21 Jul 2011

Mind the language, make the bed and win gold

1:08 pm on 21 July 2011

Athletes who avoid bad language, keep their bedrooms tidy and steer clear of controversy on Twitter will be sowing the seeds of Olympic success next year.

That's the view of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward.

Now the British Olympic Association's director of sport and Team GB deputy chef de mission, Woodward and team leaders have drawn up a 15-point plan, a set of 'bare minimum standards', that every member of Britain's 1,300-strong delegation - not just the 550 athletes - will be expected to adhere to as 'One Team GB'.

Woodward says he knows from his rugby experience that if you get the details right the rest will follow and that now, with one year to go to London 2012, is the time to start work on forging that essential team spirit.

Everything boils down to five key words: performance, responsibility, unity, pride and respect. Each, in turn, has three sub-definitions which add flesh on the bones of the structure.

For example, under 'responsibility' comes 'Accommodation; Keeping your accommodation clean and tidy'.