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The Leaders Sport Performance Summit in London brings together 700 of sport’s most elite coaches, managers, sporting directors, technical directors and performance directors.?
Igniting discussions around peak performance, showcasing ideas and uncovering hidden opportunities, the event champions professional excellence and provides a platform for professionals, who otherwise might not cross paths, to exchange ideas and contribute towards making the field of play an even more competitive space.
Topics at the Leaders Sport Performance Summit constantly evolve, mirroring the ever-changing world of sports performance. This year leading industry speakers will cover off data analytics, human performance, talent management and leadership; all issues currently making waves in the industry.
Commanding Officer - Basic Training Command
US Naval Special Warfare Command
Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration
Harvard Business School
Arsène Wenger started his management career in France with AS Nancy and Monaco from 1981-1994. Then moved to Asia where he was the manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1995/1996, where he won the J-League Super Cup and the Emperor’s Cup, and was voted the J. League Manager of the Year. Since 1996 Wenger has been manager of Arsenal FC and has led them to three Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and five Community Shields. Arsène has also guided the Gunners to the Champions League and the UEFA Cup finals. He was the first coach from outside of the UK to win the Premier League and is, by some distance, the longest serving manager in the Premier League. Arsène has been hailed as the man responsible for changing the philosophy of football played by Arsenal, who under his leadership have adopted an exciting and attacking style of play.
Carlo Ancelotti is a retired footballer and Italian football manager. He is currently managing Bayern Munich. Ancelotti is the only manager to have won the UEFA Champions League three times and reached four finals (three finals and two victories with Milan, and one victory with Real Madrid). He is also the first manager to have won the FIFA Club World Cup for the European clubs. Ancelotti is regarded as one of the best and most successful managers of all time.
Nicknamed Carletto, Ancelotti played as a midfielder and began his career with Italian club Parma, helping the club to Serie B promotion in 1979. He moved to Roma the following season, where he won a Serie A title and four Coppa Italia titles, and also played for the late 1980s Milan team, with which he won two league titles and two European Cups, among other titles. At international level he played for the Italian national team on 26 occasions, scoring once, and appeared in two FIFA World Cups, finishing in third-place in the 1990 edition of the tournament, as well as UEFA Euro 1988, where he helped his nation to reach the semi-finals.
As a manager, he has worked for Reggiana, Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and has won domestic titles in Italy, England, France and Spain.
David Brailsford has been involved in cycling throughout his career and has enjoyed a number of highlights. In 2008, in his role as Performance Director at British Cycling, he led the GB Cycling Team to an unprecedented 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games. He replicated this feat in 2012, leading Team GB to another 8 gold medals at the London Olympics. In 2010 Dave joined British based professional team, Team Sky, with the aim of bringing Britain its first ever Tour De France winner. In 2012 Dave achieved this, with Bradley Wiggins winning the prestigious race. One year later, it was under Dave’s leadership again that Chris Froome won the Tour De France for Team Sky. Dave received his knighthood for services to cycling and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on 28February 2013.
Brian has been the General Manager and Senior Vice-President of the New York Yankees for 16 years, having initially joined the organisation as an intern in 1986. The New York Yankees is one of the best known teams in world sport and is the most valuable franchise in the US, with a value of $2.3billion. During Brian’s tenure, the Yankees have won five World Series championships and seven American League pennants. Brian is recognised for piloting the Yankees front office through one of its most successful periods and in 2009 he was selected as MLB Executive of the Year for 2009 by the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Thomas is one of the most respected executives in football due to his passion and vision for the Falcons, his dynamic drafting and philosophical approach to building a team – and since he joined in 2008, the team has experienced a level of consistency that is unmatched in the team’s 46-year history. After his first season with the Falcons, he was named ‘Executive of the Year’ and again went on to be honoured in 2010. He then helped guide the Falcons to their third consecutive playoff appearance for the first time in franchise history in 2012. Prior to his tenure at the Falcons he was with the New England Patriots between 2002-2007.
Chris Weidman is a UFC superstar and currently the undefeated Middleweight Champion with a record of 13-0-0, including 6 knock-outs. Chris comes from a wrestling background and earned All-American honours while at college, then switched his attention to MMA, where he was introduced to trainer Ray Longo, and after noticing his unique techniques and skill-set, he was encouraged to train full-time at Longo’s MMA Academy.
He made his MMA debut in 2009, and quickly established himself as one of the ‘most highly-touted middleweight prospects ever’ becoming Middleweight Champion. He then made the switch to UFC, and won five fights before getting his title shot against arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time Anderson Silva, who has the longest title defence streak in UFC history. Chris won the fight via a second round knock-out and inflicted Silva’s first loss in the UFC and ended his seven-year, 17-fight undefeated streak. Chris later defended his title against Silva, as well as two others, including a first round TKO against Vitor Belfort at UFC 187.
