Sport Stories Podcast
Karen Brown MBE – Former 3x Olympic Hockey Player and 3x Olympic Hockey Coach now Coach Developer

Karen Brown MBE – Former 3x Olympic Hockey Player and 3x Olympic Hockey Coach now Coach Developer

February 8, 2021

An amazing insight in Karen’s involvement in 6 Olympic Games whilst not enjoying being in the spotlight. She openly shares the highs and lows of a life-time in sport, building teams and getting the best from individuals, managing the transition from player to coach and lifestyle choices.

Karen, in a very humble and clear way, shares her journey, offering some amazing pieces of advice in how she has been so successful. It is a truly brilliant opportunity for parents, teachers, coaches and leaders to learn from a successful women in sport who truly has a passion for helping people and in turn putting them in the spotlight.

This is a bit more about Karen…

Karen Brown MBE is a former field hockey defender, who was a member of the British squad that won the bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Commonwealth Silver medal and European Gold Brown is England and Great Britain's second-highest capped player of all time, with 355 caps to her name.

She was Assistant Coach for both the Great Britain and England hockey teams and part of the management teams that secured a World Cup bronze with England in 2010, Olympic bronze with Great Britain at the London Olympics, European Gold in 2015 and Olympic Gold at the Rio Olympics.

She stepped down from her role as Assistant Coach in January 2017, and now works in a coach developer capacity for England and GB Hockey  as well as UK sport.

 

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For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

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Follow Sport Stories:
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YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Key quotes, saying and comments :

I was aware the I was talented at the age of 4 or 5. I could do things others couldn’t

Mr Shawney (Teacher at School) – “Karen – whichever sport you choose you will play for England at it!”

The feeling coming back to me when making my debut for England at Hockey (at Wembley)

As an athlete I was driven by fear of failure?

I had many doubts about myself – it evoked fear

Started coaching in schools with your kids

I learnt - There is nothing wrong in telling people they CAN do things and giving them time and focus – there is a tendency to lean towards what people cant do and only helping them.

Tell people – you do realise you are really good at this. You have a special talent!

There weren’t the avenues for talented girls in sport that are available today

An fortuitous opportunity arose to play with the School Hockey 1st team

My dad said – you will like that, you will enjoy that (going to the county Hockey tournament)

Within 4 months  - not playing the sport through to paying for England U18’s (aged 16yrs)

At a young age don’t specialise in any one sport

I learnt from athletics that I wanted to be part of a team *

Really explore – find your niche – don’t be restricted and try things out

The culture behind the sport was so important for me

You can take bits of learning from everything and apply it in other parts of your life *

You can’t learn from it unless you give it a go *

I was far more conscious of what I could do rather than what I couldn’t

It felt like it came quite naturally and that I didn’t work hard at it (though I did infact work hard)

It didn’t feel like hard work – I was just really curious about it and what could and would happen if I did….

I was always curious about exploring different ways of doing things

I developed technical skill through practice but it felt like fun (playing about in the fields around where I lived)

The importance of the cues you get from your environment and surroundings in early years

Senior debut in 1984

Unfairness and equal opportunities playing out – 6 teams for the women and 12 for the men

First Olympics in 1988

The disappointments earlier on in my career shaped

Highlight of playing career – qualifying for Seoul in 1988 by beating Russia in best of 3 games

I didn’t know my dad had represented GB at the Olympics until I was about 14yrs

Trained with Zola Budd

I have always been fascinated by the Olympics – all the sports!!

I took time to reflect on the lows and earnt from them

Building and developing year on year

Recognising the importance of winning the game as part of the broader process/journey

I learnt – no to dwell to much about what has gone in the past

The importance of being able to ‘shut the door’ on one part of the process and move on to the new

You have to debrief really well to enable yourself to ‘shut the door’ and move on. At team, personal and team within the team level

Capture what would I do differently should I have this opportunity again. THAT’S THE GOLD DUST

Asking myself – how did I deliver against those responsibilities

I’ve learnt – don’t ever ask an athlete (especially under pressure ie in Olmpics) to do something (a tactic or technique) that you have never seen them do before

In many ways – under high pressure go back to basics. Only do things you know can be done under pressure and has therefore been done before.

Stick to judgement not luck!

Great principles - We trained harder than what we thought it would be on a match day

We spend a lot of time on ‘how do you train the brain’. EG How do you want to feel and what do you want to think when….

Pulling out of them with questions - Often solving a problem for an athlete in the moment but saving a bigger problem for later by not developing them

Transitioned as a coach from more tell to nowdays much more self-discovery and go on a journey together.

You have to know the person (athlete) in front of you.

It is a coaches job (or leader, teacher) to flex their style and connect with the individuals that make up that team

Show me how to do it then let me have a go and I will get it really quickly.  (Great learning theory and approaches)

Fantastic example of situational leadership (Skill Development Journey)

I love what I do and am incredibly fortunate to do what I do.

One of my key values is that I like helping people

I don’t like being in the spotlight but like playing my part in putting others in the spotlight

I was privileged to be asked to be captain of England – and turned it down.

I think my skill sets and what I would prefer to be are..

I love working behind the scenes but wouldn’t choose to get up on the pedestal

Happy people perform better  *  The happier I am the better I will do my job*

Its really important to really understand the ‘game’ that you are playing in

The journey needs to be so much more than just the outcome, its got to be bigger then that, its got to be about how they (we) grow as individuals

If you have never tried it then you will not know what the result will be

One of the traits I look for in athletes is, are they curious and do they really/truly want to improve

I get a real buzz seeing people develop

I am a believer in displaying the behaviours you want to see in others

I learnt that if I felt right I would think right. The feeling had to come before the thought

Take people back to ‘when did it all feel effortless’

My manager went so against the grain – he explored what was best for the customer. I serve the customer not the organisation. As a result the customers trusted him

 

Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby

ALEX FERGUSON My Autobiography: The autobiography of the legendary Manchester United manager by Alex Ferguson

Winning!: The path to Rugby World Cup glory by Clive Woodward

Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance by Matthew Syed

World's Best: Coaching with the kookaburras and the hockeyroos by Ric Charlesworth

 

How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…

I have to get my head in the right space – prepare my brain so I can perform

Clear the clutter out of my head and make myself feel right

 

What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

Try enjoy whatever it is you are going to do

Always make sure you are curious in what you do and have an interest to get better

 

Who has made a big impact on you?

John Edwards (who I worked with at the Nat west Bank)

 

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Richard Charlesworth

 

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

As an Athlete Karen was Driven by a fear of failure – what drives and motivates you?

2

Karen mentioned her feelings towards being in the spotlight – What is your relation to being in the spotlight and what do you like and not like and what is the reason behind this?

3

Give some attention to  - what do you really value and enjoy?

4

If you believe (as both Karen and I do) that Happy people perform better – what role do you play in making those around you be happier that you wish for them to perform better?

5

How do you reward yourself?

 

Contact info:

Karen can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn. Alternatively contact me at hello@sportstories247.com and I will pass on her details.

Lou Englefield – Director of Pride Sports UK, Campaign Director of Football v Homophobia, Fare Network board member & sports activist.

Lou Englefield – Director of Pride Sports UK, Campaign Director of Football v Homophobia, Fare Network board member & sports activist.

February 1, 2021

The incredible story of the purposeful, passionate and energetic Lou Englefield who’s drive and determination is clear to see. Lou wants to make a difference in whatever she does and it has been both hugely rewarding yet at times a great slog. The power of sport as a vehicle to engage with inclusion and wider human rights issues is clear to see.

This is a must listen. It wont fail to make you think. It’s a deep and very honest insight into the meandering journey Lou took in exploring who she is in the world and how she now turns up! I only wish we had more time!

Below is a more descriptive overview of the involvement Lou has in making a difference through sport and physical activity as an incredibly strong advocate for inclusion.

Lou Englefield is a founding Director of Pride Sports, a UK LGBTIQ+ sports development and inclusion organisation. Lou has been a leading voice on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport & physical activity across Europe for more than 10 years.  She has directed the international Football v Homophobia campaign since 2012, holds a board position on FARE Network and is Co-Chair of Pride House International. Lou presents and speaks on issues of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport and physical activity globally and has ensured that Pride Sports has become a leading authority on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport and physical activity, at the forefront of insight, policy and practice. 

 

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: hello@sportstories247.com

Follow Sport Stories:
Twitter:            twitter.com/sportstories_
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Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Success Quote or saying:

Meandered through life…

My father created a competitive culture in which I grew up

You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever." Steve Jobs.

Working in sport and Human rights has been my happiest work time

I saw and experienced the social injustice play out

Came out at the age of 20-21 yrs

The desire to want to also have a family

It took me a number of years to consider and explore what possibilities were and are available to me in life. (14 – early/mid 20’s)

Average age of coming out is now 15/16yrs old due to less ‘shame’ and ‘silence’ attached.

I got feminism at University. Studies Sociology.

We were ‘misfits’ and gravitated to each other.

Did lots of Volunteering which then lead to paid roles

Women’s centre admin to housing and homelessness.

The common theme was ‘I wanted to do things that made a difference’.

Joined Hockey team at University but found it really difficult. Don’t ask and don’t tell kind of atmosphere!

With analysis and understanding I can make sense

The ‘difference’ between ‘sport lesbians’ and ‘feminist lesbians’

The ability just to BE. We were able just to be.

Things change in the world of work…so I asked myself what can I do that would get my mojo back?

I was getting drawn into sport.

City tournaments all around Europe – sport events for LGBT community  (Pride Games)

Enthusiastic and inspired by new ideas. We have always got great ideas here…! (Football v Homophobia)

If I believe in something I will run with the idea

The coming together of ‘art’ and ‘sport’

It has not been an easy gig. It has been a slog at times.

It is important for me as a person to be not ‘too much in my head’

I need to be grounded in some getting my hands dirty as a person

I am lucky to have a wide diversity of roles (filling envelopes to opening conferences)

I have been doing it so long now I can see the changes

It is really nice to be thanked

Moved from feeling threatened to working alongside

During the hard times I pull myself through by talking to people – getting perspective.

There is nothing as brilliant as getting out of breath.

Ground breaker?  We have broken ground….!

The threat is that we are quite an invisible minority.

We are living in strange times. Some countries have gone backwards in terms of Human Rights

Conscious of the reversibility of inclusion and human rights

We will always be a minority and fight for our voices to be heard

Football v Homophobia month of action (February)

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. We can get caught up as leaders and coaches NOT asking for help and support.

I will look back on this conversation and will have definitely got something from it myself

 

Quick fire questions:

What resources would you recommend?

The best resources we have are the people around us. Talking things through always gives just the most amazing perspectives

 

Some people read lots of books – I am not one of those types of people

 

What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

Take a big deep breath.

You will grow into yourself and therefore don’t panic

It will all be alright

You are more resilient than you know

Trust and enjoy the process of developing

 

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Veronica Ivory – Canadian Transgender cyclist

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

How do the dot join up or join back in order for you to make sense of your life so far to inform your future?

2

When have you been in a minority group or community? How did you feel? I wonder what it would be like considering the perspective from both the majority and minority perspective? What may you do differently as a result?

 

Contact info:

Email – Info@pridesports.org.uk

Website: www.pridesports.org.uk   and  www.Footballvhomophobia.com

Twitter: @pridesports, @fvhtweets  and  @LouEnglefield

LinkedIn: lou-englefield

Kevin Nicholson - Head of Coaching at Exeter City Football Club and former professional footballer

Kevin Nicholson - Head of Coaching at Exeter City Football Club and former professional footballer

January 25, 2021

A winding and wonderful journey through football. Gain a fantastic and realistic insight in what striving to be a professional footballer has been like for Nicho. He openly shares some of the highlights and lowlights (as well as some great tips!) from turning professional in 1997 through to developing players and coaches for the future.

He played at all levels of the game over a long period of time and has also experienced the game of football through the perspectives of Player, Coach, Head of Coaching, Manager and Parent.

Nicho is currently Head of Coaching at Exeter City where they are doing some great work in developing young footballers and people.

This is a great listen if you are a young player, parent, teacher, coach or leader. Nichos story will make you think and consider your philosophy, values, beliefs and ultimately what is important to you and how do you get there (or help others get there!)

Enjoy!

 

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: hello@sportstories247.com

Follow Sport Stories:
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Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Key points and success quotes:

Didn’t get selected at first trial

Advice from mum….

  • Don’t celebrate goals because the game is not over.
  • If you ever go down when not injured, I will run on an make sure you are

Careers adviser not believing and supporting a career in football – parents supportive as long as school work done

Standards were ingrained into me….and it came from my parents

It is unacceptable to not be on time – it turns me to cold sweats.

The football environment also gave me the structure and routine.

High school to Lilleshall National Sport Centre (Lilleshall is the blueprint for Academies now days!)

Everything came through my childhood

I grew up very quickly and at an early age had to be the man of the house when my parents split

Played against Ronaldinho in Brazil as a youngster

‘Old school’ discipline and standards versus now days.

Learn about how people learn now.

I have played through 3 ‘different generations’ of footballer.

Old school values v current…you earnt your stripes!

What about the Old Blacks!

The power of your culture and environment

Back then – it you could not take it you didn’t make it!

Unacceptable to rule through fear now days

As a manger – I got best results when people had a say and involvement in it. They want to know why they are doing what they are.

One of my strengths and weaknesses is that I am incredibly patient and calm/composed.

The difference between players who want it and need it

Just get better today – focus on ‘next practice’ (stay in moment)

Concentrate on what you can control and don’t focus to far into the future

Asked myself – did I do everything I could do to be the best I could be?

Don’t be that guy who says…if only I had….?

I did the best I could do with the knowledge I had at that given time – no regrets!

700 games experience   - league 2 and National League

I was told I was not good enough so intrinsic drive to show them they were wrong

Play as long as you can play – cant think of anyone saying ‘pack it all in‘ when you realise you are not good enough

I get pleasure in helping people develop.

Become the best version of you as a coach.

I learn so much along the way. I don’t see where I am at now as being the final place.

I am role modelling – open mindedness, learning and taking things away and doing.

I have learnt to just do it – make the mistakes and learn

One person might take one thing from it and actually that is what is important and makes the difference.

Be more present while you are present.

The intention meant often differs from the intention felt

I can live by my moral code…

You’ve got to know your own moral code is first

Can honest be a weakness?

I’ve been told at times you are too nice!

You don’t have to sacrifice your morals o drive performance and standards

Emotional intelligence is really important – emotional relationships, trust and report are also really important in addition to knowing about the ‘x’s’ and ‘o’s’

The more I learn the less I realise what I know

Why not just have a go..!

Continuing to ask curious questions

Being open minded.

 

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

― Lao Tzu

 

Those things that sound so simple aren’t simple – you have to practice them and work on them and  become more self-aware

 

Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Dr Steve Peters

Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Dr Spencer Johnson

 

Key advice to somebody wanting a career in sport

‘Next Practice’ – only worry about the next thing you can effect.

Don’t get too high – don’t get too low

 

In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

 Enjoy it – it gets too serious at times.

 

Who has made a big impact on you?

Parents

Wife  (Really grounding as doesn’t know about football)

My Strength and Conditioning coach

Jocky Scott and many others

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Tiger Woods

Tom Brady

 

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What is the key attribute you have that is both your main strength as well as weakness?

2

Positive Learning Mindset – what one thing have you learnt today and what one thing are you most appreciative of ? (ask yourself everyday!)

 

Contact info:

Twitter – @kevnicho3

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-nicholson-50827a69/

Lucy Moore - Head of Professional Workforce at Sport England, Trustee at Activity Alliance, PhD student with The Open University.

Lucy Moore - Head of Professional Workforce at Sport England, Trustee at Activity Alliance, PhD student with The Open University.

January 18, 2021

School Sports Coordinator to Sports Policy maker and talent development coach. The very authentic and heart-warming story of the highs and lows of the journey Lucy has been on. Dealing with the labels attributed to her all the way through to how her previous life experiences really inform and educate her around the work and impact she is now having.  A brilliant discussion peeling back the onion layers and getting a deep insight into her process and how she has managed her dyslexia and autism. Listen deeply and take action – Lucy is truly a giver with a very genuine style and offers some fantastic guidance and advice!

This is how she would describe herself….

Approaching life with a slightly geeky earnest enthusiasm. Sports development and coaching specialist. Passionate about supporting people and helping them to be the best they can be. Love learning and currently working to complete my Doctorate. All round sporty person, with main interests including hockey (coaching and playing), visiting the gym (when not in a pandemic) and training for my first (and last) IronMan triathlon. Enjoy languages and like finding ways to improve my Spanish, French and German (none of which are any good, but that’s not the point). Blue Peter badge owner. Neurodivergent person: dyslexic and Autism Spectrum Disorder (which sounds too pathologised for me, used to be called Aspergers – but that doesn’t really exist as a diagnosis anymore, we all get labelled ASD). Big fan of a “ham-cheese-avocado-ready salted crisp” sandwich. 

Favourite quote: “Be brave and curious, not fearful and suspicious” - Eddie Izzard

 

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: hello@sportstories247.com

Follow Sport Stories:
Twitter:            twitter.com/sportstories_
Instagram:       Instagram.com/sportstories247
Facebook:        facebook.com/sportstories247
LinkedIn:         https://www.linkedin.com/company/sportstories
YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Success Quote or saying:

4 key principles:

  • Allow people to be who they are
  • Build on what you have in common
  • Listen more than speak
  • Find the person behind the role

(Cath Bishops words)

 

Independent play and being wild and free as a young person

As a young person - Realising that I was a girl and how the precluded me from certain activities

Early sporting memory seeing women playing Rugby next to Twickenham and why not in the stadium

I hated the word – Tomboy. Created a distinction between boys things and girls things

Started playing Hockey – an immediate feeling of I could do it – fell in love with it

Being capable enough at sports allowed me to have friends given I had lot of other things going on for me (autism and dyslexia)

Structured sport allowed me to be popular and have friends

Diagnosed autism and dyslexia only in my 20’s

Hockey really makes my mind go silent

Sports participation connected to the feeling and the mind (Hockey really does this for Lucy)

Recognised the positive and negative impact sport had on her mental well being

Don’t realise how important things are until they are gone.

Real great interest in neurodiversity and who I am, What I am and What I do?

Terrible County Hockey selection experiences have underpinned my philosophy and  approach to talent development

The personal diaries tell the story as it was then

The powerfulness of reading about my younger self – young people are really attuned to what is going on. They have a memory of their experiences.

The experiences that took her down the coaching route

There is an ego/voice that takes me off to want to right all the wrongs that happened to me.

I found success and felt good at helping people

The little things often make the big differences for me

I come from a place where I see people as resourceful and not deficient

I start from a place where I want them to flourish

Through significant ruminating and therapy I now care less about what people think.

We are flawed like everybody else

The real work is in your own mind….

Metaphor: Earthquakes v tectonic plates moving all the time

As a coach you only have one part of the story…..you have to therefore stay curious

I threw myself into work – collecting work – but ended up full up.  It became an Ego thing.

I made some significant changes…..and yet the world didn’t end.

I was harder and more disciplined with myself and gave permission to take breaks

Put your own oxygen mask on first

Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you like it and just because somebody else wants you to do something doesn’t mean you should. Just because you say no to somebody and they don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s a bad decision.

I am and always will be an empath and pulled towards helping people.

My strategies are based on the situation and circumstances

It helps having other priorities in my life

Ask myself who is this for? Is it for me and my benefit? Is it aligned to my direction of not?

There isn’t a shortage of people who want to take a different approach to people/coaches within the sport system

I like to flit between different roles from strategic to practical/applied and operational

A lived reality of the different layers of sport

Do we really appreciate the individual impact policy makers have on the wider sporting world?

Small changes can and do have a big ripple effect

Don’t miss out – what you did for free, the hours out in the rain. Consider how are you going to get loads of different experiences.

What lateral experiences might you be able to get?

Relationships are the ‘whole system’

Policy is meaningless until somebody reads it and does something with it

The sport system is a huge web of human beings – humans are the secret key and we should start with them.

How do we define success and what does it mean…

We can all influence in our ‘own little garden’

These are my opinions and I speak on behalf of me – I check myself every day

The way that I speak is influenced by the way you listen and the way you listen is influenced by the way I speak – we cant separate ourselves!

Be prepared - How you get in and how you get out and the middle bit will sort itself out

 

Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

The Long Win: The search for a better way to succeed by Cath Bishop

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

 

How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Keep active

Walk the dog.

Sleep well - consistently

Being well prepared – how start and how close!

 

In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

 Go with your gut and be bold and be yourself

Who has made a big impact on you?

PE teacher – Mrs Green (saw potential in me and sign posted me!)

Danny Kerry, Bobby Crutchley, Jason Lee, Karen Brown (all great Hockey coaches yet different!)

Demi Dowey

Carol from Sport England

Kath Sweet at UK sport

 

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Caz Walton at the BPA

 

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What do you need to do to quieten your mind and get a really relaxed focus?

2

If looking to gain experience – what lateral opportunities could you look for and maximise?

3

What part of your life has been a challenge and how could you views this and use it to really help and motivate you?

 

Contact info:

Twitter – @LuckyMoore15

LinkedIn - lucymoore15

Steve McCormack - Head of Welfare at Rugby League Cares and former Head coach of the Scotland Rugby League team

Steve McCormack - Head of Welfare at Rugby League Cares and former Head coach of the Scotland Rugby League team

January 11, 2021

From a young Wigan lad to the longest standing Rugby League Head Coach for Scotland attending 3 world cups. He has travelled the world, worked at a number of clubs and has found that humour, hard work and remaining humble are key.

It is such a great conversation if you are keen to hear somebody who is striving to be themselves and honest about who they are and have been. Authentic leadership comes to my mind!

Steve is now the Head of Welfare at Rugby League Cares in the UK. He took up the role after heading up the education and welfare position at the Wigan Warriors.

Steve is a highly experienced individual having coached at all levels of the game. He has been Head Coach at Super-League level and also coached the Scotland national team in three world cups and the 2016 Four Nations Competition. Steve made the decision to concentrate on his main passion of player care and wellbeing and ensured the Wigan Warriors welfare structure is one of the best, not only in rugby league but in professional sport. His recent appointment at RL Cares has seen him make a massive impact on the player welfare structure of all players playing in the UK.

 

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: hello@sportstories247.com

Follow Sport Stories:
Twitter:            twitter.com/sportstories_
Instagram:       Instagram.com/sportstories247
Facebook:        facebook.com/sportstories247
LinkedIn:         https://www.linkedin.com/company/sportstories
YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Success quotes or sayings:

Surrounded myself with good people

Humble hard working and respectful were key values to me

Players ended up driving the culture in the best teams I was involved with

Everyone bought into the culture on and off the field

I was often outside my comfort zone

I just worked hard and lived my values

Winning became an obsession

Being a head coach can be a lonely place sometimes

Balance between winning and being driven and making sure you look after yourself enough

Learnt to delegate better and more. Sit back, delegate and trust my staff more has been a massive benefit and learning

I really valued the Sport psychologist input. The value of an impartial and confidential conversation was so helpful

It is very different being head coach to being an assistant coach

I just started putting time as side to spend time with my family – I started to recognise the importance of this. Spending time watching my lad now playing football.

I have become more aware of those around me and valuing the time with them. These are valuable lessons learnt from my early days when I didn’t do this

Recognising the elements of your life away from the sport – business, education, family etc… If only focussed on one thing and its not going well then things may be very difficult.

All coaches get sacked…

If I wrote everything down regarding my career it would be an interesting book.

A peak – being involved in 3 world cups with Scotland especially in 2013 and then the 4 Nations in 2015 (drawing against New Zealand)

You have got to keep those same principles   - humble, hardworking etc…  are non-negotiable and go wherever you go.

I would have to work at a different pace in different environments/clubs. Same principles yet different timelines

Leave the club in a better position/place than when you came

When you leave a club you always want to go back and shake peoples hands

Really valued speaking to other sports and key people in businesses. Go speak to people.

I have learnt to immerse myself more in my family

 (podcasts and autobiographies) It’s just brilliant to look at other peoples perspectives and how they deal with the challenges of life.

Make sure you learn something everyday and be at your best.

 

 

Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

Legacy by James Kerr by Jim Kerr

Made in Sheffield: Neil Warnock - My Story by Neil Warnock

The Bald Truth: My Life in the World's Hardest Sport by Keith Senior

 

How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Every morning I speak to myself…..set myself for the day

Laugh everyday! Enjoy what you do!

 

In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

Work hard

Choose wisely who you spend time with

Ask for help when you need it – we all need help at some time in our life

 

Who has made a big impact on you?

My dad

My wife  - Rebecca

Dennis Mc Hugh at Wigan

Dave Rotherham

 

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Can’t think of any specifics…. There are too many

 

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What in your life is distracting you away from being truly focussed and how can you change this?

2

Who do you ask to get the feedback from to help you uncover blind spots to impact positively on your performance?

 

Contact info:

 www.rugbyleaguecares.org

Dr Cath Bishop – Author of The Long Win, business coach, medal winning Olympic rower and former diplomat

Dr Cath Bishop – Author of The Long Win, business coach, medal winning Olympic rower and former diplomat

January 4, 2021

From being categorised as ‘not a sporty child’ to winning and Olympic medal and authoring a best selling book on winning. What and incredible insight and experience!

Dr Cath Bishop is an Olympian, former diplomat, business coach and author.

She competed in rowing at 3 Olympic Games, winning World Championships gold in 2003 and Olympic silver in Athens 2004. As a diplomat for the British Foreign Office for 12 years, Cath specialized in policy and negotiations on conflict issues, with postings to Bosnia and Iraq. Cath now works as a business consultant, leadership coach and author, and teaches on Executive Education programmes at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University and is a Visiting Professor at Surrey Business School.

Cath speaks at events globally on topics of leadership, high performing teams and cultural change. Her first book ‘The Long Win: the search for a better way to succeed’, published October 2020, was described by the Financial Times as ‘a deep and rewarding exploration of human motivation in sport, politics, business and our personal lives’ and listed in their Top 10 Business Books for 2020.

  

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: sportstories247@gmail.com

Follow Sport Stories:
Twitter:            twitter.com/sportstories_
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YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Success Quotes or sayings:

I didn’t know how to access sport and fitness at an early age

The concepts were playing out – trying hard at school, wanting to learn and working out how I could become better at something

I was interested., curious and intrigued

I was conscientious and hard working and used these principles

Really understanding – what’s the drama behind the piece

Searching and being curious all the time

Find something that is so exciting I want to bury myself in it

I was categorised as not a sporty child

I saw opportunities which I believed were not open to me

There was a real joy when I found sport – it was all mine

Striving is a real part of me – I struggle to switch it off

The tension between the learning process and performance outcome measurements

An interest in looking at things beyond just the answer

Peoples answers and reactions gave you a sense there were ‘good ways to go’ and ‘bad ways to go’

What about them – this is what I often struggle with – the constant segregation

I was doing well but feeling  really uncomfortable at the same time

I feel uncomfortable about the labels we put on people

I was totally released from outcomes – it was a really lovely thing. I just wanted to do ourselves proud

I realised the was a process of ‘you just have to get on with it!’

You had to opt in – there was no option of opting out

The scenario was - I cannot run away so had to run towards. There was no spotlight on JUST you!

Focussing on yourself as well as others

I am afraid of the water and still am…. Yet being ON the water is my favourite place

Lots of things exclude you...how can we emphasise how to INCLUDE you

[Watch for] sweeping statements that teachers (and developers) make

Fun being so important even when we put in more training and take things ‘more seriously’

The performance narrative that arrived was dense and oppressive – but thought that is what you have got to do to be an Olympic rower?

I then threw myself into this narrative…

I tried to learn all this ‘dominant winning language’. I found this really hard!

I am so glad I loved the sport and being on the river

Having a broad network of connections and friends was so important

My other interests were a lifeline and necessity for me to be able to perform

I did things to an obsessive degree which at times came at a cost

The importance of compassion and mindfulness in sport

Seeing sport in the broader framework is really helpful to performance

Making sense of the obsession with winning – who are the real winners?

You can’t control the result…you can control what you do.

Let’s see what we can learn and then see where it takes us…

Importance of connecting performance at a deeper level and to what comes afterwards

Curiosity and learning is the positive fuel

It is not about enjoying sport and therefore lowering standards – which is often what people fear

 

Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking by Matthew Syed

A Bigger Prize: When No One Wins Unless Everyone Wins by Margaret Heffernan

 

How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Time to exercise everyday

Be really present and in the moment

 

In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

Don’t obsess over the results, be present and more of what I take joy from

 

Who has made a big impact on you?

Ron and Roger – coaches I had at University

 

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Daley Thompson - Decathlete

 

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What perceptions do you have of yourself and others that are limiting and how might you change them?

2

How has your position in your family helped or hindered your beliefs and attitudes towards hard work and success?

3

How would you define success for you on your own terms?

4

How does being the best version of you and the notion of ‘winning’ sit for you?

5

Win or lose: What are you going to gain regardless of the result?

 

 

Contact info:

www.cathbishop.com

@thecathbishop

Kevin Sinfield MBE – Director of Rugby at Leeds Rhinos and marathon fundraiser for MND Association.

Kevin Sinfield MBE – Director of Rugby at Leeds Rhinos and marathon fundraiser for MND Association.

December 24, 2020

Kevin Sinfield needs little introduction. Captained Great Britain at RL, played both codes of Rugby, SPOTY runner up and most recently has raised a huge amount of money for the MND association in support of his close friend Rob Burrow who is suffering from this cruel disease. In his word this was “the best week of his life” – running 7 marathons in 7 days.

Kev the younger brother, best mate, team mate, retired player, the leader, the fundraiser and really importantly the father of the family shares some of his very own personal story in his usual humble, authentic, and determined way.

It is a must listen and you cannot fail to be both choked and inspired by what he has achieved and how he has achieved it!  Some how you know there is more to come!

 

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: hello@sportstories247.com

Follow Sport Stories:
Twitter:            twitter.com/sportstories_
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YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Key quotes or sayings:

A group of 4 or 5 blokes just helping a mate!

This is NOT sport – this is about people and their lives!

It is a DIFFERENT satisfaction from playing and winning medals and rings

I need to test myself – challenge myself – see what my body can do.

Have the courage just to go for it!

It’s clear – we all had a similar mindset and a common goal

Think of a team as the need of a full set of vitamins and minerals to perform at your best

Working is performance sport is demanding and often just a slog

Part of being in a team is giving a lot of yourself

Selfish nature of performance

Fine balance when being a player and leader to get things right

The importance of being able to read people

In the team environment – I never put myself before the team – NEVER!!

Importance of family holidays – especially as we come to a stage when you become un cool for your kids to want to join you.

Emotionally tough but we all got a glow about us

Until you are in that situation – you don’t appreciate - friendships matter so much

Quitting never ever entered my head…

The ‘big elephant in the room’ is the person. Lets not loose sight of them for the small percentage gains

People respond differently to different types of adversity

Dare to dream…

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What are the key principles or values you live your life by?

2

Kev said Friendships matter so much: What are the quality and depth of your friendships? Who would do a 7 in 7 challenge for you and who would YOU do  a challenge for  and how would this enhance your friendship?

3

What has lockdown given you the time to do? What benefit have you taken from it?

4

If you dared yourself to DREAM...what would you dream?

 

Contact info:

Leeds Rhinos website and social media channels

 

Donate to MND Association

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sinfield-7-in-7

Chris Ratcliffe - CEO Boccia England and previously represented GB in the 1985 Deaflympics (Water Polo) and Wales Deaf Rugby

Chris Ratcliffe - CEO Boccia England and previously represented GB in the 1985 Deaflympics (Water Polo) and Wales Deaf Rugby

December 21, 2020

Chris shares his experience in life and sport growing up as a deaf person trying to ‘fit in’ and learning that the realisation that every one of us is different

Chris really brings to life what it has been like living with and overcoming adversity. Being born profoundly deaf, being bullied as a young person and playing performance sport and successfully undertaking senior positions with sporting organisations are all areas we cover in this amazing conversation over a zoom call.

For me there is a real theme of do we want to be treated the same or differently and the consequences of this.

If you are facing challenges and wondering how you may over come them then listen in for some inspiration and guidance. Chris shares some of his strategies that helped. They may help you!

 

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: hello@sportstories247.com

Follow Sport Stories:
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YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Success Quote or saying:

You can only control what you can control

Egos and logos

Reflect and listen

The importance of feedback in a safe environment

A conscious journey of learning

Preparation is key

Being a game changer and making a difference

Michael Jordan said “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Success is often more down to the effort you put in more than anything else

Fine line between managing frustration and getting frustrated

You have to practice in order to become good at it

The importance of coaching the person not the sport

Somebody who believed in me because of my ability not seeing my deafness as a disability

The importance of switching off and relaxing

 

Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

Winning!: The path to Rugby World Cup glory by Clive Woodward

My Life and Rugby: The Autobiography by Eddie Jones

Leading by Sir Alex Ferguson

How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Read – Ian Rankin

Get out and walk the ‘black dog’

Note book and pen to capture thoughts

 

In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

 Pay attention and value learning

Everyone of us is different…. We are all different from one another!

Celebrate and embrace differences.

 

Who has made a big impact on you?

Parents

Celia Brackenridge (course tutor and personal tutor) She made me feel included.

Colin Beech

Barry Horne at Activity Alliance

 

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Johnny Weissmuller actor and swimmer

Terence Parkin deaf South African swimmer

Tom Smith (Scottish Rugby Player)

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What are you taking for granted in your life and how could you show greater appreciation for what you have?

2

How open are you to learning and your blind spots and what do you need to have in place to unearth them, then potential they offer and the associated learning?

 

Contact info:

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-ratcliffe-1b78a44/

Website:  https://www.bocciaengland.org.uk/

John Blain – Former Yorkshire, Northamptonshire & Scotland Cricketer and now Director of Cricket at The Grange C.C. in Edinburgh.

John Blain – Former Yorkshire, Northamptonshire & Scotland Cricketer and now Director of Cricket at The Grange C.C. in Edinburgh.

December 14, 2020

A very candid view of what High Performance is to him and what he needed to survive. As expected, John was open and honest about his journey through sport touching on some of the highs, the lows and controversies he was involved in. A constant was John asking himself “What was the learning in that”

This is a unique and authentic story..

John shares some really personal and never shared before stories when he was involved as a played for Scotland and coach at Yorkshire. It is a must listen….and a great opportunity to learn from his Sport Story. Here is a little more about John and his background…

John is a Scottish, Edinburgh born ex First Class and International Cricketer who was inducted into the Cricket Scotland Hall of Fame in May 2019. In formative years John enjoyed 6 years within the pathway of youth professional Football with Hibernian F.C. and Falkirk F.C. John is also an ECB Level 4 Cricket Coach awarded in 2013.

From a modest sporting background, John has followed a less than linear and comfortable pathway to the highest possible playing and coaching levels in Cricket. Over 25 years of involvement in professional sport comes with a strong and compelling backstory of ups, downs, challenges and learnings.

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: sportstories247@gmail.com

Follow Sport Stories:
Twitter:            twitter.com/sportstories_
Instagram:       Instagram.com/sportstories247
Facebook:        facebook.com/sportstories247
LinkedIn:         https://www.linkedin.com/company/sportstories
YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Success quotes or sayings that stood out:

  • For me it was right!
  • Mum and dad provided a scaffolding support
  • I was very self taught
  • It was a potent mix for me as a learner
  • Help an individual understand how they take on information
  • I came up on the inside track
  • Circumstance plus opportunity
  • 2 sports that complemented each other but the struggle was at times hard
  • We talk about High Performance is playing ‘in the moment’ and with freedom
  • I played in the moment and that is why I was best suited to high performance
  • The irony of High performance – Play in moment and self-taught
  • High Performance should come with a Toxic sign
  • I needed that high performance personality to survive
  • I really appreciate and took the learning once I came out the High Performance environment
  • I just problem solved and learnt as I went – which I called on this skill throughout my career
  • Importance of aligning myself with good people
  • I left home at 17 yrs old. My Past (early) experiences stood me in good stead later in life
  • People are often given positions but still need to earn the credentials/credibility
  • Importance of understanding the person and having the coaching toolbox
  • You have to go and try and understand the individual
  • The job is about the ‘struggle chapters’ as well as the ‘good chapters’ in the book.
  • As a coach I often find myself searching for the answer myself.
  • I often stop and ask myself – what is the learning in that
  • The importance of having a trusted support network to share and ask
  • I need to step back and take time for my personal learning
  • The importance of culture and setting the ‘right’ environment to learn and improve

 

Quick fire questions:

How I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Discipline to do the volume and be organised

Have everything planned and in place

 

Who has made a big impact on you?

My family – mum, dad and sister!

Philip St Johnstone – Penicuik

Jim Love

Ricky Graham

Steve Oldham

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What strategies do you have today that have helped you in the past but no longer help you now? How can you now change these strategies?

2

You don’t have to do it on your won – who do you call on when in need of help and support? Who is in your trusted support network and what is missing?

3

What is the ‘mix of ingredients’ you require to best help you learn?

 

Contact info:

Twitter - Johnblain4

Email - johnblain4@hotmail.co.uk

Prof. Damian Hughes – Co-host High Performance Podcast, international speaker and best-selling author

Prof. Damian Hughes – Co-host High Performance Podcast, international speaker and best-selling author

December 7, 2020

The Story behind the person asking the High-Performance questions…

Get a real insight into the influence his father played on his journey through sport and why he now does what he does and the many lessons he has learnt along the way to living a high performance lifestyle.

I just love his very clear non-negotiable behaviours of kindness, fun and engaging and can it make a positive difference. Listen in to the episode and make your own judgement if Damian lives to these.  I certainly think he does!!

If you are interested to know more about Damian then have a look at the bottom of the show notes for his detailed biography. I would suggest you just listen in to the conversation as there are so many thought provoking stories and situations for you to make sense of.

It was a real pleasure and hopefully will inspire you to take responsibility and be the best version of you!

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It only takes a minute and really makes a difference in helping to convince new listeners. Thanks so much it - is much appreciated!!

For show notes and past guests, please visit www.sportstories247.com

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Please make contact at: sportstories247@gmail.com

Follow Sport Stories:
Twitter:            twitter.com/sportstories_
Instagram:       Instagram.com/sportstories247
Facebook:        facebook.com/sportstories247
LinkedIn:         https://www.linkedin.com/company/sportstories
YouTube:          Sport Stories YouTube Channel

Find out more about Dave at: www.thesummitpartnership.com
Follow Dave:
Twitter:    https://twitter.com/SummitDave
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davelevine3

 

Success quotes or powerful sayings form the Pod:

  • I am going to do the best I can with what I have got where I am - enjoy the process
  • Education is the engine to change lives
  • The importance of following your passion
  • Go out there, give it a go and shape lives along the way
  • You can see the ghost of peoples childhoods wrestling around their adult bodies
  • Non-negotiable behaviours that are mental gate keepers for me
  • The importance of reflecting and learning from mistakes
  • If your presence doesn’t make an impact your absence won’t make a difference
  • Your ability to learn and unlearn and go back and reflect on it
  • Enjoyed versus endured
  • Being happy in the moment is ‘high performance’
  • Ask yourself is this helpful for you or is it not – a powerful question to frame your conversations
  • Never have I ever said – the Dunning Kruger Law
  • The importance of understanding the ‘rules of the game’
  • Explain the rules of the game – then play out the FIFO effect.
  • Ambiguity is your big enemy – save in creating big issues by reducing ambiguity
  • Being kind to myself and then those around me
  • Taking 100% responsibility for the choices you make.

 

Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan

Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science by Jonathan Haidt

How do you prepare yourself to be the best version of you?

Spending time on my own

Managing my time

Learning to say no!

 

Who has made a big impact on you?

My farther

Tony Smith (Rugby League Coach)

Jake Humphrey (Friend, BT sport Commentator and High Performance Pod Co-host)

 

Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

The Boxer - Marvin Hagler

 

Coaching questions I would like to pose:

1

What are your non-negotiable behaviours and principles and why are they important to you?

2

What did your parents do that has had a major impact on your life and how?

3

What is it you need to do in order to ‘get your energy’ and give yourself time and space to reflect and make sense of what is going on in your life?

 

4

How do you demonstrate what you stand for and show your vulnerability?

5

What are you NOT taking 100% responsibility for? How might you change this and what might the benefit be?

6

What does your book collection say about you?

 

Contact info:

To make contact with Damian have a look at his website of get in contact with me and I will make the introduction.

www.liquidthinker.com

 

 

Biography:

Professor Damian Hughes is an international speaker and bestselling author who combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology, to help organisations and teams to create a high performing culture.

He is the author of eight best-selling business books, including Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything, How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindset and The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture. These have been translated into ten languages. He has also been nominated for the 2007 William Hill Sports book of the year award for Peerless, his biography of boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2009, he co-authored a critically acclaimed biography of boxing legend, Thomas Hearns in Hitman: the Thomas Hearns Story. In 2013, his latest biography, Marvelous Marvin Hagler became the UK’s best selling sports biography.

He was appointed as a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change for Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2010.

He is the co-host of The High Performance Podcast, an acclaimed series of interviews with elite performers from business, sport and the arts, exploring the psychology behind sustained high performance.

He has served as a member of the coaching team for England Rugby League, Scotland Rugby Union and a wide range of international and national sporting teams.

His innovative and exciting approach has been praised by Sir Richard Branson, Muhammad Ali, Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Roger Bannister, Tiger Woods, Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson.

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