How can the success of the British Cycling team at the Olympics help my woodcarving?

The Velodrome at the Olympic Park
The beautiful Velodrome at the Olympic Park

Sitting watching the BBC Breakfast Olympic coverage the other morning I was not expecting to get a lesson in business over my bowl of porridge, least of all from David Brailsford Performance Director of British Cycling and General Manager of Team Sky.

As he was being interviewed in the Olympic Velodrome he was asked how he made the British Cycling team so very successful, not only at the Olympics but also at the Tour de France.

It was his answers that made me prick up my ears and gave me that, as Gru would say, ‘Liiight Buulb’ moment (yes I have just seen Despicable Me the other night!).

Don’t get me wrong he didn’t say anything I haven’t heard or read before, it’s just that finally it has sunk in. Its funny how the same thing said in a slightly different way or context can really make it hit home. Or is it just I am finally ready to hear it?

He said that what they did was they figured out what it was they wanted to achieve, what they wanted to win and when the race would be i.e. gave themselves a date to aim for. They then looked at where they were today and made a plan to get from now to then and implemented it.

He also pointed out that its not a case of making massive changes across the board but breaking down the whole and making small changes of maybe 1% on each bit. Then when you put all the pieces back together you have got a massive increase.

The most interesting thing he said is that you can’t aim to achieve loads of things, you have to pick one thing/event to aim for and focus on that.

If you think about it what he is saying is spot on and is a technique that, I think, will apply itself to more or less everything from sport to business.

In a nutshell decide what you want, when you want to get there by, focus on that and don’t try to split yourself across lots of things, make a plan and follow it.

Sounds simple enough eh?

Is this something that you could use? I’d love to know what you think.

As for me, I’m off now to work out my plan as who am I to argue with someone so successful?

First things first though……. I need to decide what I want….. Watch this space…..








Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Catherine

    I know just what you mean by being ready to listen – hope you figure out what it is your aiming for – sometimes that’s the hardest part. x

    1. Jutta

      Thanks Catherine 🙂

      My biggest problem is being over inspired and not wanting to let things go in favour of sticking with one, if that makes any sense.

      I’ll work it out eventually 🙂


Comments are closed.