Today sees the starts of the British Open golf in favourable weather conditions, so far. The first day of cricket’s second test has started at Lords on a very green pitch which will favour the bowlers, and the first week and a half of the Tour de France has begun in some wet conditions that have contributed to a significant number of crashes amongst the riders.
For elite athletes the playing conditions are simply part of the challenge. They’re not constantly waiting for perfect conditions to perform in and complaining when they’re not. Instead, they’re looking for how the conditions can be exploited to help them more than the competition (wet roads may have favoured the more technically skilled cyclists but not necessarily the fastest) and when the conditions are not so good then their mindset is to see how well they can perform in those less than perfect conditions. They might well welcome unfavourable conditions as an opportunity to test their mindset, develop new skills and see how good they can be at responding to those conditions Even when the conditions are perfect this isn’t the signal to rest on their laurels but to go out, perform at their best and set new standards.
Wimbledon is here and that must mean our traditional preoccupation, if not obsession, with the progress of British tennis players and in particular, one Andy Murray. Andy has started the tournament in pretty good form – and in the absence of any tight early round matches, much of the media spotlight has been on his choice of Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach. With an absence of female coaches at the highest level in sport, and in particular female coaches coaching male athletes, predictably the focus has been on the gender issue.
Writing this the day after England’s football defeat to Uruguay is partly about sharing some thoughts on human performance and partly therapy!
The emotional reaction to defeat is one of huge disappointment, and perhaps some anger. When talented performers fail to deliver their best possible performance there is some frustration too. Yet at the same time life does not stop and the competition goes on and so a more rational reaction, and at the same time a very human one, can serve to help move forward. What is needed in the face of setback is some resilience.
Several things have stirred our performance thoughts this week – the competitive inter-team rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the thoughts of Andy Murray about finding the right coach to do the right role for him and the Williams sisters early exits from the French open.
However THE performance of the past week for us was from Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championships last weekend at Wentworth, immediately following his break up with his fiancée, which resulted in a lot of press coverage and questions towards him.
Two consistently great performers, at the top of their games for remarkably long periods of time, Jonny Wilkinson and Ryan Giggs have announced their retirement on the same day.
For us it’s their attitude that has led to their persistent behaviour that’s resulted in their longevity. More from us to follow in a K2 Thought Piece but for now we’d like to highlight three core attitudes epitomised by these two.
We’re delighted to announce that we will be holding our first ever open masterclass in Performance Coaching Conversations on 17th June in London.
If you’ve got an understanding in the fundamentals of performance and motivation through working with us previously, we think this Masterclass will be right up your street.