Grassroots Coaching

Football Coaching Discipline

England Manager Fabio Capello is a renowned disciplinarian who rules the players with an iron fist. It is his way or the highway. There are of course Managers who have different Managerial styles and it remains to be seen whether Mr. Capello’s style will bring success to England and the best out of the players. But, in the past there is one Manager who stands out as proving a disciplinarian style did in the main work successfully, the infamous Brian Clough.

There is a famous, reputably true story about Brian Clough and his time at Nottingham Forest. Forest had won the European Cup, beating Malmo in the final and Mr. Clough was at the peak of his powers. His word was to be obeyed to the letter by everyone at the club. Well maybe not everyone!!

A young 16 year old apprentice is cleaning the home team dressing room one afternoon. Other apprentices are employed elsewhere, cleaning boots, replacing divots on the pitch, sweeping the terraces; such was the way back in the day.

There is a phone in the home dressing room, it rings, and the young apprentice stops his cleaning and answers it. The familiar, famous voice says, “Young man I want a pot of tea and six cups bought to the boardroom, now”, it commands.

“Sorry”, responds the young man, “I’m busy” and puts the phone down.

The phone immediately rings again. “Young man, I don’t think you understand. Stop what you’re doing and make a pot of tea and bring it up to the board room, with six cups. NOW”

“Sorry”, he says,” I don’t think you understand, I’m busy” and again puts the phone down and returns to his cleaning.

The phone rings for a third time. “Young man” says Brian, slowly and with menace. “Do you know who this is on the phone?”

“Yes” says the young player, “the Manager Mr. Clough. “Do you know who I am” the young man enquires of the greatest and most powerful Manager in England at the time. “No” admits Mr. Clough.

“Well make your own tea then” he says, puts the phone down and runs.

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