Many people aspire to leading high performance sporting teams, organisations and national sporting bodies. However, most are unprepared for the real challenges of leadership – particularly of leading effectively in an environment of pressure, stress and high public expectations.
The Accountability Myth – Why the current Leadership models in High Performance Sport are failing (badly).
Time to be honest about this whole Leadership concept in high performance sport – it is not working.
It’s not working because of the Accountability Myth: The Accountability Myth is the reason why the current Leadership models in High Performance Sport are failing (badly).
Positive Drug Tests in sport.
What sort of idiot trains hard for months or even years then:
- Takes performance enhancing or social drugs before, during or after competition?
- Takes performance enhancing or social drugs at any time?
That’s just it: they are idiots. Well most of them are anyway. Some are misguided. Some are lazy. Some just made a genuine mistake.
Positive Drug Tests in Sport: 6 Types of Drug Cheats and How to Recognise them.
Write down your own list of the top ten skills of quality coaching. What does it look like? Something like this?
- Communication skills;
- Empathy with athletes;
- The ability to engage with athletes and inspire athletes to fully engage with the program;
- Technical knowledge;
- An understanding of the relevant principles of sports science and sports medicine;
- Curiosity (which inspires a passion for learning);
- A commitment to continuous improvement and accelerated learning.
You could add hundreds of skills to this list: experience, drive, initiative, the will to win, attention to detail, commitment, vision, determination, a strong work ethic…………there are as many desirable coaching skills as there are coaches.
But, in this century, there is one coaching skill to rule them all – creativity: creative coaching.
The question is…...can you teach coaches to be creative?
I am getting so sick of people talking about high performance environments, about following a process, about systems, about structures, about programs, about initiatives, about workshops and about strategies.
The name of the game is Winning – oops – there I said it.
Winning. Winning. Winning. There, I said it again.
That felt great. I’ll say it some more. Winning. Winning. Winning. Winning.
That felt so good I’ll do it again. Winning!! Winning!!!! Winning!!!!!
The W Word: Winning.
Having visited more than 30 countries in four continents in the past few years and spent time with sports leaders, coaches, athletes, sponsors, sports scientists, sports academics, sports medicine practitioners, sports administrators, government funding agencies and other sports professionals in many of the world’s leading sports systems,five world wide trends in society
(and by extension in sport) have become very clear and are screaming so loud that they can no longer be ignored.
Ignore them at your peril.
“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”
Do you remember the moment when you were a teenager and Dad or Mom told you to “save money and think about your future”?
You didn’t listen did you.
And remember the moment when you were 18 and some relative told you to “work hard and make something of yourself”?
Ignored them didn’t you.
Life is full of these moments when people, with all good intentions, give you some advice which they think will inspire you to change your life and become all you can be.
And how many times have you told an athlete “make the most of every training session and make the most of your opportunities”?
And they didn’t listen.
So, what makes people listen to the right advice? How do you engage and inspire the hearts and minds of athletes and have them grasp every session, every minute, every moment as if it was their last?
The Magic Moment: When a Coach makes a Difference.
Remember how when we were kids everyone liked to eat cupcakes.
Then when we got older and a bit more health conscious we were told to give them up because of the sugar and flour and other stuff in them.
Then along comes a sports nutritionist who said “Muffins are a great food for athletes – nutritious, high carbohydrate energy foods”. So we all started eating them again even though they are basically still just big cupcakes.
What a big con.
Almost as big a con as Training Studies in Sports Science Research.
We all agree that developing mental skills is an essential part of being a successful athlete.
The ability to perform under pressure, the capacity to remain confident and resilient when competition conditions get tough, the skill to be able to relax and stay focused when feeling pain and fatigue in competition, concentration, visualization……coaches and athletes are unanimous that spending time developing mental skills is time well spent.
However, figuring out the best way to develop mental skills – particularly mental skills which can directly enhance the competition performance of athletes is another matter.
We all think working with a Sports Psychologist is a good idea but Sports Psychologists are like life partners……we know that having one is probably a good idea but it is next to impossible to find a good one.
I have been lucky to be involved in high performance sport for the best part of 20 years.
I have been very very fortunate to work with Olympic Gold Medalists, World Champions, World Record Holders, Premiership Title Winners, World Cup Winners…champion athletes, teams and coaches in many different sports and in several different countries.
Quite often, when I do professional speaking or training with corporate or sporting groups, someone in the audience will ask, “What do all the winners have in common” or “From your experience, what things do all the great athletes, teams and coaches do that makes them the best”.
There are indeed some things all the great ones have in common: The Top 20 Tips on Being the Best: 20 years of experience in 500 words!
As the new decade starts, it is time to face the realities of the sports experience around the world.
The last decade, saw the most significant changes in society, in learning, in education, in technology and in social change that the world has experienced.
And, in general, sport has not kept pace with the extent or speed of the changes.
New Sport: Old Sport. The Decade of Client Focused Sport is Here.
There is a tribe in the highlands of Papua New Guinea who have never seen modern technology, who could not even imagine using the latest electronic tools, who can not comprehend western society concepts of computing, social media, high speed Internet links, laser technology or satellite navigation.
This tribe, believes that the best way – the only way – the way everyone must adopt to cut down a tree is to make an axe by lashing a sharp rock to a piece of wood. This knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries….this tribe knows for certain that the only way to cut down a tree is to use a hand made stone ax.
And then, one day, through the forest, comes a man from the USA carrying a chain saw…….