Reflections from a World Champion: an interview with Sir Clive Woodward, Director of Olympic Performance, the British Olympic Association

Sarah Lee, Daniel J. Shaw, Gavin Chesterfield, Clive Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article


The crown of World Champion is one that very few people are ever able to claim, and it rightly takes the mantel of being the highest sporting accolade. All professional sports people strive for that one moment when all of the hard work, grit and determination pay off and the right decisions are made under the most intense and pressurised conditions. As such, much merit can be gained from drawing on the experiences of sports highest achievers. Equally important is to understand how this success can be sustained year after year. Indeed, much has been written about the determinants of athletic achievement, but very few look to explain how this culture of success can first be built and second be sustained. Certainly the journey to success is one that is not without setbacks. This somehow makes the feat so much more astounding and highlights the importance of learning from these times of obstruction in order to become stronger. Some challenging questions need to be asked if we are to even start to understand this, such as, ‘how do World Champions do this?’, ‘what are the techniques of a proven Champion?’ and importantly, ‘what does a success culture look like?’
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-310
Number of pages15
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2009


Cite this