The House of Lancaster - Notes

2011 World Cup culture was awful. RPA report ‘Senior players behaving like they were owed something and leading drinking games. There was also an alarming culture where it was not cool to train hard. The team identity is in ruins concluded the RPa report. Johnson resigned

Environment shapes behaviour. Lancaster comes from a Cumbrian Farm

Kevin Sinfield England Rubgy Leauge ‘what are you doing when nobody is watching’?

SL wrote to parents and asked them to write what it meant for their son to be playing for England – helped ground the culture in strong values

Bold D-M, named 8 uncapped players in 2012 Calcutta cup match

When Woodward took over in 97 they lost first 5 games Johnson lost 5 of first 7, Ashton 6 of first 10. Lancaster won 4 out of fist 5.

Level 5 coaching wide range of influences, conductors, management gurus, Ashridge business school, military model of ‘pop up leadership’? doctrine of post engagement adapatability

Lancaster coaching philosophy

  1. Create a culture in which players feel valued
  2. Develop players to think of the good of the team not the individual but trust coach to balance team and individual needs
  3. Focus on performance not result
  4. Empower players to take responsibility for own and team development
  5. Educate players to understand coach’s thinking and their personal impact on team
  6. Over the season balance of coach and player led sessions
  7. No ego culture
  8. Players coached to give off positive not negative energy
  9. Players where possible consulted on team strategy
  10. Encouraged not to humiliate opponents and to appear gracious in defeat
  11. Challenging working environment to create mentally strong individuals and a collective team
  12. Be honest without being naïve
  13. Consistency in approach don’t let standards slip through the season or allow complacency
  14. Were all in in it together mutual accountability

That’s not good enough became I expect you to do better – emphasis on improvement not blaming

UCLA Bruins coach John Wooden 7 consecutive US collegiate titles late 60 and early 70s

Bill Walsh score takes care of itself. Head coach of 49ers 79-89 took the worst team in the league to 3 super bowl titles and a legacy of a team who went on to win 2 more in the 6 yrs after he left.

“Champions behave like champions before they are champions” – Walsh

SL pyramid model

Player leadership


Behaviour and standards

Higher purpose



Matt Parker – comprehensive strategic plan to get to world cup. Worked in swimming, squash and athletics before making his name in cycling. Ran the performance team aim to be world class with ambition to be world leading so players have everything in the tool box to perform

V rare to make big gains eg Fosbury flop McClaren and F duct in formula 1 (drive controlled system which altered the airflow and dramatically reduced drag to gain a speed advantage down the straight. At top level mostly about attention to improving detail

Emotional swings had big impact on performance

Bradley Wiggins spoke to the team v.inspirational made them understand what it actually takes to be the best –hard work

Woodward visited Denver Broncos and took back ideas of backroom teams and specialist coaches

All Blacks. A leadership programme developed by Gilbert Enoka – mental skills coach, (former volleyball player turned PE teacher and now described by Steve Hanson as the glue that holds the All Blacks together) designed to encourage self reliance, self belief and mental toughness more mentorship within the team and player leader groups

All blacks the most dominant team in the history of the world

Wayne Smith All black player and coach – Spartans always looking for the opposite of fear so they could develop their warriors. They found it wasn’t courage or bravery – it was love. Therefore work really hard on connections and relationships. Love conquers all SL believes this is worth 15% in performance

Have to be intrinsically not extrinsically motivated

SL graph plotting y behaviour and x motivation

Kill zone the intensity at which we play to physically and emotionally break down the opposition

Bill Beswick, from good to great is the hardest move the last 10%. Lots of coaches can make good teams very few can make them great

Search for authentic leaders hardest part of SL tenure

Tom Brady New England quarter back hall of fame. No 199 in the draft, ie nobody wants you

Ben Youngs, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell Joe marler Billy Twelvetrees all seving premier ship captains.

All blacks 60 per cent player led 40 per cent coaches SL England other way around