by Ben Jones
WALES Women’s Head Coach, Jayne Ludlow, opened up proceedings at the USW Women and Sport conference and spoke about elite performance.
She talked about how a “valley’s girl” made it to where she is now, what she has done and what she believes elite performance is.
Ludlow is an ex-professional who spent numerous years at Arsenal Ladies. Describing her time there, she said: “[It is] the best club in the world for female football. I enjoyed my time there. I’m really thankful for that opportunity.
“There was no issue with gender [at Arsenal], we were part of the club and were involved with everything we had to be involved with.”
In her Wales role, Ludlow has created a player profile and a set of values, as a constant reminder to her players of what she expects from them.
“Every single player that steps onto that pitch has a job to do so if you don’t want to be the best, then you shouldn’t be on the pitch. I want personalities to come out as it means we have to accept differences.
“You have to understand [values], live them, enjoy them and remember that it’s a lifestyle. If you want to be an elite performer, then you have to treat it as a lifestyle.”
Ludlow closed by discussing female sport and the potential growth that could ensue.
“As females, we are always questioning ourselves. We need to try to flip it as often as we can in our environment.
“The women’s sporting environment is much more interesting for me, because there is so much growth yet to happen.
“We have to educate people on female football. We have to start changing our thought process. We are females, we are different. We still have to fight to get this through to people.”