MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance

MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
                                                                   AUTUMN 2013

    Ryan Giggs on achieving
    and maintaining excellence
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE EDITORIAL   2   01                                                                     AUTUMN 2013 | 01

                             Cover Story                   Columns                     Around the World
                             14                            32                          04
                             Masterclass                   The Future of Sport         Leaders in
                             Ryan Giggs, Achieving         Dave Hancock,               Performance USA
                             & Maintaining Excellence      New York Knicks
                                                           25                          7 Emerging Talents in the
                                                           It’s All in the Mind        Performance Industry
                             Insights                      John Sullivan
                             20                            42                          The Reading List
                             Failing to Plan is
                                                           If it Ain’t Broke, Fix it   Bob Bowman
                             Planning to Fail
                                                           Rasmus Ankersen
                             Pre-Season                                                30
                             36                            44                          About the P8
                                                           Changing the Game
                             Innovation in Player Injury                               40
                                                           Ben Alamar
                             Regenerative Medicine                                     5 Minutes With
                                                                                       Luke Bodensteiner, USSA
                             Player’s Perspective                                      46
                             Jerry Stackhouse of                                       Databank
                             the Brooklyn Nets                                         Premier League Goals

                             It’s Not Rocket Science       14
                             High Performance
                             at NASA

                             Excellence as Standard
                             The US Olympic

                             Unlocking the Potential
                             Talking Talent
                             with UK Sport

                             Mastering the Situation
                             Enhancing Performance
                             in High Stress Situations
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                  WELCOME                 02   03                                                                                             AUTUMN 2013 | 01

WELCOME                                                                                                      James Worrall


Every aspiring or professional athlete, player or
team, whatever the sport, wherever it’s played, is
constantly striving to improve their performance.
And the complex inter-relationship between talent,
human endeavour, technology, technique and
innovation so fundamental to success means the
journey of continuous improvement is never-ending.

                                                          T   he sports performance community are a
                                                              curious bunch. They travel to all corners of the
                                                              world to understand best practice. They study
                                                          performance in other walks of life and test theories
                                                          and ideas on the training ground day in, day out. Arie
                                                                                                                   It is designed to give an ever-growing industry
                                                                                                                   a regular source of inspiration and a chance to
                                                                                                                   challenge conventional thinking. It delves deep
                                                                                                                   into the best practitioners in sport and takes
                                                                                                                   inspiration from high-performing organisations
                                                          de Geus was right when he said the ability to learn      outside, including the military, business, performing
                                                          faster than the opposition was the only sustainable      arts, healthcare, science and entertainment. It will
                                                          advantage. Sport is living proof of that theory.         try to tell some of those stories with the same
                                                                                                                   commitment to quality that characterises the
                                                          At Leaders in Performance we have seen this              conferences and Leaders in Performance brand.

                                                          gathering of around 150 UK professionals with
                                                          an interest in data to a global multi-disciplinary       for our cover story we’ve aimed high. Top-level
                                                          community of experts from over 40 sports. With           performance over a sustained time period is what
                                                          international conferences in New York and London,        every sportsman and coach is striving for and in
                                                          unique master-classes and P8 forums, articles            Ryan Giggs, we’ve got a great example of how to
                                                          and case studies sent to 20,000 professionals            make that happen. Elsewhere, we have an eclectic
Brought to you by                                         as well as an annual Sports Performance                  mix of subjects and subject matter. Chelsea Warr,
                                                          Awards, the quest for knowledge continues.               Deputy Director of Performance at UK Sport, tells
PUBLISHER                WRITERS
Leaders in Performance   Professor Chris Brady            As we talk to professionals all over the world, we       the NASA scientist who put the Rover on Mars,
                         Dave Hancock
PUBLISHING DIRECTOR                                       continue to uncover fascinating people, creative         talks team-building. We look at the mind, the
                         Mounir Zok
Martin Bjerg                                              ideas, new strategies and revolutionary technologies.    body and the environment – in short, everything
                         EDITORIAL CONSULTANT             Many of these insights have remained hidden              that goes into creating a high performance
                         Jim Souter                       until now and it’s the reason we have decided to         environment. We hope you gain insight, learning
Stephen Dobson
                         PERFORMANCE CONSULTANTS
EDITORS                                                                                                            and, in the spirit of the community, share any
                         Mike Forde
Matthew Thacker                                                                                                    learning with your peers all over the world.
                         Damien Comolli
Ed Davis
                         PHOTOGRAPHIC AGENCY
                         Action Images
James Henderson
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                                                           04   05                                                                   AUTUMN 2013 | 01

Leaders in
Leaders in Performance went travelling in June
with a sell-out international conference hosted
at Bloomberg’s state of the art conference
facility in the heart of New York. 350 elite
coaches, managers, performance directors and
senior executives in sports performance from                                                                                          John Mara
over 30 sports and 25 countries attended,
                                                                                                                                      and Jerry Reese
                                                                                                                                      Owner and GM
with the gathering hailed as an unprecedented                                                                                         of New York Giants
success by speakers and delegates alike.

                                                  Shad Khan
                                                  Owner of Jacksonville

                                                                            Andy Walshe                                                  General John
                                                                            Red Bull
                                                                                                              Peter Grauer               Wissler
                                                                                                              Chairman of Bloomberg      US Marines

                                                                                          David Moyes                                 Amar’e Stoudemire
   Daniel Coyle                                                                           Manager of                                  Jerry Stackhouse
   Author of The Talent Code                                                              Manchester United                           NBA Players
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                       SPORTS PERFORMANCE AWARDS                                                   06   07                                                                                             AUTUMN 2013 | 01

7 EMERGING                                                performance as well as player safety from injury.
                                                          He is highly creative in the methods he employs to
                                                                                                                   Rowing. Paul’s contribution during the ‘Start’
                                                                                                                   Programme to this achievement was fundamental
                                                                                                                                                                           nutrition stations at national championship events for

TALENTS IN THE                                            reach players, using grocery store tours, PowerPoint
                                                          presentations, dining hall table displays, locker
                                                                                                                   and his work with them gave them the basis and
                                                                                                                   inspiration from which they won Olympic Gold.
PERFORMANCE                                               room board displays, and an extensive nutrition                                                                  of service, stability and success, Kendig is quickly

