Time, the hidden menace at big competitions and how to harness it

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it. Alfred Hitchcock There are 3 ways to slow down time. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the faster anything travels, the slower time passes, known as ‘time dilation’. The next method is doing all-out, full-gas exercise, say for example 30s maximum effort,…

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10 exam tips from high performance sport

As exam season looms for many students young and old, I wondered what we would see in the study rooms, mental-athlete village, warm-up areas and hear from the coaches pep-talks if exams appeared at the Olympics. Here are some thoughts on getting your optimal performance with some lessons from the world of high-performance; 1. Know…

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Collective Purpose

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. John F. Kennedy I was recently invited once again to speak at the brilliant Cheltenham Science Festival in June. It is always a privilege to be surrounded by not only so many brilliant scientists but also so many curious minds, young and old. This year…

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3 ways to check your satisfaction

There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction. – Salvador Dali Many people have acted as mentors, coaches or trusted advisor throughout my career. I wouldn’t have been inspired to learn – if it wasn’t for Colin Clegg I wouldn’t have been inspired to follow my dream…

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The tale goes that at a dinner with Wordsworth, the poet Keats, toasted “confusion to the memory of Newton…because he destroyed the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to a prism”. Three years later Keats confirmed his disdain by writing; “Do not all charms fly At the mere touch of cold philosophy? There was…

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Can we be competitive and collaborative?

Do you ever get that feeling, when you’ve got a win, a breakthrough or a reward – you just want to go and tell someone? I had it just the other day, when I hopped onto a train just as the doors were closing, then immediately went to text home! It’s an obvious response, isn’t…

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CORE skills ain't SOFT

In 1958, as NASA began it’s search for aerospace pilots, the job description listed the need for the following characteristics; · Male (how 1950s?) · Approx 5’11” /180cm · Aged between twenty-five and forty · A science degree · High intelligence · High mathematical ability · Experience as a jet test pilot. There were just…

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How SQUIDD can empower others

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. Bill Gates In 2005 I took on the responsibility of line managing a scientist. It may be relevant or not that they were a scientist in another discipline to myself and while I had previously undertaken this task, this was…

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The base camp of high-performance

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” Daniel Goleman If I look back over my career,…

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