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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Steve Black - Motivation - THE English F.A.

An ability to cultivate strong relationships and connections between people is central to the coaching process, according to Steve Black, Jonny Wilkinson’s personal coach and mentor for the past 17 years

Speaking exclusively to The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club, the former Newcastle Falcons and Wales Rugby Union coach believes that “relationships are everything” and are the main ingredient needed for any coach to become truly world class.

“You have got to be able to form good relationships with people,” he explains.

“It’s important that you have good intentions and care for people, that they know you are there for them and not there just for yourself or there just to get accolades for yourself. You are there for the players and the team.

“If someone likes you they will listen to you. If they don’t like you, they won’t listen to you. You could be a brilliant coach from a technical standpoint, but if you are not likeable, people won’t listen to you and they won’t get it.”

Black himself is instantly likeable: personable, engaging and enthusiastic. He takes an interest in others; makes you feel important.

However, it is not just through being likable that you compile the kind of code-crossing coaching CV held by Black.

Although he is multi-lingual, when talking techniques, tactics and trends of both football and rugby almost every question on coaching methods and approaches returns to the importance of relating to people.

“You have got to be able to learn the game and you have got to cultivate relationships. They are the two things. With those two things you can go as far as you want.”

The strength of Black’s belief in the value of relationships can be traced to the near two decade long association he has enjoyed with England Rugby star, Jonny Wilkinson.

Their connection has endured through 91 England caps, two British and Irish Lion tours and, most famously, the drop goal which won England the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

And their closeness has led to the development of their own sub-culture, one in which Wilkinson’s unwavering focus and appetite for self-improvement is allowed to flourish.

He said: “He continues to be the most dedicated sportsman I have ever met. In his chosen activity, he is as dedicated a person I have ever met in any activity; whether that is in business or any other industry. He absolutely does the right things

“His standards are sky high. He has got his own sub culture. We talk about how he should behave, why he should behave that way; what quality he expects out of life, what interactions he is having, what results he is expecting and how the overall sub culture and how adhering to it will help him get there.”
The FA Licensed Coach Club
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