Supporting Champions
093: Redgrave and Pinsent on their Olympic partnership

093: Redgrave and Pinsent on their Olympic partnership

July 28, 2021

Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent are as successful a sporting duo as you’ll ever meet. Steve has won 5 gold medals at 5 successive games and is a 9 time world champion, Matt has won 4 Olympic golds and 10 world championships. 

They were successful before Britain became good at sport, winning before the UK Olympic system grew sophisticated. But not just the occasional win - sustained and dominant winning.

I had the privilege of working with Steve and Matt from 1998, supporting them, along with Tim Foster and James Cracknell to the Sydney Olympics. I can’t tell you how much influence they both had on me as a professional sports scientist and as a person. Their focus, standards, intensity, but also thinking, understanding and at times philosophy was so impressive you couldn’t help but learn from it.

You’ll hear that though in this conversation, which was surprising, fun and at times emotional.

 

Notes

Tokyo delays how would they have responded?

‘Just what we wanted’ & ‘Control the controllables’

A hairline crack in the rig puts a race in jeopardy

Are you feeling nervous yet? Changing the conversation

The step up from Barcelona to Atlanta the pressure changed hugely

Steve’s infamous quote and the pressure of build up

It wasn’t a long retirement!

The challenges that Steve felt in returning to rowing, both physically & mentally

The way in which Matt & Steve supported each other, the deep level of understanding

What are Matt & Steve’s reflections on pursuing a goal pushing and driving but doing it well?

 

Links

https://twitter.com/matthewcpinsent

https://twitter.com/SteveRedgrave5

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

092: Martin Buchheit & George Perry on ego in high performance

092: Martin Buchheit & George Perry on ego in high performance

July 14, 2021

In this week’s conversation I speak to Martin Buchheitt and George Perry authors of their upcoming book “Egoals” (a blend of Ego and goals), the subtitle being, “Exercising your ego in high-performance environments”. Martin has been a real leader in applied sports science and research particularly in team sports and George is a track coach and writer based in the US. They’ve teamed up to explore the notion of how we manage, utilise and harness our sense of self, identity and achievement in roles which are inherently in support of others achieving. They have done this with a powerful collection of interviews and reflections from support staff from around the world with an accumulated experience level of over 2000 years.

Their writing and reflections resonated deeply with me and yet the conversation challenged me. There is an urge for us to be a little bolder with the experiences and insights we need to find ways not to get ahead of ourselves. There is a balance to be had, a tightrope, almost a dil for which we have to find a better way to manage. Martin and George’s exploration of ego is a valuable contribution to our craft.

 

Follow Martin on Twitter

https://twitter.com/mart1buch

Take a look at the book 

https://egoalsbook.com/

http://instagram.com/egoalsbook

 

NEW SUPPORTING CHAMPIONS YOUTUBE CHANNEL

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8W3kvAsvtDDsEayex-1i5A

 

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

091: Mike Hughes on analysing elite performance

091: Mike Hughes on analysing elite performance

June 30, 2021

This week I spoke to Mike Hughes. Mike is a Performance Analyst, having worked with some of the best teams in the world and developed them by providing understanding and insight based on deconstructing and exploring phenomena in training and performance. Mike and I worked alongside each other at the English institute of Sport, though on different teams, Mike worked with British cycling in the years that it went from mediocre to utterly dominant. He’s worked at Insight Analysis where he was assigned to the England Rugby team where you may have seen him alongside the England coaching team where Mike was beavering away crunching numbers on hand to feed directly to the coaches.

 

Performance Analysis has risen in prominence in the last few decades - nearly every top operation has analysts as a central part of their backroom teams. What is interesting about the discussion with Mike though is that he creates the case that insight is all very well but if you haven’t got the relationship with the coaches and leaders to have that conversation that could necessitate change, (perhaps sometimes against their preferred way of working), then analysis stays as just that - an unused data point.

 

At the very heart of Performance Analysis is the saying “Why guess, when you could know?” - but as Mike illustrates a deeper question is - “Now you know what needs to be different, but do you know how to make difference?”

 

Happy listening

 

Notes

 

Performance analysis in the blood - Mike hughes son of Prof Mike hughes!

The differing eras of PA advancement

Current PA set up for teams 

The importance of coaching intuition and marrying with PA

Mike’s example of making a difference via PA

Simulating differing environments, referees and preferences

Red Zone Analysis

 

Links

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

 

If you’re looking for some coaching support or some virtual team development help to support you to get to the next level in work, life or sport then take a look at https://supportingchampions.co.uk/coaching-mentoring/

or drop us a note at enquiries@supportingchampions.co.uk then you can sign up for a free consultation to explore which package is right for you.

