Performance | Aug 7, 2019
#HeadsUp is Prince William’s new mental health campaign; Adam Peaty smashes the world record once again; learn how to be humble from what Capt. Haynes did on his plane.

Good morning sports fans, here’s your bi-weekly recipe of what’s happening in the world of high performance. 2 parts lessons, 1 part story and 8 parts insight, all mixed together and ready to devour. Take a seat, take a bite and then take the benefits. Let’s go…

6 questions, answered

1. Matt, do you know a top class sport psychologist who is ‘for sale’?
I do. A good friend called Michael ‘Just’ Caulfield. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what England manager Gareth Southgate has to say:

“If you want someone who can make sense of all the clutter that exists in the minds of all athletes and coaches and help them focus on performance, then give Mike a ring.” Get in touch. You won’t regret it.

2. Are there any data scientists out there that are sceptical about data?
Yep, Andrea Jones-Rooy of NYU. She explains why, here. England’s Head of Performance Analysis, Rhys Long, has some views on how to use data, too.

3. In a life-or-death situation, which leadership quality do you need to succeed?
Humility. It’s everything. Sam Walker tells the story of Capt. Alfred Haynes.

4. I know that the Leaders Sport Performance Summit is happening on November 12-13, but is there a short, snappy summary of the agenda so far?
There sure is. And it’s here.

​​​​5. What’s the biggest-ever conversation around mental health?
The FA and Heads Together’s new campaign, #HeadsUp, claims to be. And if it’s good enough for the future King of England, it’s good enough for us. Get involved.

6. How fast is Adam Peaty’s world record?
Really bloody fast. Here is some statistical analysis.

The Digest, Digested

It’s a numbers game

5 tips on…
…how to tackle fear

6 fine summer reads…
…recommend by London Business School

6 reasons we make bad decisions…
…and what to do about them

20min 42secs of advice…
…on how to improve your critical thinking

12 essential…
leadership insights from MIT Sloan

50 best workplaces…
…for innovators

101 ways…
work is changing today

25min 33secs discussing…
…sleep, recovery, strain and optimal performance.

Sync or swim
We know Adam Peaty is quick, but so is Nathan Adrian. But again, just how quick? Well, the US Swimming team are utilising stats and data more than ever to determine just how they can get faster. Oh, and they have a secret weapon too.

Surf and turf
It was a stressful yet successful campaign for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool FC last season, but to help deal with those moments of pressure the Reds’ boss has turned to the ocean – and more specifically, to German surfer Sebastian Steudtner.

We turned to a surfer a few years ago to, as we welcomed Andrew Cotton to the Leaders stage. He sat alongside mountaineer extraordinaire Kenton Cool to explore all things pressure, emotion and fear. Members, you can take a look back here.

A driving force
Speaking of secret weapons, Lewis Hamilton has one of his own – Angela Cullen. She started as his physiotherapist, and now she is so much more than that. An integral piece of Lewis’ recent success it seems.

Scout’s honour
He’s much more than a scout, but Monchi’s network and approach to talent identification has been pretty much second to none over the past decade or so. He’s helped Sevilla buy and sell and beat the transfer market almost every summer, and here’s a little insight on how.

Fear factor
The days of ruling with an iron fist appear to be gone. But are there some leadership styles out there which still scare their employees, and in you case, athletes? Maybe. Does your leadership style inflict a feeling of fear?

Captain Morgan
The England Rugby team depart for Japan on September 8th, and as one team of World Cup hopefuls descends upon their challenge, their Cricketing counterparts will be looking on with interest – and Eoin Morgan has been sharing his experiences with Jamie George.

Breakfast of champions
Nutrition is becoming more and more important in the preparation and recovery of the world’s best athletes. Does the diet of a snowboarder differ to that of a BMXer or footballer? Red Bull explain what their athletes eat and why.

Mental Health – let’s talk about it.


Have you seen this napkin that summarises human reasoning?


Adam Peaty last week typed and spoke about mental health, pressure and ‘Olympic blues’. Well done, Adam.


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