Insights into coaching from fashion editors

This photograph, from the New York Times in 2012, sent me off thinking about what coaches might learn from fashion editors at Vogue magazine.

The picture, taken by Annie Leibovitz, was part of Vogue’s 120th anniversary issue celebrations and brought together past and current editors.

In the New York Times article, Eric Wilson writes about a documentary, In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye, that “takes a look at some of the world’s most influential fashion images as conceived by the magazine’s iconic fashion editors”.

I was struck by his observation:

No one said working at Vogue was going to be a walk in the park, but this show makes the job look as if it should come with hazard pay.

Apart from the hazard suggestion, what struck me about the Vogue editors was their eye for a visual aesthetic and their confidence in composition. I take this to be the essence of coaching too.

Anna Wintour’s first cover as editor in November 1988 is a great example of innovation.

What none of us expected was to run that picture on the cover, least of all the magazine’s printers, who called up and asked with some consternation, “Has there been a mistake?”

She added:

I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change. And you can’t ask for more from a cover image than that.

After following up on the story behind the 2012 picture, it struck me that coaches’ continuing learning might be stimulated by going to a fashion house rather than another sporting organisation.

I think In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye might prove to be an excellent pre-coaching course resource to stimulate conversations about and reflections on the coach’s eye.

There is a discussion to be had about the courage of one’s convictions too.

Photo Credit

What do you mean ‘cut’? (Annie Leibovitz, New York Times)

Jenny Cann

I was reading Ben Mayhew’s explanations of his data visualisations on his blog site Experimental 3-6-1.

I came across his modification of Jenny Cann’s table idea. Ben’s description of his visual Cann tables is:

The main feature of the original Cann table is to space the clubs out in proportion to how many points they’ve won, making it easier to see where (and how big) the gaps between teams are.

I’ve taken this idea a step further and arranged teams based on what their final points total would be if they continued to earn them at the same rate …

I really enjoy Ben’s visualisations but I had not looked closely at Cann tables until Ben’s explanation. Nor had I any knowledge of Jenny Cann.

It has been difficult to find out much about Jenny. But my interest in the biographical background of analysts prompted me to learn more. The timeline I have uncovered is:

Jenny maintained a blog site from 1998 to 2003. It was called The Clock End.

Jenny died in 2003. The traces I found  of her were:

Mark Pitt (2004):

Jenny Cann used to maintain this interesting variation on the Premier League table. Her tragic death near the end of the 2002/3 season left the last table with 3 matches to play …

Jenny is mentioned in a tribute to Steve Gleiber (2005). Jenny is referred to as ‘Kampo’ by Kevin Lovegrove.

A Zach Slaton post (2012) (used as the reference on the Wikipedia page) refers to Jenny’s league tables.

Penguin (2013) noted:

In the late 1990s Jenny Cann used to publish a ‘visual’ premier league table showing the spaces between the teams via points rather than position to show the distances between teams. After her death … this became known as the Cann Table.

Brian Dawes (2014)

Jenny was a lovely lady and a serious Arsenal fan who died before her time. Quite rightly she felt that by showing the actual gap between all the teams the actual state of the league could be better conveyed. And she was absolutely right.

There is a Wikipedia page about Cann tables. It was first published in 2014.

By good fortune after I had compiled this timeline, I followed a link on a Danish blog site (Superstats) and discovered a link to a web archive of Jenny’s blog.

This is, I think, Jenny’s first visual league table posted on 10 January 1998:

This , I think, is the last visual table, in the web archive.

There is an archived picture there too:

I am delighted I have been able to find traces of Jenny. This blog post is my first use of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, an open source initiative that aims to provide mobile optimised content that can load instantly everywhere. Hopefully it will help introduce new readers to Jenny.

Photo Credits

The Arsenal Clock

The Clock End (Chris Parry)


I have found a reference to a Jennifer Carol Cann who was born in 1962 and died in May 2003. If this is Jenny she is described as a civil servant.

Using Flourish

Yesterday, I saw this tweet from Mara Averick.

I thought I would investigate and try out the Flourish visualisation platform with some data from the English Premier League.

I have looked at the momentum each of the nine teams who have changed their manager during the 2017-2018 season. I have a very basic measure of momentum based upon results (1 for a win, 0 for a draw, -1 for a defeat).

The visualisation can be found at:

Mara very kindly made a gif to overcome some issues in sharing the visualisation address on Twitter.