090: Mandy Hickson on jet fighter pilot performance

090: Mandy Hickson on jet fighter pilot performance

June 16, 2021

Mandy Hickson on jet fighter pilot performance

 

This week I spoke to Mandy Hickson. Mandy is a fighter pilot, having joined the Royal Air Force in 1994 and flew the Tornado GR4 on the front line, where she operated in hostile environments, including patrolling the ‘No Fly’ zone over Iraq.

I was fascinated to discuss with Mandy about the physical and mental challenges of training to become a top fighter pilot. I was particularly interested how pilot’s like Mandy improve, what are the stages of progression to go from small craft, to faster and more manoeuvrable craft, and then to train in such a way that you’re ready to operate and perform in a combat zone, where the stakes are as high as they get.

The conversation is so rich with insight, where Mandy unpacks a number of situations, scenarios and seriously pressured circumstances with powerful detail and shares a number of useful frameworks that helped her to manage the fears and doubts but then rise to the top. She shares her insights with a combination of breeziness, fun, care and a level of wisdom that comes from profound experience.

Oh and there’s another detail that’s pretty obvious but in many ways is irrelevant and relevant as you’ll hear in this discussion. She’s a woman who got to the top in a male dominated field. And while that might not matter to some, as a role model to other people aspiring to do something against the odds, she’s an inspiration.

 

Notes

Types of jets and craft Mandy has flown in the RAF

Training takes time 

Grey out, G-Force and the G-suits required to be worn and the pressure of G-Force

Situational awareness and the bigger picture

Notice, understand and think ahead - NUTA

Getting your head out of the detail

Debriefing and best practice

Everyone hates feedback but give me a BOOST - balanced, observed, objective, specific and timely

DODAR Diagnose share with the team, what do you think?, options - what would you do?, option generation leading to the decision by the leader, Assign task and review (or give me a reason not to) 

Being a female fighter pilot

Making better quality decisions and creating a solutions based culture, the ‘Just Culture’

 

Links

Follow Mandy

https://twitter.com/MandyHickson

https://hicksonltd.com/

 

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

 

089: Steph Houghton on leading by example

089: Steph Houghton on leading by example

June 2, 2021

This week I spoke to Steph Houghton.

Steph is the England Football Captain, having played for her country over 120 times. Steph has seen the women’s game evolve from amateur days, to the rise in popularity of the game in Britain and around the world, to the Women’s Super League and now the women’s game selling out stadia. During this time Steph has also had to evolve, adapt & respond to growing pressures of playing for her country, taking on the captaincy, World Cup finals successes and disappointments, becoming a household name and leading others. The conversation with Steph was interesting because she had this quiet resolve, this inner steel, almost stoicism all in service of trying to be the best she can and to take the opportunities in front of her.

I felt there was no facade about Steph - just genuine, values driven commitment to her craft and profession - all while honouring the role and responsibility she recognises she now holds - and that is as a role-model for the people she plays with, the game and a community of people looking up to her.

 

Notes

Recovery from an achilles injury and learning to take time after experience of multiple injuries

Opportunities for female players now and the changes in the last decade

Hoping to inspire a generation

What are the values Steph holds close

England captain at 26! 

Breathing exercises are a no go for Steph but she is seeing the benefits of pilates mentally and physically

Difficult conversations

Managing 20-21 games and the uncertainty for athletes

The Olympics and preparation

The World Cup in 2023

 

Links

Follow Steph on Twitter and Instagram  https://twitter.com/stephhoughton2

https://www.instagram.com/stephhoughton2/

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

 

088: Cody Royle on the reality of being a Head Coach

088: Cody Royle on the reality of being a Head Coach

May 19, 2021

This week’s guest is Cody Royle. Cody is the head coach of Australian Football League Team Canada, the men's national program for Australian Rules football. Cody is also an author and I would say fast becoming recognised as a pioneering voice about a topic that previously just hasn’t been communicated - that is the reality of being a head coach. In his recent book, The Tough Stuff, he explores the challenges of coaching in elite sport, but specifically the dynamics and perspectives, the difficulties and the pressures of being a HEAD coach. He ratifies his own feelings, in conversation with a series of top coaches too, such as Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons) and Stuart Lancaster (England Rugby), to name a few.

I can’t stress enough just how important this step change is in communicating the demands on coaches. There is a disproportionate and unwarranted expectation, storm of opinion and lack of support and empathy for the head coach. It is Cody’s petition that we all need to do better.