Former Head Coach
Sir Graham is one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time. Starting out at the Auckland provincial team in 1992, he moved to coach Wales in 1998. It was there that he made his first major mark, leading the team to 11 consecutive wins and becoming the first foreign coach to supervise a British and Irish Lions tour. From 2004 to 2011 he coached the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national team. It was here that he earned his reputation as the person responsible for creating an environment of excellence across the team; transforming them from under achievers, to 2011 Rugby World Cup champions, with an incredible record of 88 wins from 103 tests along the way. Affirming his successes, Sir Graham was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for his services to rugby.
High Performance Director
Andy came to Red Bull as Director of High Performance for the global athlete development program, where he works with hundreds of international athletes; supervises a team of industry-leading sports scientists, nutritionists, biomechanics experts and sports psychologists; and develops elite sports performance models. He is one of the industry’s leading practitioners and alongside mainstream sports, provides performance support to Red Bull’s extreme athletes, including the Stratos Project space dive in 2012. Andy’s professional interests are focused on delivering pragmatic solutions to explore all kinds of human potential; he is a consultant for business, sports and military organizations worldwide. Prior to Red Bull, the Australian native designed a highly successful performance program for the U.S. Olympic ski and snowboard teams, guiding their athletes to victories on the world stage.
Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations
Beane turned the identification and recruitment of talented players into a science, famously charted in the best-selling book ‘Moneyball’ and has moulded the A’s into a perennial postseason contender whilst running the club as one of the most cost effective teams in the MLB. Throughout his career Beane has been awarded a number of prestigious honours including; The Sporting News’ Executive of the Year, MLB’s Executive of the Year, and Street & Smith’s Sport Business Journal’s “40 under 40” list. Billy Beane was drafted by the New York Mets in 1980 and spent most of the 1980s in the minor leagues. He played six seasons in the major leagues before joining the management team of the Oakland Athletics in 1990, becoming general manager in 1997. His innovative management style inspired the 2003 book Moneyball, which was made into a film in 2011, starring Brad Pitt as Beane.
Mike was selected by NASA is April 1996. To date he has carried out three spaceflights, and has spent 381 days, 15 hours and 11 minutes in orbit and has logged 48 hours and 37 minutes of extravehicular activity time on 9 spacewalks, making him the American record-holder for the most time spent in space and placing him sixth on the EVA time list. Prior to joining NASA, Mike served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight test engineer, flying in F-16 and F-15 aircraft. In addition to two NASA Distinguished Service Medals and three NASA Spaceflight Medals, he is a recipient of the first International Space Station Leadership Award as well as the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and Meritorious Service Medals for his military service.
Sam Presti is heading into his seventh season with the Thunder after being appointed General Manager in 2007. A year into his tenure with the Thunder, he was promoted to Executive VP. In 2010, Presti was named NBA ‘Executive of the Year’ by The Sporting News and his phenomenal drafting over the years with the Thunder has established the team as arguably one of the top three in the entire NBA. His philosophy that you need more than one star to make a team is reflected in his trading strategy to build a team that is sustainable and one that nurtures young talent.
Mike Johnston is Head Coach of three time Stanley Cup winners Pittsburgh Penguins, who are captained by current NHL MVP Sidney Crosby. Mike has great experience at all levels of Hockey after assistant coach roles with Vancouver Canucks and LA Kings as well as Canada at the Olympics and World Championship. He was then Head Coach and GM of the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, before taking his first Head Coach’s job in the NHL with the Penguins in 2014 . He has also co-authored two hockey books with former NHL player Ryan Walter: ‘Simply The Best: Insights and Strategies From Great Hockey Coaches’ and ‘Hockey Plays and Strategies’.
Reese has become one of the most successful general managers in the NFL. His first five seasons as head of the franchise’s football operations included victories in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI and numerous records. Before this, Reese served as an Assistant Director of Pro Personnel for three years before handling the Director of Player Personnel position with the Giants. He originally joined the New York organization as a Scout in 1994.
Professional Basketball Player
Amar’e Stoudemire is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Phoenix Suns selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He spent eight seasons with them before signing with the New York Knicks.
Stoudemire won the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, made six appearances in the NBA All-Star Game, was a first-team All-NBA selection in 2007, and won a bronze medal with the United States men’s national basketball team at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Appointed General Manager of the San Francisco 49ers in January 2011, after the 49ers posted a 6-10 season, Trent turned the team around, leading them to a 13-3 record in his first season as General Manager. In January 2012 Trent was named PFWA Executive of the Year for the 2011 season and received a contract extension through to 2016. In 2012, the 49ers reached the Super Bowl and in 2013 they reached their third successive NFC Championship game. Prior to joining the 49ers, Trent’s NFL career included a stint as a scout for the New York Jets from 1998 to 2000 and four years with the Washington Redskins, first as a National Scout and then as College Scouting Coordinator.
