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042: Jessica Ennis-Hill on becoming World and Olympic Champion

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is triple World champion, Olympic champion, European Champion and British record holder in the heptathlon and World indoor champion in pentathlon. Perhaps more significantly Jess is an icon of British sport and global track and field athletics – as much for carrying the weight of expectations of a nation at the London Olympics in 2012.

To give you an example a 4000m2 portrait of Jess was painted beside the Heathrow airport runway emblazoned with the message, welcome to our turf, that was the message that greeted every athlete, coach, official, reporter and spectator to the London Olympics

Now I had the privilege of working with Jess from her Junior days all the way to her retirement and still work with her now, but this conversation was a chance to look back on the entirety of her career and recap, reflect and in some cases help each other remember aspects of the journey. So it was great to take a chance to take stock with Jess but it was equally a dose of what also makes jess uniquely Jess, what makes her so adored, revered and connected to people is her overwhelming sense of values, ego-less sensibility, grounded kindness, and personability.

5:29 – Life after retirement

7:00 – First GB selection at 15 and school sports day. School athletics and experimenting with events within the sport

11:00 – Changes in physiology after pregnancy

13:55 – A defining career moment and important lesson in approaching training… have no weaknesses

16:40 – The balance of endurance over power, the way in which Toni focussed the training towards Jess’s strengths

19:49 – The mental challenges within the heptathlon event.

21:19 – Mila, Jess’s dog, Jess talks about the impact of Mila and the distractions she brought

21:50 – 2007 Osaka, First World Championships, placed 4th. Excited and motivated to do her best

24:34 – A bank of confidence derived from hard training particularly in the 800m

25:40 – 2008, Götzis, a turning point in Jess’s career. Toni and Jess changed too much, and injury struck!

27:36 – Injury and the devastation of pulling out of competition and the ramifications of not being able to compete in the Olympics

31:03 – Team Jennis pulling together to get Jess back on track. Unloaded training in order to cope with injury and maintain fitness

33:32 – A change in training, sensible training and sensible recovery introducing new elements in order to allow the body to offload

35:10 – 2009 planning after injury, planning the comeback!

40:15 – The face of the Olympics- how did that happen…?

43:20 – The World Championships, Daegu, and a 2nd place. Happiness tinged with sadness, what do I need to do to win?!

45:35- Career moments which show you ‘this isn’t going to be easy’ are beneficial but hard to take

48:50 – The 800m at the Olympics 2012

51:36 – 80,000 people watching at the start of the hurdles during the Olympics!

56:28 – Keeping the mind clutter free, best performances came when I was really happy

1:01 – A change in training regime when Reggie came along, quality sessions… not long sessions

1:06 – Retirement with no regrets

1:09 – Jennis Fitness and the future, for women to stay active throughout pregnancy and after

1:13 – Steve asks “What tip would you give to your younger self?”

If you want to follow Jess you can do so on Instagram at
https://www.instagram.com/jessicaennishill/

If you’re interested in taking Jess up on the offer of her training you through her new app then go to
https://www.jennisfitness.com/
and also on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/wearejennis/

Steve Ingham on Twitter
www.twitter.com/ingham_steve

Supporting Champions on Twitter
www.twitter.com/support_champs

Join our Facebook ‘ Performance People’ community
www.facebook.com/groups/627256457741181/

Take the next step in your career through our coaching and mentoring support, https://www.supportingchampions.co.uk/coaching-mentoring

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steveingham

Dr Steve Ingham is one of the UK’s leading figures in sport and one of the world’s leading performance scientists. He is steeped in high performance and has been integral to the development of Britain into an Olympic superpower. He has provided support to over 1000 athletes, of which over 200 have achieved World or Olympic medal success, including some of the world’s greatest athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Steve has coached Kelly Sotherton's running for heptathlon and to 4x400m Olympic medal winning success. Steve has worked at the English Sports Council British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport, where Steve was the Director of Science and Technical Development, leading a team of 200 scientists in support of Team GB and Paralympics GB. Ingham holds a BSc, PhD and is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Steve is author of the best selling ‘How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete’, discussing and inspiring the importance of learning and adapting to reach our maximum potential. Steve established Supporting Champions with the ambition of helping ambitious people to find a better way of creating high-performance. Steve hosts the Supporting Champions Podcast on sharing his pursuit of understanding and exploration in performance.

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