To give you a flavour of the book chapter titles which we delve into and build the conversation around, Your fiercest rival is yourself, you’re not a coach, Tactics don’t matter, Chapter 1 - everyone thinks you’re an idiot - and that’s where I start this conversation.

If anyone wants to work in or learn from high performance sport - I compel you to listen to what Cody has to say.

 

WIN A FREE COPY OF CODY'S BOOK

We have two copies of Cody's book, The Tough Stuff to give away. Simply give an honest review of the podcast on iTunes (only new reviews accepted), take a screenshot of the review and email it to , by 31st May at 12 noon. Two reviewers chosen at random will receive a copy in the post. It could be one of the most worthwhile screenshots you take this year!

 

Enjoy the listen!

 

Notes on what we discuss

The Tough Stuff - ‘Everyone thinks you’re an idiot’

If we’re all performers why aren’t the coaches seen as performers?

The catalyst of the book

Coaches and the importance of self-care

Get. Some. Sleep!

Translating skills from assistant coach where the pressure’s off to head coach 

The brethren of understanding

Support structure for coaches      

You’re not a coach - being detached from our real identity

Changing the dialogue for mutual benefit

 

Follow Cody on Twitter https://twitter.com/codyroyle

The Tough Stuff on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tough-Stuff-Seven-Truths-About/dp/1660114446/

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

 

If you’re looking for some coaching support or some virtual team development help to support you to get to the next level in work, life or sport then take a look at https://supportingchampions.co.uk/coaching-mentoring/

or drop us a note at enquiries@supportingchampions.co.uk then you can sign up for a free consultation to explore which package is right for you.

087: David Martin on the ecology of performance systems

087: David Martin on the ecology of performance systems

May 5, 2021

David Martin is a leading light in applied sports science. He was senior physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport, where along with a number of brilliant minds, pioneered the application of science to elite performance. During the 1990s, as I was grappling with some fundamentals, David was breaking new ground and frankly doing work that the world hadn’t seen before. Their work was the benchmark of excellence that we looked to.

In this conversation David and I reflect on our parallel universes, how they drove us, how we in the UK system came to catch and overtake them, and in all likelihood, though some would deny it, then served as the benchmark for the Australian system. David then went onto work at the NBA at the Philadelphia 76ers, an experience and a professional set up that is worth comparing to the national systems we both cut our teeth in.

What I truly value when talking to David is piercing insight by that I mean raw intelligence, powerful communication skills, honesty, reflection, all informed by experience of working at the coal face.

 

Show Notes

The Jane Goodall Lecture 

David’s analogies in comparison to Jane Goodall’s experiences

Growing with the team and gathering momentum - the dangers

Learn to step back

Athlete beliefs and scientist beliefs - the interactions

David’s zoology training

The Apex predators and the consequences of extinction

The switch in funding for practitioners

Changing and switching things up after a home games

David’s observations since moving into professional sports

David’s goals going forward

 

Links

Follow David on Twitter https://twitter.com/davidtmartin

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

086: Kevin Dutton on learning from psychopaths

086: Kevin Dutton on learning from psychopaths

April 21, 2021

This week I speak to Kevin Dutton Professor of Psychology at Oxford University, who specialises in psychopaths. Kevin has written several books on the topic, for example The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Flipnosis, The Good Psychopaths Guide to Success and his recent book, Black and White Thinking all of which are illuminating because they unveil a world that is for many of us so alien, so peculiar, so grotesque, yet so close, so relevant and in some cases so familiar.

Because as Kevin explains, many of the characteristics that we associate with malice, danger and evil - if dialled differently are definitely determinants of personal success. 

This was such a fascinating conversation not least because Kevin turns his evaluation measure onto me to find out if I have psychopathic tendencies with interesting results, somewhat surprising.

If you grab a piece of paper you can take the test along with me.

 

Notes

Steve and Kevin chat about why Kevin’s jaw hurt after a VO2max test?

Are you allowed to be not as tough as you used to be

Steve’s dislike of glib sport commentary

What are the three components for success in all works of life

What are the messages you are sending out to other people and more importantly yourself

The psychopathic mindset

You need the right mind for the right context

The taxi driver bias

Dissociation in performance

Is Steve a psychopath...he takes Kevin’s test 

Distilling DNA of being successful - the ability to do what you have to when you don’t want 

Jumpers versus splashers

The use of metaphor

Mantras

Yes to less

Disruptive team members

The psychology of teams

 

Links

 

There’s still time to sign up to our Applied Pro Practitioner Skills Courses to develop your impact and skills!

https://www.supportingchampions.co.uk/onlinecourse/

 

Check out Kevin’s books, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Flipnosis, The Good Psychopaths Guide to Success and his recent book, Black and White Thinking.