INDUSTRY                                                  manual individualised for each player’s needs.
                                                                                                                   Performance Coach in the GB Rowing Team’s
                                                                                                                   Olympic Programme, a richly deserved appointment
                                                                                                                                                                           Ashley, Chief of Sports Performance, US Olympic
The Nick Broad Award for
Emerging Talent - part of the                             designed customised work-outs and nutrition              Performance Director, GB Rowing Team                    06 | SEBASTIEN BOURDIN
                                                                                                                                                                           Head of Strength and Conditioning, ASM
Sports Performance Awards                                 programmes for our employees and improved
                                                                                                                   04 | STEPHAN DU TOIT                                    Clermont Auvergne Rugby
                                                          Whaley, General Manager, Buffalo Bills                   Strength and Conditioning Trainer, DHL                  Nominated by Neil McIlroy, Manager Sportif/Team
On 17th January 2013, Nick Broad, a highly respected
                                                                                                                   Western Province and Stormers Rugby                     Manager, ASM Clermont Auvergne Rugby and Vern
and talented professional in the sports performance
                                                          02 | MIKE PATTON                                         Nominated by Rassie Erasmus, General Manager,           Cotter, Head Coach, ASM Clermont Auvergne Rugby
world, tragically died in a car accident in Paris.
                                                          Track Cycling Physiologist,                              High Performance Teams, South Africa Rugby              Nominated for Driving sports science
At the time he was working alongside Manager
                                                          Cycling Canada                                           Nominated for Applying match statistics to rugby        initiatives to improve team performance
Carlo Ancelotti at Paris St Germain football club
                                                          Nominated by Andrea Wooles,                              conditioning, and the development of youth
having built his career with Premier League teams                                                                                                                          Sebastien has brought new techniques and practices
                                                          Sport Science and Medicine                               players at Western Province and Stormers Rugby
Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Chelsea.                                                                                                                             from throughout the world to help the team keep
                                                          Manager, Cycling Canada
                                                                                                                   Since 2006 Stephan has been analysing various           a step ahead of other French sides physically over
Nick was an incredibly popular member of the sports       Nominated for Contribution to                            statistics across rugby competitions and one
                                                          Bronze medal at London 2012                                                                                      his nine years at the club. He carefully balances his
performance community and was known for giving                                                                     of his aims is to marry the use of statistics and       schedule between practical time spent with the
                                                          The team were considered a long shot by the              conditioning in rugby. He has contributed to the        playing staff and research and has been the driving
Many have gone on to build their own career in elite      Canadian OC in the two years running up to the           teams’ success by identifying patterns and using        force behind a lot of sports science initiatives such as
performance thanks to Nick. And with the support of       Olympics, but with Mike’s support they went from         insights to improve physical preparation and he         cryotherapy, hypoxic pre-season training, GPS use as
his wife, Paula, and family, we are dedicating an Award                                                            has been instrumental in creating the testing and       well as CPK testing. With his no-nonsense approach,
at the Sports Performance Awards taking place on                                                                   programme prescriptions of Western Province’s           rigour and work ethic, Seb is one of the driving
9 October at Chelsea FC in memory of Nick.                at the Olympics. Mike’s contributions included           U15 and U17 Elite squads. This has seen huge            forces behind the creation of the ‘Clermont Culture’
                                                                                                                   success, measured by the number of players that         where core values are driven home daily by the staff.
                                                          including on-going tracking of training loads and        progress to the Western Province senior team.
recognise the next generation of performance                                                                                                                               07 | RUSSELL MARK
leaders (under 35 years old) and celebrate                of interventions, and world-leading work on pacing                                                               High Performance Consultant,
outstanding contribution to the performance of            modelling and prediction. He is now contributing                                                                 USA Swimming
a team or athlete. Since the nomination process           to the development of the next generation of                                                                     Nominated by Frank Busch,
began, Leaders have received an overwhelming              physiologists as a colleague and a mentor.               Performance Teams, South Africa Rugby                   National Team Director, USA Swimming
response from General Managers, Performance                                                                                                                                Nominated for Assisting with the technical
Directors and Head Coaches from all over                                                                           05 | ALICIA KENDIG                                      advancement of national team athletes
the world, over 75 in total, keen to nominate a                                                                    Sport Dietician, United States                          and coach-athlete preparation
member of their staff for the Award. After careful        Science and Medicine Manager, Cycling Canada             Olympic Committee
examination, the Sports Performance Awards                                                                                                                                 Russell has worked at USA Swimming for over a
                                                                                                                   Nominated by Alan Ashley, Chief of Sports
judges have shortlisted 7 outstanding candidates:         03 | PAUL STANNARD                                       Performance US Olympic Committee
                                                                                                                                                                           decade as a high performance consultant, constantly
                                                          Coach, GB Rowing Team                                                                                            communicating with elite athletes and coaches
                                                                                                                   Nominated for Educating and supporting US
01 | DAN LIBURD                                           Nominated by Sir David Tanner,                           athletes with nutritional services
                                                                                                                                                                           in sharing the most cutting-edge information in
Assistant Strength Coach and Team                                                                                                                                          the sport. He has been part of the staff for three
                                                          Performance Director, GB Rowing Team
Nutrionist, Buffalo Bills                                                                                          Alicia provides nutritional services to strength and    Olympics and multiple World Championships and
                                                          Nominated for An outstanding contribution
                                                          to the performance of UK Women’s Pair,                   power athletes, winter sport teams and endurance        is considered to be one of the best stroke analysts
Nominated by Eric Ciano, Head of Strength
and Conditioning, Buffalo Bills                           Helen Glover and Heather Stanning                        groups in the US. She also plays a key role in          in the world, playing a critical role in assisting
                                                                                                                   educating athletes on the appropriate use of dietary    with the technical advancement of national team
Nominated for Creatively reaching and                     Neither Glover nor Stanning were rowers before
connecting with the players on matters                                                                                                                                     athletes. He has had a direct impact on the success
of nutrition, and affecting the entire                                                                             recovery nutrition plans, and oversees activity and     of many of the top swimmers in the US, including
organisation beyond the player personnel                                                                           testing in the athlete performance lab at the U.S.
                                                          and built their mental strength so they could tackle     Olympic Training Centre. Team USA’s success in
Dan has completely changed the views on nutrition         the high training load required in a demanding           2012-13 illustrates Kendig’s ability to help athletes
and wellness of the entire Buffalo Bills organisation.    endurance sport. Their progress was such that they       achieve performance goals and her innovation and        community for his contributions to Team
He works endless hours educating players on                                                                        expertise led to the implementation of recovery
proper nutrition and the effects it can have on                                                                                                                            National Team Director, USA Swimming
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                      FEATURE                                                                     08   09                                                                                            AUTUMN 2013 | 01

                             It’s Not Rocket
    Adam Steltzner

NASA engineer Adam Steltzner tells Chris Brady about
building a team for a space mission and why you
don’t need to be good at everything…

   n 1947 Norbert Wiener, one of the 20th             surface of Mars using the Sky Crane, team leader
   century’s greatest mathematicians, published
   a book called Cybernetics: or Control and
Communication in the Animal and the Machine.
It was Wiener who coined the term cybernetics,        structure, not very hierarchical. I invite people
based on the Greek kubernetes (the pilot or           to cross the boundaries of their intellectual and
                                                      practical territories and delve into the boundaries         the mission, there were nine years of hard work          he says, is to delegate the more managerial aspects
term kubernetike (the art of the steersman).          of others. To get cross pollination of ideas and to                                                                  of the job to others who are more suited to the

