Are hierarchies inevitably formed whenever a group of individuals unite for the purpose of a common goal? Do they represent key structural components for a successful organisation or do they hinder progress and lead to cliques and discontent amongst the ranks? These are just some of the answers we tackle with mental skills coach Tom Dawson-Squibb.
Do superstar athletes truly relate to the struggles most people have to endure to reach the peak of their sport? After all, these once in a lifetime athletes perform seemingly impossible feats with apparent ease. If not, can superstar athletes skipper a team filled with less talented individuals? CONQA explores the challenges of captaincy and how talent can often get in the way of good leadership.
When dealing with people from different cultures, it is vital that a leader is able to bridge the cultural divide when delivering his or message. Whether it is the CEO of a multinational company or a football manager in charge of a multinational team, the basic principles apply. With Dr Graham Woolford, CEO of Unisure, a life insurance company with a presence across 5 continents, CONQA explores this modern challenge.
CONQA enjoyed it's best year yet, however as a result of continuously improving, we have already set the gears in motion to build our success. As anyone in elite sport or business knows, stagnation is suicide. One trophy, medal, accolade or promotion should merely serve as a stepping stone.
It takes guts to be a leader. You need to be ruthless in your decision making, confident in your strategies and bold when managing individuals under one unified ethos. But what of the bravery required when admitting that you may not have all the answers? Is this a sign of weakness or is this in fact what separates the good from the very best? With the help of two of our speakers at the 2017 Elite Sport Summit, CONQA explores the benefits of seeking the advice of external influencers.
Change is an inevitable part of life and either you are shaping the world around you or you're being shaped by forces beyond your control. Astute leaders know this and not only disrupt the environment they inhabit and bend their surroundings to their will. But change is scary and if a leader loses control there can be dire consequences to face. With the help of Mark Fitzmaurice, a 30 year veteran at Dale Carnegie, CONQA explores the challenges that change brings.
We’ve spoken before how the modern style of leadership requires a nuanced humanist approach where an individual is emboldened to make mistakes. In this ever changing world, obtaining collective buy-in from the every member of the team is crucial to creating a winning environment. But is there still space for a more hard-nosed, authoritative style of leadership? We asked two of the leading minds in world sport, both of whom presented at our Elite Sport Summit earlier this year, to share their thoughts on the subject.
Elite athletes did not get to where they are by winning a raffle ticket. They have dedicated their lives to eking out every ounce of ability and talent they have through hard work and unbridled commitment. Sure, some work harder than others and some are more naturally talented, but every athlete at the top is an athletic marvel in their own right. However, as bizarre as it may seem, some have never learned how to move their body correctly. That's when they call in the experts.
Everyone grows up wanting to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James or Serena Williams. The reality is, that the vast majority of elite athletes play supporting roles in the background. But if the original goal was to be great, how does the coach or manager keep athletes motivated and content with their place? How does a competitive high performing athlete remain focussed, when their teammate is grabbing the headlines? With Phil Handy, assistant coach at the Cleveland Cavaliers, CONQA explores this unique challenge.
After our conversation with Professor Jennifer Chatman from the University of California, Berkeley, we have become entangled in the complexities a leader faces when confronted with a multi-cultural team. With the help of two of South Africa’s greatest sports leaders, we unpack the conversation even further to get to the heart of this unique challenge.
In these modern times, it seems the best teams have every basis covered when it comes to backroom staff. There’s the obvious strength and conditioning expert alongside a mental coach, but rosters are swelling at an alarming rate that we won’t be surprise when teams start employing a designated hairdresser or dog walker for their pampered stars. More people can mean more headaches for a head coach as managing different personalities is a challenge all on its own. With the help of Terry Condon, a man with experience managing teams within teams, CONQA unpacks the unique skillsets required to be a modern manager.
They say an army marches on its stomach and the same could be said for an elite NFL team. The Dallas Cowboys have a new member in their ranks but he’s not responsible for tackling, running or throwing a football. Instead, Scott Senhert, Director of Sports Performance at the Cowboys, is tasked with the job of making sure the hulking footballers eat right. As he explains to CONQA, this is often easier said than done.
The world might be hurtling towards a hegemonic global village, but it’s not there yet. Multiple cultures, worldviews, identities and philosophies permeate throughout every facet of society and sometimes, coalescing individuals under a unified ethos can be a challenge for even the most astute leaders. With Professor Jennifer Chatman at the University of California, Berkeley, CONQA explores the challenges of managing a diverse team.
The Crusaders are just four matches away from completing a remarkable unbeaten season in Super Rugby. Their success has been built on an innovative approach to maintaining and increasing fitness as the long gruelling season has progressed. CONQA speaks to Simon Thomas, head off strength and conditioning at the franchise.
Another global tournament, another humiliating early exist from South Africa as the Proteas once again succumbed to pressure and played far below their usually high standards. But fear not; this will not be an exploration of that crushing defeat to India but rather a viable solution to any athlete or team struggling with the vice grip of pressure.
In an exclusive interview, CONQA sat down with the Chief of the Singapore Sports Institute to discuss the small nation’s ambitious plan to be recognised not only as a host to the world, but as a force to be reckoned on courts, tracks, fields and in pools around the world.
Who’d be an elite coach? The merry-go-round at the top can be a daunting prospect for any manager and in this line of work, even the very best get the axe. But as we see time and time again, appointing a new manager often has an immediate positive impact on the team. Maybe there is some logic behind the madness. Two experts in their field with decades of experience help CONQA unpack the effect new managers have on teams and find ways to replicate that for those who are trying to keep their job.
All records are made to be broken but some are just never expected to do so. One of those was Michael Johnson's 43.18 set in the 400m in 1999. However, at the Olympic Games in Rio last year, Wayde van Niekerk smashed it out the park with a mind blowing 43.03. The women behind his success, "Tannie Ans" Botha, speaks to CONQA on how that record has changed their relationship, how the pair are striving for more success and what it would take to join the pantheon of greats who claim gold in both the 400m and 200m.
The South African Blitzboks need at least a Cup quarterfinal appearance in each of their remaining two tournaments to be crowned champions of the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens Series. However, such premature talks of titles can prove derailing and in an exlusive interview with CONQA, coach Neil Powell explains how his team is maintaining their focus.
Ground breaking work being done out of a UK based company is set to change the way we look at human performance forever. By measuring brain waves and mapping them against performances on the field, elite sport is on the verge of measuring the unmeasurable concepts such as form, mindset and psychological well-being of athletes.