“I was like a headless chicken at first,” says Neil Black. The Performance Director of British Athletics is reflecting on his first days in a role he took in 2012 shortly after Team GB enjoyed a hugely successful Olympic and Paralympic Games on home soil in London. The nation would proceed to accrue even more medals at the 2016 Games in Rio, with the track & field team picking up an additional medal.
By John Portch
Black and his staff are clearly doing something right and here we dig down into his personal journey from club athlete to head of one of athletics’ most prestigious programmes. As ever, it is as much about people as it is about strategy. Other items on the table for conversation include:
- The evolution of the role of performance director within British Athletics;
- British Athletics’ Performance Plan Systems during a four-year Olympic and Paralympic cycle;
- How the performance director’s role changes as a major competition approaches.
- The learnings from the Rio Olympics and how they are applied going forward;
- The power balance between athletes and / or coaches and performance staffs;