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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Technology, global connections and the World Cup

“I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village.” Gina Bellman The Olympics is a scattergun of en masse excellence, tracked by a country’s media flitting from one venue to the next to hunt down their own hopes. The events unfold and the flags are hoisted as the medals…

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Lessons in inspiring and communicating ideas

I spent three days last week speaking, learning and being inspired at the Cheltenham Science Festival. Now in it’s 17th year, it is a roaring success, despite me having spoken there for the last three years! I contributed to three sessions this time (a secondary schools event, and sessions on resilience, then truths about exercise),…

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The gap between analytics and actuality

“Analysis isn’t impact. Interpreting analysis isn’t impact. Taking action on analysis might be impact, but we have to evaluate it along the way.” Peter Vint, Supporting Champions Conference 2018 Last week I attended the The Sports Performance Data & Fan Engagement Conference and spent a good day listening, learning and reflecting. It’s always good to…

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Quantity or Quality? Thoughts on medal targets, part one

“But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them.” Christopher Columbus A question I get asked quite frequently is, “What do you think Team GB’s goal should be for…

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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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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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The sweet spot: Where Science, Purpose and Art converge

Legend has it, the charismatically, inspiring Baroness Sue Campbell visited Michael Schumacher’s pit in the mid 1990s and saw the chief engineer do two things. First, be extremely picky about how clean the floor was and second obsess about the data they were receiving live from the race. The first shared his meticulous grip on…

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