'AS A new coach trying to make a name for myself, I have been fascinated by the work being done by Clive Woodward with the England rugby union team in the World Cup in Australia.
I have been particularly impressed by his single-mindedness and the relentless pursuit of his vision to make England the best in the world. He has had setbacks since taking over the job, but he has never deviated from his goal.
You couldn't help noticing the way the England players reacted to the final whistle in their semi-final against France. They had reached the final but there was no obvious elation. The message was 'we have won a game but there is still work to be done.' That response clearly came from the way they have been coached and prepared for this championship.
Compare that to the way the Australians did a lap of honour after beating New Zealand. It makes me think that, psychologically, they had already had their cup final.
I share Woodward's philosophy that you have to begin a job with an end in mind. At TCS Chester Jets, we have set our stall out to win trophies. Yes, we lost a couple of games early on, but we have never altered our focus and now we are second in the BBL Championship and last Friday inflicted a first defeat on leaders Sheffield Sharks in our defence of the BBL Trophy.
I am often asked how much coaching is about the technicalities of the sport as opposed to the psychological issues. I think it depends on the level you are coaching. My nine-year-old son loves the game and would run all day long. Clearly, he needs work on the technical side of the game.
But at the other end of the scale, I think dealing with seasoned professionals is more about manmanagement and keeping them happy.
When I came into coaching, particularly this season as head coach with the Jets, I was aware that I was dealing with top pros, while having no playing experience at that level. Potentially, that could be a problem.
But I would never have gone into the job without having someone like Mike Burton alongside me. If Mike hadn't been available, I would have found someone else. As it happens, I also have players like James Hamilton and John McCord from whom I can seek advice. I ask questions all the time and never make assumptions.
If you are ever tempted to get carried away with any success, there is always something to bring you down to earth, such as the sacking from Leicester Riders this week of their coach Billy Mims. It could happen to any of us.
In fact, it is quite unusual in the BBL for a coach to be dismissed, but this season's results at Leicester made it almost inevitable. Billy is a nice guy with a family and I was sorry to hear about his departure from the Riders.
We play them in the BBL Trophy tomorrow and we will have to be especially wary. A change in coach could give them a big boost, or at least bring the players closer in adversity.
I don't believe they are as bad as their record suggests and even if Billy was still there, I would still be treating them with the greatest respect. I am expecting a tough game and we will need to be at our best to win.'