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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
Sir Bradley Wiggins was satisfied with his world record breaking performance yesterday.
Here’s an insight into Sir Bradley’s thoughts about how he was going to think during the hour,
“There’s nothing else to think about other than a black line. Knowing your body and how far you can push yourself.”
For us, that’s confirmation of how we help our customers find out how good they can be in their equivalent of daily hour tests.
All the talk of zero hours contracts during the election campaign focused on the two predictable sides of the debate.
Businesses need them so they can remain flexible and competitive in uncertain times (though it’s unclear when business will think times are certain and that even if they did, whether they’d then stop using them). It’s argued that these contracts create jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist. (Not quite sure about that, as presumably these jobs exist to meet demand, not create it).
As someone who helps lead a team of human performance experts working with some great people and organisations in elite sport and the business world around the globe, I really care about it and I really believe it matters and can make a massive difference to those who are prepared to do what’s necessary to get high performance in their particular role in their particular arena.
Doing what’s necessary. So simple, so important, so hard. High performance requires hard work, focus, discipline, sacrifice, the risk of failure and the postponement of immediate gratification. The concepts are easy, the application of them isn’t. That’s why high performers are not typical and not “normal”, where normal is seen through the lens of a bell-shaped curve. High performers know that their place is away from the average, away from normal, seeing how far away from normal they can get.
Some performance reflections from our CEO…
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”, said Mike Tyson and I think there’s a lot of truth in that. I’m not saying plans don’t matter; they do if you’re serious about being well prepared. Tyson’s quote says two things to me – expect adversity and make sure your plan takes into account the likelihood that things won’t work out how you’d like them to.
A few weeks ago I was in South Africa for what was planned to be my 9th Ironman. I had trained well and – where appropriately – hard, during the winter and I was really excited about doing this iconic event in another continent on a fantastic course.
As Easter is upon us, it’s maybe appropriate to write something about coming back from the dead! In the world of performance at work, literally coming back from the dead is highly unusual, however in a demanding and competitive world, having to deal with setback, disappointment and adversity is commonplace. When you do need to do this, “bouncebackability”, resilience and confidence are vital ingredients/factors/abilities that enable you to keep going and keep performaning through such a low point.