In the introduction to his book, Wiener describes                                                                 The journey began with the selection of the team.        better planners, better at making sure that we’re
how, through a series of regular meetings, ideas      That big table is made up of some 40 people, with                                                                    executing on each of the details of the overall
were formed and tested by experts from a variety      a core strategic group of around 20. To put this                                                                     plan. I focus my attention on being intermittently
of disciplines operating without intellectual         into perspective, somewhere in the region of 7,000                                                                   connected with the essence of what we’re doing;
                                                      people worked on the Curiosity mission in one                                                                        looking for central problems in what we’re doing. I
series of discussion meetings… The participants       capacity or another. They are made up of systems            think that there are very few industries, if any, that   see myself as the free safety of the team [the free
were mostly young scientists at the Harvard Medical   experts and domain experts. The former provide                                                                       safety role in American football is analogous to the
School, and we would gather for dinner about a        a systemic understanding of the inter-relationship          peg for the exact right shaped hole. The trick is that
round table in Vanderbilt Hall. The conversation      between the parts of the system while the latter
was lively and unrestrained. It was not a place       tend to focus on their own particular element of                                                                     major issues]. I am constantly looking for trouble,
where it was either encouraged or made possible
for anyone to stand on his dignity. After the meal,
somebody – either one of our group or an invited
                                                                                                                  So, are there any deal breakers in selecting
topic… The speaker had to run the gauntlet of                                                                                                                              doing that is close to that of each of the domain
acute criticism, good-natured but unsparing. It was                                                               middle deal breakers such as if you’re not at all        experts. I need this grasp because technical problems
                                                      of the Curiosity mission. The Sky Crane was his             interested in working in a team. However, the            don’t typically form at the heart of a domain; they
                                                      responsibility, his creation. The precise details of        only real deal breaker, the one that literally gets      form at the boundaries between domains. This is yet
pomposity. Those who could not stand the gaff         the mission and its successful completion are               you ejected from the team, is that if your own           another reason why that big table culture of being
did not return, but among the former habitués of      outlined in an excellent article in the New Yorker          work is put ahead of the team’s goals. Usually           in each other’s shorts is so important because it’s
these meetings there is more than one of us who       by Burkhard Bilger but in short, a rocket blasted           that is someone who is so insecure that they             when we’re looking outside of our individual domain
feels that they were an important and permanent       off from Cape Canaveral on 26 November 2011                 feel that they only have power if they withhold          silos that we can begin to recognise issues, risks and
                                                      and delivered a mobile science lab onto Mars                information from the rest of the group about the
                                                      just under nine months later, 6 August 2012. As
Asked how he managed to lead a disparate group
of NASA space engineers in a nine-year project        all bystanders. What was going to happen was                                                                         mastery and human sensitivity, that I’m a good reader
to land a one-tonne rover, Curiosity, on the
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                       FEATURE                                                                      10   11                                  AUTUMN 2013 | 01

He accepts that of the three functions necessary        the moment this may only be a two-man team
to survive and prosper in successful high               but it’s no surprise that the other guy is San
performance teams – leading, managing and
                                                        There is also the same competitive bidding process
and coaching; I get others better at it than me         in the space world as in other talent industries.
to do the detailed managing. That’s not strange
because I think that good tactical managers             ability to sell is an essential element of the skillset
                                                        necessary for him to do his job well. He reluctantly
                                                        accepts that he has to do it, and be good at it. He         If you find a guy who you know
Even before the team is pulled together, the idea of
the mission has to be accepted by the organisation.
                                                                                                                    can add value to the team then
As with many major project industries, there            right words] ‘communicate the value’. When I was            find that guy, or create for that
is what amounts to a bidding war to have your                                                                       guy, a pentagonal shaped
project approved, funded and resourced. The way         said that I would be a good inventor, promoter and
in which relatively small projects, and even those                                                                  role to fill.
                                                        So, while technical knowledge on a generic level is
                                                        essential, it is the people skills – including selling
industries which have embraced what is referred
                                                        is the more ephemeral elements of the job that
way in which teams are brought together. When a
                                                        he would have the same drive and passion if his
as few as three people working on the idea. Once        job comprised designing waste-disposal facilities,

studio head, then that team will expand to include
the necessary expertise for the next stage until
shooting starts and there may be 100-200 people
working on a very tight 50 to 70-day schedule. No
longer are Apocalypse Now or Heaven’s Gate type
overruns acceptable. It was nearly three years before

of colleagues who he has worked with previously
and whom he trusts, including Miguel San Martin,

whom he sees as integral to any team he creates.
In fact, many of the people who had worked on
previous Mars missions eventually found their
way onto the Curiosity team but it seems the
case that in talent-dependent industries, there is
a common theme of bringing teams of trusted             it’s the actual mission that’s important and it’s no
colleagues along with the arrival of the leader. As     coincidence that these space projects are termed
we know, managers arrive at football clubs and
an entire senior team often arrives with them.          when we are operating at the edges of our capability,
                                                        we are fundamentally wondering about who we
                                                        are as humans. That process brings up the question
is over, the team disperses and the team leaders
begin the search for the next challenge. In fact,
                                                        ‘Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
is now committed to leading a mission to Mars
in 2020. The task is to gather samples, seal them       not know what’s out there, but he certainly knows
in containers to be delivered back to Earth. At         how to reach for it.
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                     READING LIST                                                12

                                                                                                                                                dedicated to executive
The                                                                                                                                             search in Sport
Reading List
BOB BOWMAN The man who helped Michael
Phelps become the most decorated
Olympian of all time reveals his list of the
books every aspiring coach should own.
                                                               Finding the
                                                               Winning Edge
                                                               Bill Walsh
                                                               Packaging up the knowledge
                                                               of NFL coaching legend
                                                               Bill Walsh into one handy
                                                               volume, this book offers
                                                               a brilliant top-down view
                                                               of what the role of a head
                                                               coach actually entails.

