In Episode #2, Steve Ingham, Jamie Pringle, and Rosie Mayes discuss the trajectory of the UK High Performance System. They examine its evolution from ranking 36th on the medal table in the 1996 Olympics to 2nd at the Rio Olympics 2016.
After London was awarded the Olympic Games in 2005, the system faced new challenges and expectations. The episode emphasises the importance of clear roles, especially when differentiating academic sport science from athlete-centric performance. The needs of the athlete are central, irrespective of the source of support. The episode delves into the relationships between coaches, scientists, and athletes, noting the coach’s role in refining information and managing the team.
Effective communication, reducing unnecessary information, and prioritising what’s essential come up as key themes. The discussions touch on the importance of interpersonal skills and the ability to manage one’s ego for the team’s benefit.
Reflecting on the London 2012 games, the episode underscores unity, purpose, and pride. It also highlights the value of understanding personal motivations, suggesting that introspection can enhance overall performance. Recognising and addressing gaps in the system, along with understanding one’s deeper motivations, are identified as differentiators for the GB system.
Episode #2 Panel Discussion (Part 2 of 3)
4:01 July 6th 2005 London was awarded the Olympic Games
6:09 Suddenly the bar has gone higher…we need more!
8:50 Know what your role is. The fundamental difference between sport science in the academic sense and thinking about the performer and their performance
10:04 The athletes don’t care who supplies the support, they want the support. The coach’s role is the distiller of language that the athlete can understand.
10:31 How has the education of the coaches developed and how has science been able to inform the coach?
10:40 The athlete centred, coach managed network. How do you explain what a scientist does within that role?
12:00 Coach education
13:00 One practitioner can become the filter through which the coach and the athlete can connect
13:36 For a coach the leadership challenge has changed
13:40 The leadership challenge for the coach is team management, clarity, cutting through the noise applying priority
13:56 Switching from a scientist role to coaching Kelly Sotherton – I need to cut down the noise, I’m a noise generator!
15:04 The dynamics of the team, relationships in the success of performers – creating champions
16:51 It’s a filtering process, I don’t want more I want less! No-one would ever teach me that story
17:17 It requires a whole host of different intelligences, intra-personal skills, inter-personal skills in order for your ideas to land
17:57 Ego, sectors that have bright people can come with an arrogance. Personality preferences, “Oh god I’m like that am I”?! If you have a team dynamic, if you can put your ego aside and have a role to play that isn’t your best position, that’s a real challenge
20:10 Complexity of a network and the ability to establish trust
21:45 Are we all playing the same tune?
22:15 When we have a clear sense of purpose about what we are doing. The professionalisation of the system in Britain we are part of a network that brings a sense of belonging for everyone.
24:12 London 2012, everyone was focussed on the summit. We always expect a lull after a big pie but…that could have been the best day at work EVER?!
24:38 Fear, threat, resistance. What is your purpose, asking why questions. To give pride to a nation.
25:39 To achieve this goal, where would you start?
26:15 Working for somebody, and it has consequence, it gives purpose and the purpose has consequence.
27:17 Why do you do what you do? This fundamental level of deep thinking isn’t taught, isn’t facilitates and when it is you get a united sense behind a common purpose.
28:30 If we start people thinking earlier, “Why do I do what I do?”, it will enhance what they do
29:20 Plugging gaps in order to create new progress/performance is a differentiator in the GB system