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OU on the BBC: The Managers

Updated Tuesday 6th May 2014

What makes a top sports coach? In this new series, we meet six of the world's elite coaches to find out what inspired them to inspire others.

The Managers is a new series on the BBC World Service, produced in partnership with The Open University. It hears from a group of leading sports coaches who talk about the methods, motivations and inspirations they draw from to get the most out of the teams and the individuals they train.

Ed Harry, Jane Garvey and Peter Bowes interview six elite managers who have all excelled in their sport amassing hundreds of caps, goals and championships between them, including Olympic medals and Super Bowl rings. The presenters discover the tactics they use to bring the best out of the sporting elite and what influences set them apart from each other.

Sports coaches, whistle, chalk Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Michael Flippo |

Highlights from the upcoming series:

  • Tennis manager Sven Groeneveld who’s reached the very top – steering his players to the biggest prize in tennis, the Grand Slam, explains that his experience has helped him become a coaching great.
  • Football coach Pia Sundhage talks about her experiences both on and off the pitch - how you do not need to necessarily like any of your players to coach them successfully.
  • Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh explains how he learned several skills and tactics from his father, which saw him coaching the Ravens to the 2013 Super Bowl – eventually defeating the San Francisco 49’s team led by his brother, Jim.
  • As the countdown to the World Cup begins, Jurgen Klinsmann – a former winner of the famous trophy in 1990 and now coaches the United States’ national team - recalls his career playing under great coaches such as Franz Beckenbauer and Arsène Wenger.
  • Teri McKeever speaks about how she grew up as one of 10 children who had to take care of her younger siblings. Teri explains that despite the household chores she trained to become a brilliant swimmer and then an even better manager, coaching the US Women’s Olympic team to eight Gold medals in London 2012. 
  • To mark the start of the World Cup, the final programme features Steve Keshi, a manager of one of the tournament’s outsiders, Nigeria, who explains some of the hardships about coaching his native national team.

From 10 May 2014, you can listen to The Managers at 18:06 GMT on Saturday on BBC World Service. Visit the BBC website for more information about the programme. Find out more about the topics covered in the series and take your learning journey further with OpenLearn.


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