2012

It seems that the 21st century is a bad time for coaches of elite sport. They are the most hard done by of all in professional sporting circles, not least because of the fact that few of those around them seem to have much faith.

In many cases, the coaches are the ones who carry the burden or take the blame, when they often don’t have the tools to achieve success in the first place.

Football is the sport which makes a mockery of coaching. If there is even a slight run of poor form from a team then the coach is instantly put under pressure from fans, board members and owners.

The most recent example is Neil Warnock’s departure from Queens Park Rangers. After a run of average results, as newcomers to what is deemed the hottest football league in the world, it seems that the club didn’t for a moment consider standing by their man and thought nothing of that word loyalty.

They had soon forgotten the very decent record Warnock had with the club previously in securing their place in the Premiership. He was duly sacked.

In view of the facts it seems harsh and it may well prove to be a bad decision.

Tennis players have more coaches than hot dinners. Andy Murray has just employed the great Ivan Lendl as his latest and you might say that the Brit is panicking, constantly looking for the magic spell that will elevate him to the very top of the sport.

Perhaps this constant flittering from one coach to the next is counterproductive. Maybe I’m unjustified in saying so but perhaps he should regard the work he has already done as successful and his consistency as very positive.

if Murray sticks with what he knows and has faith in himself and his support team, while learning as much as he can along the way, then one day his time will come.

If I sacked my coach after every period of poor form that I have had over the years then there would simply be no coaches left. Instead I have always had great faith in those working with me and the work that I have been doing, knowing that reaching the top can take years and years of dedication, perseverance and repetition.

Maybe certain athletes or teams could have a little more confidence and patience in their coaches, and take more of the blame on their shoulders.

There is no such thing as a quick fix. Success comes through years of working within a stable framework, not one which is forever changing.

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