Desjardins served as Head Coach of the Texas Stars for two seasons compiling a 91-40-21 (.667) regular season record in 152 AHL games. He was awarded the Louis A. R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s Coach of the Year in 2013, his first season with Texas. Desjardin’s second season with Texas produced a regular season record of 48-18-10 (.697) and a 15-6 playoff record culminating in the Stars’ first Calder Cup Championship. Desjardins began his four year tenure with the Stars organization as an Associate Coach with Dallas before serving as Head Coach of their AHL affiliate.
From 2002 to 2010 Desjardins was Head Coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL adding the role of General Manager in 2005. Desjardins twice led the Tigers to Western Hockey League championships winning the President’s Cup in the 2003.04 and 2006.07 seasons. In two Memorial Cup berths Desjardins’ Tigers advanced to the Finals once in 2007. Desjardins was awarded the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Coach of the Year for the 2005–06 season. He was also honoured by the Canadian Hockey League and presented with the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award that same season. Desjardins first WHL Head Coaching role was with the Saskatoon Blades in the 1997.98 season.
Internationally, Desjardins has represented Canada as Head Coach in 2010 (silver) and Assistant Coach in 2009 (gold) at the World Junior Championships. He was Assistant Coach for the Canadian national men’s team when Canada finished fourth at the at the 1999 IIHF World Championship in Norway.
Assistant General Manager
Eric DeCosta has been a part of the Ravens organization since the beginning. A graduate of the Ravens’ “20/20 Club” (includes members of the team’s personnel staff who started with the Ravens as young assistants and grew into evaluators with more input), DeCosta joined the franchise in an entry-level position in 1996. He moved up the personnel ranks, first as an area scout, then as director of college scouting (six years) and director of player personnel (three years) before his most recent promotion to assistant general manager (2012). DeCosta assists GM Ozzie Newsome in overseeing both the college scouting and pro personnel departments. The Taunton, MA, native was honored in 2005 by The Sporting News as one of the top young stars in sports and was selected to both the 2008 Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Magazine “40 Under 40” group. He also served on the eight-member committee to interview and select Ravens head coach John Harbaugh in 2008.
Stuart Lancaster is currently part of the senior coaching team at Leinster Rugby Club. Prior to this, he served as the Head Coach for the England Rugby Football Union from 2011 to 2015. Before he was appointed Head Coach, Stuart was the Elite Rugby Director to the RFU and Director of Rugby for Leeds Carnegie. During his tenure, he lead England to achieve runners-up for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Six Nations Championship including a Triple Crown in 2014, and was the only team to beat New Zealand (Ranked no.1 in the world) in 2012.
High Performance Sports Psychologist
Michael is one of the world’s top performance psychologists and worked with an array of top sports organisations and elite athletes across the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, UFC, and US Olympic Team. He’s currently a consultant to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks high performance programme where he has been integral in the development of the team and their recent Super Bowl victory. Michael was also the psychologist behind Red Bull’s world famous ‘Stratos Project’ that launched Felix Baumgartner to the edge of space for a freefall back to earth.
Technical Director of Elite Coaching
Andy took up his current role earlier this year following a five year stint as the England Team Director, during which time he won 3 Ashes series and led the team to a number one world test ranking. Andy represented Zimbabwe in his playing career, spending over 10 years as the wicket-keeper for the team. He is considered to be one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen to have ever played the game, averaging over 51 with the bat in Test cricket and being ranked the number one batsman in Test cricket in 2002. In 2011 Andy was awarded an OBE for services to sport.
Commanding Officer - Basic Training Command
As a SEAL for more than 22 years, Jay has completed numerous overseas deployments in and outside theaters of war throughout the Western Pacific, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In addition to his operational tours, Jay has served in a variety of other assignments involving selecting, training and qualifying young men to become U.S. Navy SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant Crewman.
Chairman and Chef Patron
A household name in the UK, Raymond Blanc is a self-taught two star Michelin chef and Chairman and Chef Patron, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the only country house hotel in the UK to have achieved two Michelin stars for a total of 30 years. Restaurants, bakeries, patisseries, hotels and a cookery school are but a few of his achievements, alongside being a best-selling author with his own BBC television series. He was presented with an honorary OBE in 2008 in recognition of his services to the British food industry and received the insignia of Chevalier in the Ordre National de Légion d’Honneur in 2013, for services to agriculture, the highest French decoration.
Ric Charlesworth is a successful politician, qualified medical doctor, author of multiple books, and former captain of the Australian Men’s Hockey team, the Kookaburras, for which he was selected to represent at five Olympic Games between 1972 and 1988. After he retired, he coached the Australian Women’s Hockey team for 7 medal-laden years, during which the team won the Gold Medal at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. Since 2009 he has been Head Coach of the Men’s team. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in coaching, leadership and man-management and has won the Australian Sports Coach of the Year on three separate occasions.