The Road Less                     The Talent Code
Travelled                         Greatness Isn’t
M. Scott Peck                     Born. It’s Grown
                                  Daniel Coyle
Drawing heavily on
his own professional              Award-winning journalist
expertise, psychiatrist Dr        Daniel Coyle explores
M. Scott Peck explains            the presumptions
how acknowledging our             surrounding inborn ability
problems enables us to            and comes up with some
reach a higher level of           astounding conclusions.
self-understanding. A must        Utterly fascinating.
for getting athletes in the
right frame of mind.                                               Success is a Choice
                                                                   Ten Steps To
                                                                   Overachieving in
                         Periodization                             Business And in Life
                         Theory and                                Rick Pitino
                         of Training                               Superstar life coach Ray
                         Tudor O. Bompa &                          Pitino’s best-selling volume
                         G. Gregory Haff                           looks to inspire its readers
                                                                   into becoming all they can
                         The go-to resource
                                                                   be by setting demanding
                         for producing an
                                                                   goals that force them to
                         outstanding long-term
                                                                   be positive at all times.
                         training programme.                                                      Nolan Partners Ltd 1 Duchess Street, London, W1W 6AN
                                                                                                  Tel: +44 (0)20 3005 4404
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                    COVER STORY                                                          14     15                                                                                          AUTUMN 2013 | 01

                     Masterclass                                                                           has to be the most important one in the club.”
                                                                                                           Reliable or maverick, athletes must remain in
                                                                                                           peak physical condition to be able to perform on
                                                                                                           cue and the physical regime that has given Giggs’
                                                                                                           career its longevity is now legendary, but how
                                                                                                                                                                  read up on anything I could find and from then on
                                                                                                                                                                  I changed my routine. I got a more comfortable
                                                                                                                                                                  car, not messing about changing cars every five
                                                                                                                                                                  minutes, changed my bed, changed my diet. I just
                                                                                                                                                                  tried to tick every box. I tried acupuncture, I used
                                                                                                           did it evolve? He says: “I remember the moment.        an osteopath which I still do to this day and I did
           There is more than a generation of football                                                     We were playing Bayern Munich at Bayern. I
                                                                                                           must have been about 28/29 and the day before
                                                                                                                                                                  yoga as well. I just tried to cover everything so that
                                                                                                                                                                  this wouldn’t happen again. You know, Champions

             followers who have simply not known a                                                         the game we were training at Bayern’s stadium
                                                                                                           and I was playing the next day; the Gaffer had
                                                                                                                                                                  League, injured, missing the game. I never did
                                                                                                                                                                  it to prolong my career; I just did it to play.”
                                                                                                           told me I was playing and he said, `swap teams’
            time when Ryan Giggs has not been right                                                        because one of their players was a bit of a dribbler
                                                                                                           so he wanted me to dribble against our guys. So,
                                                                                                                                                                  Ultimately, great players need to play, they need
                                                                                                                                                                  to be great and they need the stage upon which to
            at the top of his chosen profession. Chris                                                     anyway, I got the ball and started to dribble and
                                                                                                           my hamstring just went. At that moment, I was
                                                                                                                                                                  demonstrate their greatness to the world. Ferguson
                                                                                                                                                                  puts it perfectly when he says: “I expected more
              Brady asks Giggs about achieving and                                                         feeling really good, I was flying, I was beating
                                                                                                           players easily. I remember that I went back to the
                                                                                                                                                                  from the star players. I expected them to work
                                                                                                                                                                  even harder… That’s why they are star players –

                     maintaining excellence.                                                               dressing-room and I was gutted because I wanted
                                                                                                           to play – it was Bayern Munich versus United in
                                                                                                                                                                  they are prepared to work harder. Superstars with
                                                                                                                                                                  egos are not the problem some people may think.
                                                                                                           the Champions League. I thought that I really          They need to be winners, because that massages
                                                                                                           needed to do something about this because I’d          their egos, so they will do what it takes to win.”
                                                                                                           never had bad injuries, I’d never been out for         What drives them on is the need to meet ever-
                                                                                                           more than six to seven weeks but my hamstring          increasing challenges. Asked why he never
                                                                                                           just kept recurring. So I talked to the physios, I     played abroad, Giggs’ answer was simple:

        n the same day Performance magazine sat      next on Ryan Giggs’ list was dependability and
        down with Ryan Giggs, another interview      reliability: “You need a group of seven or eight
        – given by his former manager Sir Alex       players who are going to be reliable week in and
Ferguson – was published in the Harvard Business     week out.”
Review (HBR). Comparing the two interviews,
what is striking is the similarity of the language   Pushed to reveal what marks out the other three or
the two men use regarding the central facets of      four players Giggs was, perhaps surprisingly given
high performance; not surprising given that they     his own reliability, not overly concerned. These
spent more than 20 years working together. In        players would include those who are considered to
particular, one word dominated – “winning”.          be game changers and who can, to a certain extent

When asked what types of characters he believes
                                                     and for the benefit of the team, be accommodated.
                                                     The solid citizens in the team will put up with
                                                                                                           Winners are people who
are essential to successful teams, Giggs answered    their relative unreliability for the benefit of the   will go to the edge to make
immediately – “winners”. How did he explain this
common but elusive concept? He says: “Winners
                                                     collective, Giggs thought. In this respect he may
                                                     be slightly at odds with Ferguson, who explained
                                                                                                           sure that you win the game;
are people who will go to the edge to make sure      in his HBR interview: “There are occasions when       and that includes in the
that you win the game; and that includes in the
week as well, in training. They would kick their
                                                     you have to ask yourself whether certain players
                                                     are affecting the dressing-room atmosphere,
                                                                                                           week as well, in training.
teammates; they would do whatever it took. It        the performance of the team, and your control
would ruin their day if they lost a five-a-side      of the players and staff. If they are, you have to
game; it really means that much to them”.            cut the cord. There is absolutely no other way. It
                                                     doesn’t matter if the person is the best player in
It is this “winning” characteristic that high        the world. The long-term view of the club is more
performers seem to value above all others but        important than any individual, and the manager
MASTERCLASS - Mike Forde Performance
PERFORMANCE                     COVER STORY                                                                16    17                                                          AUTUMN 2013 | 01

“I’ve always wanted new challenges and I
thought that every year at United there’s always
been a new challenge. The time for me to go
abroad was probably between 25 and 30 but I
never got close to it, I just wanted to play for
United. At that time I just felt the challenges
at United couldn’t be beaten. I was 27 and we’d
just won the treble so it never occurred to me.
I’ve never thought that I missed a trick there.”

But what do great players believe are the crucial
elements of a successful team? Which comes
first, winning or team spirit? For Giggs it is the
chemistry of the team under the guidance of
a strong winning philosophy. United, he feels,
had the winning mentality ingrained in them by
Ferguson’s personal mentality and the traditions
of the club for particular values such as trusting
youth and taking risks to win. As Ferguson put in
the HBR: “I am a gambler – a risk taker –and you
can see that in how we played in the late stages
of matches… I always take great pride in seeing
younger players develop. …. When you give young
people a chance, you not only create a longer
                                                               To be a United player they’ve
life span for the team, you also create loyalty.               got to be strong mentally to
They will always remember that you were the                    be able to put up with some
manager who gave them their first opportunity.”
                                                               of the stuff in the dressing-
This has been the United way from the glory                    room and on the pitch.
and tragedy of the Busby Babes through Tommy
Docherty’s young team that brought United
back to the top division in the 1973/74 season,
to the more recent glories under Ferguson.

But how has this been achieved over such a lengthy
period? How does the acculturation of incoming
players work at United? For Giggs it is about the       ground and in games. Robin [van Persie] instantly        However, are the same acculturation factors            to welcome the pressure of the traditions of this
way in which they are received and dealt with in        became a success because he was scoring winners          equally true of younger players, the lifeblood         massive club. Walking into the club and seeing
the dressing room. He explains: “New players are        every week. That made him difficult not to like.”        of United’s philosophy, as they come into the          the famous pictures – Charlton, Best, Law and
coming into a good dressing-room, which makes           Both Giggs and Ferguson believe that building            dressing room? Giggs has strong views on this.         Cantona – on the walls and saying to yourself:
transition easier. Also, training is probably more      and maintaining mutual trust is a key element of         He was reluctant to say “in my day” but in a sense     ‘That’s where I want to be in 15 years’ time’.
competitive than they’ve been used to [IN his           high performance and as such has to be integral          it was inevitable. “Sometimes, the problem with        That’s what it means to be a United player.”
HBR interview, Ferguson asserts that a key to the       to the acculturation process. As Ferguson puts           the occasional young player is that they expect,       Ferguson sums it up: “The idea is that the
maintenance of standards was “never allowing            it: “I would remind the players that it is trust         and get, rewards before they have really achieved      younger players were developing and would
a bad training session. What you see in training        in one another, not letting their mates down,            anything. In my day I was told that rewards would      meet the standards that the older ones had set.
manifests itself on the game field. So every training   that helps build the character of a team.”               come as a result of consistent performances
session was about quality. We didn’t allow a lack of                                                             over time. Don’t get me wrong, there are some          He would be proud of Ryan Giggs who has,
focus. It was about intensity, concentration, speed     Similarly, Giggs cites trust between the players as      great kids out there; I just don’t think there’s the   virtually from his debut in March 1991 as a
– a high level of performance.] Each individual         an important component of team performance.              hunger in young players in enough numbers as           17-year-old, set the highest standards for his
is welcomed according to their own personality.         Interestingly, previous research in this area            there was 20 years ago – I don’t just think that, I    successors to follow.
A player can come in and have a compatible              seems to challenge this assertion. Taking NCAA           know it. Because they’re getting the money early
personality from the start. Ronaldo, for example,       basketball as his basis for trust and its relevance to   on and they’re getting cosseted, the hunger goes
wasn’t at the standard he is today in the first         performance within NCAA basketball teams,                quite quickly. To be a United player they’ve got
couple of years but he was a likeable lad, he wanted    Kurt Dirks found that while trust is essential           to be strong mentally to be able to put up with
to learn, he was a bit of a joker and he came into      between the players and the coach and can even           some of the stuff in the dressing-room and on the
the dressing-room quite easily. Others, who are         be an indicator of future performance, it does not       pitch. You’ve got to be able to withstand getting
quieter, they can earn the respect of their new         appear to have any statistical significance              kicked by Vidic, or Roy Keane or me and rising
teammates by what they’re doing on the training         between players.                                         to it and being able to handle it. You’ve also got
PERFORMANCE                      MASTERCLASS                                                               18     19                                                                                          AUTUMN 2013 | 01

GIGGS                                                                                                               RYAN
                                                                                                                    Ryan Giggs made his debut for Manchester
                                                                                                                    United in the 1990-91 season and is the

The Coach
                                                                                                                    most decorated player in English football
                                                                                                                    history, as well holding the record for most
                                                                                                                    competitive appearances for United. He has
                                                                                                                    won 13 Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, three
                                                                                                                    League Cups and two Champions Leagues. He
                                                                                                                    is the only player to have played and scored
                                                                                                                    in every season of the Premier League and
                                                                                                                    holds the record for most Premier League
                                                                                                                    assists. In 2011, he was named Manchester

         iggs is now formally employed as a player/      and playing is what I’ve always done, and it’s almost    What about the age-old and surely now non-debate         Anderson, demonstrated a complete ignorance
         coach by Manchester United and will surely      a relief to get back to just playing. I don’t believe    about penalties? Can they be practised? Of course        of the consequences when he too scored in the
         become a manager one day. Having com-           that I overthink the game; I think I’m playing           they can – and should. Failure to score, according       sudden death phase of the Champions’ League
pleted his UEFA `B’ Coaching Licence in his early        just as a player. You’ve got your tools in your bag,     to Giggs is predominantly about indecision:              final against Chelsea: “In Moscow, Anderson came
thirties and his `A’ Licence more recently, he is now    you’ve been in the same situation thousands of           “Penalties are mental, not technique. When I             on with two minutes to go in extra time. He’d never
part way through his UEFA Pro-Licence. He dem-           times and you pull those tools out automatically.”       practised for the European Cup Final my mindset          scored for United, he’s got that carefree character
onstrates his professional dedication to performing                                                               was that I’m going to put it in the same spot. If the    and he scored. That’s probably because he didn’t
as a player by his ability to almost completely sepa-    This ability to be able to pull out relevant tools       keeper saves it, he saves it. I took 15 penalties and    think too much about it; he just struck it down the
rate the two activities. He tells an interesting story   as a consequence of hours of practice is now a           out of those 15 I scored 14 and hit the post with        middle.”
about coaching Antonio Valencia on a particular          common theme of modern performance theory,               the other one. You’re not walking up to the spot
aspect of wing play and then deriving pleasure           the “ten thousand hours” made popular in Malcolm         thinking, should I put it left, should I put it right.   Whether it is supreme confidence in their
from seeing him performing the manoeuvre in a            Gladwell’s book, Outliers, and the power of              Forget the keeper, its going where I practised. And      own ability or a lack of concern about the
game. What was interesting about his explanation         practice. Giggs could be the perfect poster boy for      don’t worry about missing in practice.”                  consequences, the ability to be able to perform
was the casual aside that he had seen the event          the repetitive practice theory. As an example, he                                                                 perfect technique under the greatest pressure
just after he had been involved as a player in the       says: “I wasn’t a good crosser, I didn’t need to be. I   Indecision can be caused, as Marc Sagal                  is a mark of all great champions, like Giggs.
same game: “I got subbed against Liverpool and           ran with the ball, I dribbled passed people. So, later   mentions elsewhere in this edition, by a failure
was watching the game and saw Antonio do exactly         in my career when maybe I needed other options           to concentrate which in turn can be caused by
what we’d worked on and I was really pleased.”           I just had to get better at it and so I practised        overthinking the consequences. This is surely
                                                         as often as I could. I practised from different          the explanation for the world footballer of the
I asked Giggs if they’d discussed it after the game.     positions on the pitch, on both flanks, ten yards        year, Roberto Baggio, and his compatriot, Franco
“No”, he said. “We’d lost”.                              into the opposition’s half, 20 yards, level with the     Baresi, voted the second greatest AC Milan player
                                                         penalty area, on the by-line (that’s where I was able    of all time, both missing the target by a good two
Giggs explains his ability to separate his two roles     to help Antonio). Practise, practise, practise.”         feet in the 1994 World Cup final shoot-out against
thus: “The coaching is the hard part, the training                                                                Brazil. Indeed, Giggs tells how his teammate
PERFORMANCE                        PRE-SEASON                                                                                  20   21                                                                                                 AUTUMN 2013 | 01

