- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Winning! Paperback – 6 Jun 2005
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Clive Woodward was at the helm when English rugby union triumphantly heaved itself from the boozy, pot-bellied mire of amateurism to the top of the professional game at the 2003 World Cup in Australia. And in Winning he makes a robust, cogent and at times brilliant argument for taking the lion's share of the credit. As sports autobiographies go this is an extraordinary book, part personal memoir and part historical revision, of course - Woodward is not backward in correcting his critics or laying bare the politics that shroud top-level sports managers. But what sets it apart is that the former England coach presents a detailed analysis of the man-management and coaching theories that underpinned the success, in what is effectively a case study in winning. To this end there is an abundance of diagrams, flow charts and 'key rules' which at first glance will have a worryingly familiar look to anyone who's ever sat through a motivational business seminar. They formed the day-to-day intellectual touchstones that were the foundation of the Woodward era, covering the 75 matches between November 1997 and that famous victory in the Telstra Stadium. And in a sporting turn-up akin to Jonny Wilkinson's last-ditch drop-goal that felled the Aussies in Sidney, Woodward takes these unpromising raw ingredients and delivers a genuinely engrossing read: a how-to manual for aspiring coaches and an unique insight for fans. The tone is occasionally bombastic - whatever the veracity of their substance, one or two of the recounted conversations ring about as true as an episode of Acorn Antiques, but somehow it doesn't get in the way. Midway through the book, there's a rather peculiar "Author's note about confidentiality" in which Woodward claims that he will never: "show any player or member of the management in any sort of bad light". Not fashionable and frankly not much fun, but arguably entirely in keeping with the Winning philosophy . And you can't argue with results, can you?--Alex Hankin --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
His first day in the job of England coach is superbly described, and thereafter he is forever going the extra yard to make his team great. (The Sunday Times)
There is much more to the man than single-minded determination. (Sunday Telegraph)
To the hardened rugby fan, it is incisive and required reading. To anyone involved in sports coaching or administration, regardless of the sport or level of competition, 'Winning!' is essential reading. (Yorkshire Post)
Very different to pretty much any sporting autobiography on the market... Fascinating. (Daily Express)
Entertaining and informative. (The Sun)
The best feature of the book is that the essential Woodward comes through so strongly. (The Sunday Times sports books of the year)
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There is such a lot of material here that interest never wanes. I enjoyed the description of Woodward's early life and he doesn't pull his shots when it comes to the horrors of being denied football (his first love) whilst attending boarding school. He comes across as a much more likeable, humorous and maverick character than I had supposed.
Overall it's well-written and clearly structured. Woodward doesn't mind poking fun at himself and his very English love of tea, golf and Radio 4. A few dozen well-chosen colour photos add interest and stir memories of the historic victory.
There are some jarring notes. Woodward repeats a couple of phrases to the point of tedium: "He is on record as saying..." certainly got on my nerves and he devotes a whole page to a stilted poem sent in by a fan. Also some of the organisational charts he uses to illustrate his management thinking are a bit simple-minded to say the least.
Overall though this was an inspirational and entertaining read. Die-hard rugby fans may not learn much that's new to them but I'd go as far as saying it's about the best sports book I've read since It's Not about the Bike.
For me, the former is good but the latter is excellent. If you lead a team, or hope to lead a team then this offers many examples of how you might want to motivate and inspire them. The guy is hugely motivated and driven to the point where no detail is too small. There are examples from other management gurus of techniques that are relevant, and examples of where difficult ideas have worked with a team of rugby players. Some of the change management stories are great.
In short, I loved it. I hope his influence stays with the team, and I pity whoever stands in his way next.
I would say, Yes, and you can actually begin to see why his approach worked with England and not with the Lions.
The basic thesis is that English rugby for decades could not think 'outside the box' and, with his business background, Woodward helped them to do this. That, combined with a relentlesss commitment to innovation, means that England were given every chance of winning the 2003 World Cup.
It's written for the cross-over business/ sports market, but is pretty accessible even if you have little interest in the other of these two areas. As a result, there's less player assessment than a rugby fan might hope for (though, reading between the lines, there are a few titbits: Woodward feels Phil de Glanville and maybe even Jeremy Guscott (hard to be sure on this), for example, held back the team.)
What's impressive about Woodward is his drive to try any route (eye coaching, training with the marines, redecorating the changing rooms) to give England the edge and his commitment to innovating, rather than just simply copying what the All Blacks were doing. A good example is changing shirts at half-time. It's still, let's face it, a pretty wacky idea, but it not only worked, but has been copied across the world.
He is also prepared to rethink the whole sport: instead of 'backs' and 'forwards', the game should be divided into 'attack' and 'defence'. And why not get a specialist kicking coach?
It's obvious now, but it wasn't before Woodward. And I would be very interested to see how he gets on in football (which he reveals is his first and true love). I feel certain he would get a specialist 'heading' coach, a 'taking penalties' coach, a 'corners' coach etc. And, frankly, I bet football teams would benefit as a result. Football's got all this money: why on earth aren't they doing this kind of coaching?
The key thing is, his approach takes time, so it will work in a football club, but not with an international team, unless they change the structure of the game.
It's noteworthy how much England cricket has learnt from the way Woodward structured the rugby team, and we seem to be getting the benefits of that now.
Woodward is far from perfect. He's a bit zealous in proclaiming the usefulness of some of his odder innovations, but at least he tries things out. And he was a crucial part in getting England to win the World Cup in 2003.
A very good book, that has made me think about what I could do consistently to improve my own performance at work, as well as leaving me with the warm glow of reliving the World Cup triumph.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews