Performance | Sep 4, 2019
Learn a musical instrument to help reduce stress; Serena Williams shares tips on her mental toughness; young prodigy Coco Gauff continues to impress.

Hello to my favourite bunch of high performance people, here’s your bi-weekly mishmash of what’s happening in the world of high performance. A mix of lessons, stories, insight and inspiration. Get me? Jolly good. 3, 2, 1…go!

4 questions, answered

1. Matt, how’s progress going for the Sport Performance Summit on November 12-13?

Good thanks, really good. USA Swimming’s Lindsay Mintenko and Arsenal Women’s Joe Montemurro came on board as a speakers recently, who join the other confirmed speakers that can be found on the most up-to-date themed agenda, here.

Interested in coming? Let us know…

If you’re a member and can make the event – click here to let Saira know.

If you’re not a member but want to come – click here to email Matt.

2. Is it ever too late to learn how to play a musical instrument?

Not according to Zappos. The giving their employees the opportunity to learn a new instrument, which in turn can help reduce stress, develop patience and build confidence.

3. Any interesting appointments in the sport performance space lately?

Yes, none more so in my opinion than of Chris Powell, Michael Johnson, Jason Euell, Marcus Bignot, Omer Riza and Matthew Thorpe. This is all part of the Elite Coach Placement Programme to help solve the challenge of under-representation of BAME coaches. A great and timely initiative, which will hopefully make a big impact in growing the talent pipeline of BAME coaches.

4. What’s Serena Williams’ greatest strength and how does she do it?

She claims it’s her mental toughness, and it’s hard to disagree. And here’s her 3-step tutorial on how she ensures she’s mentally strong.

The Digest, Digested

It’s a numbers game

10,000 hour rule…

…could well be false for musicians

6 learnings…

…to get the most out of your team

3 ways to help people…

…understand what your data means

6 ways to lead…

…that they don’t teach you in business schools

4 ways to become…

…a more self-aware leader

Change of mind

Things change within teams and individuals almost constantly. As a leader, how do you manage change within your organisation? It’s not just up to you, so here are four tips to help.

Bright future

Obviously the past is important when recruiting, otherwise how will you judge somebody in the first place? But consider the emphasis you put on hiring somebody because of what somebody can do for you specifically in the future, not because of what they’ve achieved in the past.

Teach what you preach

Carol Dweck’s book and research had a huge impact on the way people thought and think about mindset. The debate of whether it’s a positive step to teach ‘growth mindsets’ to students has existed ever since – but this new study sheds light on exactly how it could be impactful, and not just in education.

Charm offensive

‘Charisma isn’t magic. It stems from presence, power, and warmth. It can be learned. Engage people in the moment to transcend the moment. Link your ideas to core values. Use vivid examples & metaphors. Invite them to question assumptions.’ Eloquently said by Adam Grant. Here’s some tips on how you can become more charismatic as you lead.

Mental Health – let’s talk about it.

Jobs a good’un

Another new section (kind of) as we collate the latest movers and shakers across sport performance. Full list found here, with headlines below:


Quote of the year nomination from the ever impressive Coco Gauff. If you didn’t her incredibly mature interview, then watch it. Steve Kerr’s tweet on the matter sum it up nicely!


Have you heard the secrets of building great teams? Be more like a car manufacturer. That’s the advice of Red Bull Leipzig’s Ralf Rangnick.


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