006: David Fletcher on adversity

Supporting Champions Podcast #6 David Fletcher

In this episode I talk to David Fletcher about his career as a swimmer, researcher and expert in the area of adversity.

Show notes;

07:00 Early aspirations as a swimmer, but experiencing near misses as an athlete and academically
10:00 Transfer of desire from swim background to early success in studies
12:00 Father as a science role-model, searching and sharing academic papers
15:30 Importance of internship in sporting environment
19:00 Importance of breadth of experience beyond own area of specialism
23:30 Interest in the stresses that athletes experiences
25:00 Stresses changing based on growth of high performance system
28:00 Uncovering poor organisational behaviours that adversely influenced sporting performance
29:00 Seeking legal advice due to controversial nature of athlete interviews – sticking to your guns about unearthing and communicating stresses
31:00 Identifying stresses and how some used stressful experiences as fuel for determination
34:00 Organisational stresses – leadership styles, not being listened to, overuse of pressure training and how it spilled over
35:00 How it is unethical not to prepare athletes for the pressure of top competitions
36:00 How leadership behaviours permeated down to grass-root levels
41:00 Adversity as a stimulus for growth – so it needs to be;

– Relevant, e.g. penalty shoot-out
– Progressively adaptable
– Agreed

44:00 Appropriate and inappropriate consequences to contravening agreed behaviours
47:00 Role of early adversity as a fuel for focusing on sporting goals
48:00 Theories emerging – life adversity coinciding with sporting success, and finding sport as a sanctuary
50:00 Caveat that sport doesn’t protect person from mental health response to adversarial events
51:30 How best to support when people experience adversity; 1) give them space; 2) supporting people when they are ready to disclose – provide inspirational opportunities; 3) when a vase breaks consider creating a new mosaic rather than re-building as it was
57:00 Adversity gives you honesty to review deeply
59:00 Different personality traits required to succeed in sport vs life
60:00 Re-emergence of ‘issues’ wen sport is not there
61:00 Are we doing enough to support coaches?
64:00 Lessons for everybody
– Anything worthwhile will have its challenges
– Importance of anticipating stresses and preparing for them
– Importance of support network
– Importance of disclosing and being open to sharing stress response
67:00 Future directions in area of adversity

Posted in

Supporting Champions

We utilise the lessons learned from the last 25 years of working in high performance sports and businesses to support and champion you, your teams and systems.

Get In Touch

General enquiry

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.