Failing to Plan is
Planning to Fail
Performance explores the art and science of pre-season
preparation from the men who matter in two very different
high performance environments – NBA team Dallas Mavericks
and South Africa Rugby Union side, the Stormers…

BE PREPARED! Casey Smith, head athletic trainer          participation screenings. But these measurements                           READY, STEADY, GO Of the three main phases
of NBA side the Dallas Mavericks, believes that          could be carried out earlier, giving time to                               in the rugby calendar (off-season, pre-season,
pre-season can be the best time for athletes as a full   address issues without the pressures of the                                in-season), it is the pre-season that is probably the
assessment can be carried out without distractions.      built-in schedule of the regular season.                                   most challenging, says Stephan du Toit, strength
                                                                                                                                    and conditioning coach of the DHL Stormers.
One of the most common words used today to               Another critical use of time is for measurement of
                                                         baseline indices. Anthropometric measurements,                             In the pre-season phase Strength & Conditioning
We are assaulted by this word at every turn,                                                                                        (S&C) are integrated with coaching sessions,
but the key is to use this relatively distraction-                                                                                  although the balance tilts more towards
free period to full advantage and make sure              musts to assess fatigue, formulate recovery                                coaching and further from S&C. Physical
the correct breadth of screening is included.            protocols, and rehabilitate correctly during the                           improvements from the off-season are put to
                                                         regular season component of the schedule.
We commonly think of assessment in                                                                                                  S&C trainers work hand-in-hand to ensure the
biomechanical and musculoskeletal terms, and
while this clearly forms the basis of programming,                                                                                  improving the physical element of the players,
we need to be mindful that this time is used             does the start of the regular season creep up                              culminating to an initial peak in performance
to screen for additional variables as well.              on us and we privately admit that we could
                                                         have done more quantitative assessment?
Medical screening for blood markers, pulmonary           Holding ourselves accountable will help hasten                             The question that everyone wants an answer to
function, allergy testing, ophthalmologic testing,       our ability to formulate the correct return                                in pre-season is does a player need to be rested
nutrition counselling, and baseline medical              to play protocols when the inevitable bumps                                or can he be exposed to more stress during
imaging are often left to last minute pre-season         in the road appear during the season.                                      training sessions. In this respect, technology has
                                                                                                                                    become key in rugby union, contributing to more
                                                                                                                                    frequent player testing and monitoring. Instead of
                                                                                                                                    having to create formal testing sessions, players
                                                                                                                                    can be assessed during training sessions with data
                                                                                                                                    made available immediately, leading to improved
                                                                                                                                    decision-making in terms of player readiness.

                                                            CASEY                                                                   It is also important to ensure that the NPS
                                                            Casey Smith is Dallas Mavericks head athletic trainer,
                                                                                                                                    (non-playing squad) is put under the same
                                                            where his primary duties involve daily medical care, injury
                                                            rehabilitation, physician liaison and travel arrangements. He
                                                            was previously head strength and conditioning coach and                 readiness when they are called upon. The best           STEPHAN
                                                                                                                                                                                            Stephan is Strength and Conditioning Coach for the
                                                            assistant athletic trainer at the Phoenix Suns. He has served as        conditioning is to play a match, but that comes         Stormers Super 15 side and for Wester Province
                                                            athletic trainer for the USA Men’s Senior National Basketball
                                                                                                                                    with the risk of injury. If a practice match is not     Rugby. He was previously high performance consultant
                                                            Team since 2005, including the gold-medal-winning teams at
                                                            the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2010 FIBA Championships and                  available, try to create a conditioning session         at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

                                                            2012 London Olympics.                                                   that can match everything except the collision.
PERFORMANCE                     ENVIRONMENT                                                        22   23                                                                                                AUTUMN 2013 | 01

                           Excellence                                                                                                                        BENITA
                                                                                                                                                             Chief of Organisational Excellence, United

                           as Standard
                                                                                                                                                             States Olympic Committee and former
                                                                                                                                                             Olympic gold medal winning hurdler

Benita Fitzgerald

   “Breaking through barriers                      What excites me? Strangely, I love strategic              beneficial athletes and coaches. Over 85
                                                   planning and not too many people do. We                   per cent of medallists were from the tier
   or at least overcoming them                     had our first offsite meeting with the senior             system. We also focused on those events
   is something I’m used to                        team and Scott [the CEO] this week and I’ve               that provided low-hanging fruit, events
                                                   been told that it was a success and – as I’ve             where we had potential in the athletes
   doing as a hurdler,” jokes                      said – that excites me. It was invigorating,              but also as importantly where we had
   Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, the                   insightful and full of great camaraderie.                 great coaches. And what appeared like
                                                                                                             a tiny detail ended up giving us a huge
   new Chief of Organisational                     Returning to your US track and                            lift. We got those great coaches increased
   Excellence for the United                       field days, how did you achieve your                      access through part-time validation to
                                                   record medal haul of 29 medals?                           their athletes on the warm-up tracks.
   States Olympic Committee,                       We had a focused strategic high                           Believe it or not but that was not a given.
   but it’s clear that the athlete                 performance plan for 2012. The former
                                                   CEO had already set a target of 30 medals                 What’s next for USA Track & Field?
   who claimed gold in the                         before I arrived, so that was the monkey                  I saw nine fourth places and realised how
   100m hurdles at the 1984 Los                    on my back coming in. However, the good                   close we had been to overachieving, and
                                                   news was that I knew that the athletes                    the same in Moscow this summer. I don’t
   Angeles Olympics couldn’t be                    were capable of achieving the target. I                   think it would be that difficult a leap to
   more serious about her role.                    just had to ensure that the environment                   turn those fourths into medals if we were
                                                   surrounding them in the build-up and                      to analyse what was the difference between
   As Chief of Sport Performance for USA           on the ground in London would enable                      fourth place and the podium. That’s where
   Track & Field, she helped deliver her           their performances. So, that was where we                 I would have concentrated had I stayed in
   country’s highest medal count in 20 years       focused. First we looked at sports science,               the job; that’s where we need to focus next.
   at London 2012, and this year has seen her      medicine and technology. We knew that we
   assume even greater responsibilities. She is,   had great knowledge in these fields but we                If you look back in five years’
   effectively, the COO of one of sport’s most     also felt that that expertise did not always              time at your tenure at the USOC,
   iconic institutions, and here she explains to   get to the people who needed it. So, we                   what would success look like?
   Chris Brady exactly what that entails…          created a Sports Performance Workshop                     I would like everyone in the organisation,
                                                   programme, a series of workshops located                  either on or off the field, to feel that they     I just had to ensure
   What has worried you and what has
   excited you about your new role?
                                                   around the country to which athletes and
                                                   coaches were invited to attend and discuss
                                                                                                             are genuinely connected to one another,
                                                                                                             the organisation and the programmes. For
                                                                                                                                                               that the environment
   I haven’t been here long enough to get          cutting-edge developments. We actually                    me, that would be even more gratifying            surrounding them in the
   worried, but I suppose if it would be           provided more than 800 hours of service                   than winning 30 medals at the Olympics.
                                                                                                             These people put their hearts and souls
                                                                                                                                                               build-up and on the ground
   one thing it would be the athlete career        to athletes in 2012 alone and we saw a
   programme. That’s near and dear to              measurable difference in performance                      into their jobs so I would want them to           in London would enable
   my heart because I know how difficult           enhancement between those who attended                    know how much they are valued. As long            their performances.
   the transition from sport can be and            and those who did not. Those who attended                 as they can say that today is better than
   at the moment I don’t have anyone to            improved performance around two and a                     yesterday and tomorrow will be better than
   lead that programme, so I worry a little        half times more than those who did not.                   today then that will constitute success.
   about getting that recruitment right.
   Maybe it’s not a worry but definitely           Next, we created a four-tier system that
   my biggest and earliest challenge.              enabled resources to flow to the most
25                                       MENTAL                                                                        AUTUMN 2013 | 01

