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What could Breaking Coaches learn from Terry Venables? (Break Dance and Football Thoughts)

Posted on 01 Dec, 2023

On the 25th November 2023 Terry Venables, former England, Spurs and Barcelona manager, died aged 80.

The Guardian says, ‘He possessed one of the sharpest football brains of his generation. His career reached its peak when he guided England to the semi-finals of the European championships on home ground in the summer of 1996, losing to Germany on penalties

During November the world reflected on his achievements and said goodbye to a legendary sports person, this allowed us to do some research and explore how Breaking / Break Dancing coaches can draw valuable insights from Terry Venables’ approach to football coaching, applying these principles to their discipline.

Breaking / Break Dancing at St Helens Town Hall

Here’s what Breaking / Break Dancing could learn:

Tactical Flexibility and Creativity: Just as Venables was known for his tactical acumen in football, Breaking / Break Dancing coaches can benefit from being creatively flexible. Tailoring routines/movements to the strengths of their bboys/bgirls/breakers and being open to innovative styles and moves can set their team apart.

Effective Communication: Venables excelled in communicating his vision and strategies to his team. For Breaking / Break Dancing coaches, clear and effective communication is key to ensuring athletes understand the competition ahead and the expectations placed upon them.

Building Team Morale: Venables’ ability to build and maintain high team morale is essential in any team-based activity. A Breaking / Break Dancing coach should focus on fostering a positive, supportive environment where individuals or teams feel valued and motivated.

Individual Attention and Development: Recognising and nurturing the unique talents and needs of each Breaker is crucial. Venables was known for his focus on individual player development, which in the context of Breaking / Break Dancing, translates to personalising training to improve each Breakers skills and confidence.

Discipline and Professionalism: Venables upheld a high standard of discipline and professionalism. A coach should similarly maintain professional standards in training, performance, and conduct, setting a good example for the team.

Strategic Planning: Just as Venables planned meticulously for matches, Breaking coaches should plan their training sessions, competitions, and performances with attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of the Breaking set is well-practiced and polished.

Handling Pressure and Setbacks: Venables’ career saw him handle intense pressure and setbacks gracefully. Coaches in Breaking should similarly be equipped to handle the pressures of competition and the challenges that come with training a diverse group of athletic Breakers.

By incorporating these lessons from Terry Venables’ coaching career, Breaking coaches can enhance their training methodology, team management, and overall approach to coaching, thereby potentially achieving greater success in their field of competitive Breaking, whether this is grass roots competitions, Red Bull BC One, Freestyle Session or the 2024 Olympic Games.