Alastair Clarkson is a former Australian rules footballer and current coach of the Hawthorn Football Club. Following a successful playing career beginning at North Melbourne FC he moved into coaching in 2001 and was appointed to his first senior coaching position in 2005 at Hawthorn FC to lead their rebuilding phase. After a tough start, his side saw rapid improvement reaching the AFL finals in 2007 and a Grand Final victory in 2008. His team are now praised for their sustained success and Alastair is known as one of the most progressive and cutting-edge coaches in one of the most competitive sports on the planet.
VP Medical Services and Head Athletic Trainer
Stan started working with the LA Dodgers in 2006 as the Director of Medical Services before taking up his current role in 2012. The LA Dodgers are one of the most popular teams in Major League Baseball, with this popularity reflected in their positioning as one of the most valuable teams in the sport. Stan is responsible for the overall management of the Major and Minor League Medical Staffs. His work spans a number of areas including medical risk assessment and injury projection, treatment and rehabilitation of major league players, injury management of major and minor league injuries; hiring, evaluating and coordinating physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists and strength coaches, and risk assessing possible player selections including free agents, trades and amateur draft. Prior to joining the LA Dodgers, Stan spent 13 years working as the Director of Medical Services and Head Athletic Trainer at the San Francisco Giants and, earlier in his career, worked as a Physical Therapist for the United States Army Medical Corp.
Shortly after winning an NBA Championship, Ferry retired from his 13 year NBA career as a player for the San Antonio Spurs in 2003. He then began an NBA front office career with the Spurs as Director of Basketball Operations where he remained until 2005, then returning to serve as the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations from 2010-2012. Prior to his return to the Spurs, Ferry held the role of General Manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where the Cavaliers enjoyed the NBA’s best regular season record for two consecutive years. In 2012 Ferry became the General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks taking the team into the play-offs earlier this year.
High Performance Director
Troy Flanagan is a sport scientist and high performance director with over 20 years’ experience of preparing Olympic athletes in Australia and the United States. Since 2007, he has played a key role in advancing the preparation of the US ski and snowboard team where he is now the High Performance Director. The team is known for its high-tech and innovative approach to performance and Flanagan works with some of the world’s biggest aerospace companies in his search for a medal winning edge. In Vancouver 2010, the teams doubled their best ever medal tally, winning 21 medals and achieving the number 1 rank in the world for skiing and snowboarding.
Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration
Having joined in 2005, Robert Kaplan the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for External Relations at Harvard Business School, where he teaches about best practice and leadership. He is a world expert in the field of leadership and, prior to joining Harvard Business School, served as Vice Chairman of the $74.46 billion Goldman Sachs Group, where he was responsible for the Investment Banking and Investment Management Divisions. During his 22 year Goldman Sachs career, he worked in a number of positions including: Global Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division, Head of the Corporate Finance Department and Head of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking.
Chief Innovation Officer
Geoff has over twenty years of experience in technological innovation from conceptual engineering design and development through to sales and business development for both blue chip and start-up companies alike. A mechanical engineer by training his career spanned most branches of engineering from mechanical, aeronautical, civil, chemical and petroleum engineering before changing focus to telecoms, media and entertainment in the Internet boom and has now returned to McLaren Applied Technologies as Managing Director. His current focus in on realising breakthrough’s in performance in fields as diverse as sports, health and wellness, and operations through the application of McLaren Technology and design.
Lord Ara Darzi is one of the world’s top surgeons, specialising in the field of minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, having pioneered many new techniques and technologies throughout his career. He was knighted for his services to medicine and surgery in 2002 and was introduced into the UK’s House of Lords in 2007 as Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, later becoming the UK’s Health Minister in the UK Government. He is recognised globally as a key reformer of healthcare services and training methods for surgeons and in May 2013 was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society whose membership includes the world’s most distinguished scientists.
RYA Olympic Manager
Stephen is the Royal Yachting Association’s Olympic & Paralympic Manager and is responsible for managing and implementing the World Class Performance (WCP) programme for sailing. He brings an abundance of experience from the sailing world, a sport that is highly complex and strategic, where good decision making is vital, and ground-breaking technology is commonplace. Stephen has been in this role since 2001, leading the sailing teams into the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games. He oversaw Britain’s most successful ever Olympic sailing campaign in China winning six medals – four golds, one silver and one bronze – to add to the five they won in Athens four years previously. Stephen is also a member of the RYA Olympic Steering Group (OSG), Paralympic Steering Group (PSG) and World Class Performance Directorate. He was awarded an OBE in 2009 for his services to sport.