                                                                 It’s All in                                                                                       JOHN
                                                                                                                                                                   Dr. John P. Sullivan is a Clinical Sport

                                                                 The Mind
                                                                                                                                                                   Psychologist and Applied Sport Scientist

                                                                                                                                                                   for Providence College, the University
                                                                                                                                                                   of Rhode Island, and within the ranks of
                                                                                                                                                                   the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLS, Olympics,
                                                                                                                                                                   and the elite performers of military.

ENJOY 180° FLAT-BED SEATS WITH DIRECT                            Experts John Sullivan and Amy
                                                                                                                                                                   Athey is a Clinical and Sport Psychologist

AISLE ACCESS ON ALL NONSTOP FLIGHTS                              Athey explore the critical factors to
                                                                                                                                                                   at Clinical and Sports Consulting Services.

FROM LONDON HEATHROW.                                            consider in properly integrating human
                                                                 performance technology and second-
                                                                 generation sports psychology.

                                                                 1. Inform coaches
                                                                 Clinical sports psychologists can assist coaches to understand
                                                                 where the athlete is in the developmental cycle. By integrating
                                                                 sport science data, they can advise coaches on the optimal points
                                                                 to intervene in a strategic and tactical fashion.

                                                                                                                                     2. Educate and empower athletes
                                                                                                                                     Clinical sport psychologists help athletes to increase their ability
                                                                                                                                     to identify and master strategies to improve their own rest and
                                                                                                                                     recovery efforts. There are more stories out on the pitch than
                                                                                                                                     the score tells. Feedback loops are helpful ways for athletes to
                                                                                                                                     learn to master ideal performance states, as well as identify rest
                                                                                                                                     and recovery needs both between events, and even within a
                                                                                                                                     single event.

                                                                 3. Identify and develop talent:
                                                                 Second-generation sport psychology moves beyond simply
                                                                 assessing personality factors. Although helpful at times, these
                                                                 are not precise enough to create accurate prediction factors.

                                                                 directly reading accurate descriptors from the central nervous
                                                                 system and the brain’s abilities, including effective decision-
                                                                 making and complex reaction time. Often, this information is less
                                                                 about selection and more about improving player development

                                                                                                                                     4. Wellness as a
                                                                                                                                     foundation to performance
                                                                                                                                     Clinical sport psychologists are trained to identify areas
                                                                                                                                     of reduced welfare that can lead to injury or decreased
                                                                                                                                     performance, in addition to strategically training the central
                                                                                                                                     nervous system. Treating the player as a whole helps to maximise
                                                                                                                                     readiness, performance and reduce the risk of injury, protecting

  DELTA .COM                       ©2013 Delta Air Lines, Inc.
                                                                                                                                     the investment in the player at the same time.
PERFORMANCE                       TALENT ID                                                                  26   27                                                                                         AUTUMN 2013 | 01

                              The Potential
   Chelsea Warr               Talking Talent
Chris Brady talks to Chelsea Warr, Deputy Director of
Performance, UK Sport, about the research and development
going into creating tomorrow’s world-beaters.

                                                        Deputy Director of Performance earlier this year.         UK Sport, the high performance agency in the          Team delivers, working in close partnership with
as a nine-year-old for what I would describe as         Essentially, the remit for Chelsea and her specialist     UK, through its ‘World Class’ programme which
                                                        technical team is to constructively challenge, yet        invests in sports based on their medal potential
walked in with hundreds of other kids and stood         actively support, all Olympic and Paralympic funded       over an eight-year cycle and continually monitors     Paralympic sports we currently fund twice in a
in front of a lady called Ju-Ping Tian – the ‘Dragon    sports to embed world-leading performance                 and reviews performance against agreed targets
Lady’ – who was the National Head Coach of                                                                        through its widely admired ‘Mission’ process.
Australian Gymnastics at the time. If she pointed
left, you went and played in the foam pit for four or   responsibility is to enhance the chances of Team          In effect, UK Sport chooses how to invest more than
                                                        GB winning more medals at future games. One               £355m of National Lottery and Exchequer funding       contrast the sports development systems against
you went into a room with all the top coaches for                                                                 over a four-year period to enable summer Olympic      what we consider are the world’s best. During this
                                                        the effectiveness of how all funded sports are            and Paralympic sports to enhance their own systems    process we benchmark sports across more than 100
So recalls Chelsea Warr on her introduction to          locating and developing medal winners for 2020-           of performance development and ultimately build a     metrics that are determining factors in implementing
the world of talent selection and development.          2024. I challenge myself, and my team – how can           stronger, more sustainable system. That investment
                                                        we enhance, innovate and accelerate the levels of         is distributed in line with a ‘no compromise’         and development programme. We then activate
Despite that inauspicious beginning, Chelsea            sophistication by which sports currently unearth          meritocratic approach which, as Chelsea explains,     improvement programmes at either a system-wide
                                                        and construct their eight-10 year development
                                                        programmes? How can we inject pace and greater            in sports that are winning now. However, as           projects active at any one time in the cycle. The
says. After a degree in Sports Science and several                                                                commonly observed in good venture capitalists,
post graduate degrees, her career started as an         And given the backdrop of more countries now              we also consider the relative future potential of     from a wise colleague of mine who taught me that
exercise physiologist at the Australian Institute       taking a greater market share of not only medals,         that sport, the direction of travel – what they are   critical challenge is three times more likely to be
of Sport in Canberra. She was then appointed to         but gold medals, our work is about proactively            capable of doing in the next eight years. In other    accepted and acted upon if immediately proceeded
                                                        responding to this challenge. The answer is not           words, how strong is the evidence to suggest the      with help and support. That’s the underpinning
                                                        just throwing money at it. It’s all about high            current athletes targeted for 2020 podium success     principle of our benchmarking work stream.
in Australia, resulting in 156 State and National       challenge, high support, high accountability and a        could actually reach these levels of performance,
Junior champions, 11 World Junior medallists            willingness to work in partnerships with sports           and how strong are their systems and structures in
                                                                                                                  place to enable this to happen? We want to invest     The purpose of this work is to deploy key staff into
before being recruited by British Swimming                                                                                                                              the sports for extended secondment periods in
and Diving to develop and implement its World           Currently that means investing in 714 development                                                               order to answer questions like how do you create a
Class Development strategy. She then moved              athletes (known as ‘podium potential’) across             The ultimate investment decisions are based on a
to UK Sport in 2005, where she consulted on                                                                       range of data and insights, some of which Chelsea’s   Paralympic potential? How many athletes do we
high performance programmes, becoming head              are already well into their journey for podium            team contribute to. There are currently four          need in the pipeline now to achieve our medal
of athlete development in 2009, and eventually          success in 2020.These athletes are supported by           key workstreams that the Performance Pathway          ambitions in Tokyo 2020? Is it possible to transfer
PERFORMANCE                         TALENT ID                                                                      28   29                                                                             AUTUMN 2013 | 01

