Some sensible sustainable human performance planning

If you’re returning to work after a summer break and see only a hard slog through long days and dark nights to Christmas, when you collapse and fall ill, before another long slog through January to Easter, then is that thinking helping? Perhaps instead you should think like an athlete at work?

A sports team or individual will look at their schedule of competitions or events over a coming season (or four year cycle in the case of an Olympics) and then plan their training periods, their competition time and their rest & recovery time. All the top individuals and teams will do this or have someone doing it for them.

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K20005 - KB

Are you ready for Rio?

In just under a year’s time, our finest sports men and women will be entering the cauldron of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio. For most of them, this will be the biggest challenge of their careers, if not their lives. Many of them will be competing at their first Games. For some, it will be their only Games – their one and only chance to shine. In the words of Eminem, they have “one chance, one opportunity”. They not only have to deliver an exceptional performance when it matters most, but they have to deliver it in a unique and challenging environment which some have no experience of. One chance, one opportunity, challenging circumstances. No pressure there then.

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In case you weren’t aware

In case you weren’t aware, on Saturday England regained cricket’s Ashes from the old enemy Australia. A widely held view is that they exploited one important element much better that their opposition.

The Ashes competition alternates between being played in Australia and England and this summer it is England’s turn to host. The two countries have different climates, different pitches and are different to play in.

England won, in part, through home advantage and a combination of knowing the conditions and, crucially, exploiting them.

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Keeping winning momentum

In competitive environments learning to deal with winning and losing is part of the territory.

Last Wednesday morning, just before the start of the 3rd Ashes test, we posted a blog about what England would have been doing to be ready to bounce back from the Lords test debacle We’re pleased to report that, purely to our recommendations England’s response was outstanding and they hammered Australia to take a 2-1 lead in the series. So how do we believe both teams might now get ready for their next game this coming Thursday? England after a win and Australia after a heavy loss.

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Always on the brink

One of the things about being in a competitive environment is that you’re always on the brink of winning or losing. So knowing how to learn from success or deal with defeat is a key part of performing.

For example with the England men’s cricket team, about to start the third test on the back of a thrashing in the second, how do they make sure they’re completely ready to bounce back and go again?

There’s a simple 3 step rhythm that we think they’d have followed.

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Make the most of your talent to land the big prize

Wow, what a week of high performance heroics, hammerings and controversies! Andy Murray pretty much single handedly beat the French to propel Britain to its first Davis Cup semi final for 34 years. The Australians turned the tables on England in spectacular fashion to win the second Ashes Test. And the Tour de France was set alight by Chris Froome’s ascent of La Pierre-Saint-Martin last Tuesday, which sparked more drugs allegations and some inappropriate spectator behaviour.

In the sports-fest of the last few days, it was easy to miss the victory of Zach Johnson in the 155th Open Golf Championship. The victim of some atrocious weather conditions, the Open was finally concluded on Monday, with Johnson coming out on top after a topsy-turvy last day’s play.

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Celebrating the win

Road to Rio – We need to qualify

Welcome to our Road to Rio series!  

You’ll hopefully have seen by now that the Great Britain Women’s Hockey qualified for Rio with a superb series of performances throughout the World Hockey League in Valencia. They won the whole tournament, winning every match they played, and happily booking the team’s place for Rio next year as a result.

So, qualification is a really big deal at the moment for all of the Olympic sports, so we thought we’d share some thoughts about the whole area of qualification. Knowing qualification is on the cards, here’s some of the stuff Andrea was focusing on in her role with the Hockey team, as they got ready for their chance to qualify.
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Could you ride the Tour de France?

Could you put your team’s needs ahead of your own, and if so could you, do you, do that at work?

Riding the Tour de France needs all the usual ingredients of elite sporting success… meticulous preparation, focus, determination, physical stamina, mental toughness.

It also needs the unwaveringly clear mindset that the team comes first and the individual role is all, and only ever, about what’s best for the team.

Could you, can you, do you work in a team where the team’s goals are abundantly clear and consistent for everyone on the team? And where everyone focuses solely on their role in helping the team and each other to achieve the team’s purpose?

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Mastering the Mental Challenge

Over the past year, we’ve been supporting our K2 Ambassador, Sophie Radcliffe get ready for some of the inspirational challenges she’s taken on.

Her most recent challenge was the Mont-Blanc Vertical KM. Attracting a world class field, it’s a gruelling 3.8km race where runners climb 1000m of vertical height – sort of like running – and at times scrambling – up a steep mountain. Sophie finished a fantastic 21st in a highly competitive women’s race in a time of just over an hour, exceeding her own expectations!

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Are you as ready as a Red Devil?!

The Red Devils hit the news with a bang this weekend. On a routine airshow display in Cumbria, an extraordinary – and potentially catastrophic – incident happened. While performing a ‘stack’ manoeuver at 18,000 feet, the parachute of a Red Devil skydiver failed to open properly, resulting in the skydiver above colliding with his half open parachute. A freak event, the requirement to respond quickly and decisively in a high pressure moment was a matter of life and death.

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