Kevin Dutton on Twitter https://twitter.com/therealdrkev

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

 

If you’re looking for some coaching support or some virtual team development help to support you to get to the next level in work, life or sport then take a look at https://supportingchampions.co.uk/coaching-mentoring/

or drop us a note at enquiries@supportingchampions.co.uk then you can sign up for a free consultation to explore which package is right for you.

085: Chris Thompson on persistence

085: Chris Thompson on persistence

April 7, 2021

This week’s guest is Chris Thompson, who at the age of 39 has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic marathon for Team GB. 'Thommo' as he is known didn’t suddenly spring to the top in a freak qualification, he has been knocking on the door for 20 years , keeping going, persisting, persevering, through a career full of challenges. Thommo crossed the line a Kew Garden’s in the qualification event with an outpouring of emotion, celebration and joy and in response the athletics community. Not only has Thommo been on the scene, numerous teams, flights, training camps, competitions with so many athletes over the years - but he is one of those people that just adds life into groups and this, I’m certain, is part of reason why there has been this response.

To cap it all off, in the same week that Thommo made the plane to Tokyo his wife Jemma Simpson, now Jemma Thompson had their first child, a young boy Theo. Now if any of you have children, you’ll remember the whirlwind of a child entering your life. 

It was great fun catching up with Thommo, moving at times, and a reminder about the cost and the meaning of pursuing personal goals.

 

In this conversation we explore;

 

  • Enjoying the moment
  • Chris’s massive engine but struck my injury and over training
  • A 26 year year athletic career 
  • Chris discusses his early career and his early approach to training, his lack of responsibility
  • Chris’s partnership with Gemma Simpson and a change in attitude
  • Chris lost his off switch.
  • Achilles and broken sacrum
  • Paying less attention to times and focussing on feeling, taking each session at a time and assessing
  • A crushed hand puts the marathon qualifier in jeopardy
  • Questioning immaturity

Links

Follow thommo on twitter https://twitter.com/Thommo10k

https://www.instagram.com/thommo26.2

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

 

Take a look at our Applied Pro Practitioner Skills Courses to develop your impact and skills

https://www.supportingchampions.co.uk/onlinecourse/

084: Alistair Brownlee on a sub-7 hour Ironman triathlon

084: Alistair Brownlee on a sub-7 hour Ironman triathlon

March 24, 2021

This week’s guest is Alistair Brownlee. Alistair is a two time Olympic Champion, four time World and four time European Champion amongst many other honours in triathlon. But quite simply Alistair is one of the greatest racers in the history of the sport and probably across any sport in his generation. 

After the Rio Olympics Alistair began racing over half and then full ironman triathlon distance. For those of you who need a reminder of the distance that’s 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order.

Alistair has set out the goal of a full Ironman in under 7 hours. To put the performance into perspective the current best time is 7:35. 

Speaking to Alistair was extraordinary. Many athletes have physical abilities, many have the will to win, but Alistair has these in bucket loads. A lot of athletes are invested in the process of preparing and performing, interested to know how they can get better, but many of the best just need to stay out of the details, leave that to the coach, the support team. Often overthinking the details can lead to a negative spiral where people become increasingly wound up about minutiae.

But what was evident from this conversation was the Alistair’s extraordinary capacity to delve into the science, the rigour, the possibilities, the innovation, the deep understanding and testing of what works for him. His appetite, his command and his acumen to pioneer across the whole spectrum of physical, mental, tactical and technological methods as well as to go out there and perform - is a bandwidth of capabilities that is truly exceptional. 

This was a masterclass in high performance and I was left in no uncertain terms that Alistair is a true sporting great.

 

Notes

Training during lockdown more or less normal

Training 5% under rather 5% over Alistair and the urban myths that follow him around

Alistair’s internal drive - where does it come from?

“Relentless' - coming soon to all good bookstores!

Comparing notes with other elite athletes in differing fields

The sub-7 ironman

The need to constantly innovate 

Decision making and the honing of the direct feedback loop

Inspiring others to get into sport via the Phoenix Foundation

The future for Alistair beyond being an elite athlete

 

Links

Follow Alistair on Twitter, https://twitter.com/AliBrownleetri

And all things sub 7 and sub 8 on https://www.sub7sub8.com/

Steve Ingham on Twitter www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on;

Twitter www.twitter.com/support_champs

Linkedin, www.linkedin.com/company/supporting-champions

Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/supportingchampions

 

Applied Professional Practitioner Skills Programme bookings now open

https://www.supportingchampions.co.uk/onlinecourse/

 

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