sporting talent from one sport to another? How
old is too old and what sports transfer best? What
                                                            serial gold medallists, starting from the age of six
                                                            years old to when they won their medals was                 IF THE                                                   UK SPORT TALENT ID
does an exceptional development environment look
like and how can we create, replicate and sustain it?       ‘nearly twin’, someone who should have made it,             GLOVER                                                   ATHLETES HAVE PRODUCED
What role does the art of science and coaching play         but didn’t. This world-leading piece of research has
in identifying and developing extraordinary talent?         allowed Chelsea’s team a greater in-depth insight
                                                            into the discriminating factors that are required
                                                            to achieve not only success, but serial success in                                                                               Appearances
Performance Pathway Education Programme – is
                                                                                                                                                         Helen Glover
designed to accelerate the knowledge and skills of          were constantly asking ourselves three questions                                                                                 International

our Performance Pathway Managers who have the               about this very special cohort: what do we know?                                                                                 Medals
lead responsibility to unearth and develop future           What do we think we know? What do we need to                       elen Glover had no rowing experience as a                     40 gold
Olympic and Paralympic medallists. The structured           know in order to enhance sport’s ability to identify               22-year-old in 2008. Four short years later,
programme unfolds over an 18-month period and
comprises of seven, two-day intensive residential
modules delivered in collaboration with individuals         So, what does the future hold to help deliver that
                                                            sustainable success? According to Chelsea, after
                                                                                                                        gold at the London 2012 Olympics.

                                                                                                                        From rowing novice to top of the world, in large part
                                                                                                                                                                                   2         Olympic Medals
                                                                                                                                                                                             One gold (Helen Glover,

                                                                                                                                                                                             (Lutalo Muhammad,
leading authorities in identifying and developing           having been recommended to read business guru                                                                                    taekwondo)
precocious talent. For example, we have worked              Jim Collins’ most recent work How The Mighty Fall           programme launched by Sir Steve Redgrave in
                                                                                                                        February 2007, aimed at unearthing tall, powerful,

with the European Space Agency to understand                - Sustainable Success Is A Tough One. Collins argues
how they identify and develop astronauts, clearly a         that it is not apathy and arrogance that is mostly          talented contenders who could be fast-tracked into                   Paralympic Silver
                                                                                                                        sports, particularly rowing, handball and volleyball.                Karen Darke
process they have to get right. We also collaborate         responsible for the demise of great organisations                                                                                Paralympic cycling
with institutions of development excellence such
as the Royal Ballet School, the Yehudi Menuhin              He warns that leaders assume their current                  Although Helen came from a sporting background

School and the Royal College of Surgeons to                 success is automatic and turn their attention to            – playing high-level hockey, tennis and swimming, as                 World
constantly benchmark ourselves against ‘gold’               the next big thing, leaping into businesses, products,      well as running for England – it was only when she                   Championship
standard organisations. Finally, we will be taking          activities where there is no advantage, taking actions      came forward for Sporting Giants that she was able
our P3 Learners on a world talent tour whereby              inconsistent with core values and neglecting the            to take her sporting ambitions to a GB level.                        10 at junior level
they will systematically study 13 institutions              core principles that created those values in the                                                                                 and seven at senior

that can demonstrate sustainable success and a                                                                          S                                                                    international (four gold)

constant production line of talented individuals            and provides both a warning and advice for all the          I remember being in a room at Bisham Abbey and

                                                            sports with which UK Sport interacts. The key to            someone saying: ‘A 2012 gold medallist could be sat
                                                                                                                        in this room. Look around you’. I thought: ‘Right, I’m               World Cup Medals
                                                            sustaining and replicating the success achieved by                                                                               at Senior Level
The fourth workstream is about cutting-edge                 sports such as cycling, sailing and rowing is, she                                                                               19 gold

translating it into real-life practice. Chelsea explains:   really important things that got you there in the

real killer questions that, if we were able to answer
them and apply those answers to our methods, it
                                                            great coaches, not by chance, but by design, and
                                                            engineering environments that worship the notion
                                                                                                                        to the hugely successful GB Rowing team’s ‘Start’
                                                                                                                        programme in Bath and was coached by GB Rowing’s
                                                                                                                        Paul Stannard.
                                                                                                                                                                                    10       European
would enhance sport’s chances of identifying the            of constant progression and excellence. This is British                                                                          Two at senior level
                                                                                                                        of faith, committing to a new sport, and pursuing an

way. We’ve initiated many different applied research        proactively connecting it to an intensive incubator
                                                                                                                        all-encompassing lifestyle with commitment, tenacity                 European Cup
                                                            with world-class coaches and support staff, and, most
back into the front line solutions team in real-time
                                                                                                                        and dedication. It’s an exemplary example of how                     Medals at Senior
and, of course, into the P3 programme. It keeps the                                                                                                                                          Level
                                                                                                                        programmes can impact on the world stage. The                        seven gold
whole programme fresh and curious, and this is an           Chelsea concludes by recalling one of her
                                                                                                                        selection process was long and demanding, assessing
                                                            favourite quotes which comes from T.S. Eliot, to

                                                                                                                        what applicants could do now but also, more
                                                            explain the mission of UK Sport and her role in
                                                                                                                        importantly, what they could do in the future – an                   World Record
One recent, highly innovative piece of work that                                                                                                                                             Para-cycling
                                                                                                                        examination of their ‘headroom’; their trainability;
will be revealed later this year across the World
                                                                                                                        their ability to respond and commit.
Class system is the Serial Medallist study (and
                                                                                                                          t’s our role to help sports examine the raw
                                                                                                                        materials, explore what potential success looks like,
                                                                                                                        and work out to as high a probability as possible,
                                                                                                                        which individuals can make it. Helen has certainly
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