Performance | Jun 3, 2020

It doesn’t feel right for any long rhyming chatter, so I’ll keep it short by simply saying – Black Lives Matter.

Good morning everyone. We hope that you, your families and your organisations are safe and healthy as we continue through this pandemic.

By Matthew Stone

However, there has been an even bigger issue this week, brought about by some terrible news in the US. It is not my place to get political but I believe it is everyone’s place to speak up and fight for what is right. Now more than ever. The world is broken, and it’s time to educate. My thoughts go out to the family of George Floyd and every single person who has ever been affected by racism, discrimination and inequality. There is no place for it in sport, or life.

The existing ‘Diversity and Equality’ section of this Digest has been moved to the top, for obvious reasons. I hope you find it useful alongside the other mix of lessons, stories and insight from across high performance sport and beyond. We hope it keeps you occupied and informed. Enjoy.

6 questions, answered

1. Matt, how did last week’s Virtual Leaders Meet: Athletic Performance event go?
We enjoyed it as always, and we hope the hundreds of you who joined us for it did too. Whether you listened in or not, here are the key insights from across the four sessions.

2. Return-to-play is probably the most important topic in sport right now – any recommended/essential reading out there? 
Absolutely. Presenting the C-19 Playbook by our good friends Steve Gera and Dave Anderson at Gains Group. They explain a little more here too.

3. Anything else I should take a look at on the topic?
Well, if we’re allowed to blow our own trumpet a little, here is a piece exploring how Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League in Australia have approached getting back to training and playing.

4. Does teamwork always make the dream work?
Not always. Sometimes too much teamwork can be counterproductive. Be agile.

5. Do great leaders get anxious too? 
Of course they do. Here’s how they manage it.

6. Did you enjoy watching the Last Dance? 
Of course you did. Here’s Sam Walker’s view on MJ’s leadership, and here is another from Seerat Sohi.

Phil Jackson was also on the cover of Edition 5 of our Performance Journal in 2015. ‘The Zen Master’ talked to us about harnessing individual talents for team success. Other insights from Raymond Blanc, the Chinese Olympic Diving Team, Cirque du Soleil and more. Enjoy!

The Digest, Digested

It’s a numbers game

15 new… 
leadership books for a Summer of quarantine.

5 ways to demonstrate…
your value remotely.

4 rules for…
…identifying your life’s work.

5 ways leaders…
…accidently stress out their employees.

7 ways to be…
…a leader, even if you’re not the boss.

4 bad habits of managers…
…and how to change them.

Diversity and Equality – let’s do something about it.

COVID Corner – because right now, we’re all in this together

45mins of greatness
The Last Dance has thrown up the ‘greatest athlete of all-time’ debate a number of times. It probably is MJ, but it was recently the 85-year anniversary of one of Jesse Owens’ greatest feats. It’ll take some beating!

Wake up and smell the coffee
Some interesting findings from the Gatorade Sport Science Institute into an ever evolving field of research into how caffeine can impact exercise performance.

Riding the wave
There are few more challenging and demanding sports than sailing, which Jimmy Spithill knows a thing or two about. It wasn’t always plain sailing (sorry…) and he’s learnt to embrace and learn from failure, and use it to build for success.

Jimmy was also on the cover of Edition 13 of our Performance Journal in 2017, where he spoke to us about Oracle Team USA’s plans to defend of the America’s Cup.

Critical thinking
And how to improve it. Here’s a cheat sheet to help ask yourself important questions when making a decision.

Mental Health – let’s talk about it.


Alexa, show me what high performance looks like.


You can’t stop us.

Could you and your team be making better use of your performance metrics?

If so, then the latest Leaders Performance Institute Special Report, Analyse This: Managing Your Metrics, will be right up your street. It features a variety of sports organisations, from the San Antonio Spurs and England Netball, to the Wests Tigers and Tennis Australia, via British Skeleton. Download it now.

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