In science there are no wrong answers, right? Wrong! With the help of Gareth Walton, a performance consultant, CONQA unpacks why the first step in dealing with the unambiguous world of sports science it is crucial to start with the ambiguous variable of culture.
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When pushing for glory in more than one competition, football managers are forced to rotate their squads to ensure their best players do not suffer from burnout in important matches come the end of the season. For those in charge of the fitness and conditioning of players, this creates a challenging dimension to their job.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At what point does the integrity of competition become tarnished by the intrusion of science? Elite sport’s mission is to push the boundaries of human performance, but if those boundaries are bridged by variables beyond the realm of physical ability, does sport lose its purpose? With the help of world renowned sports scientist Ross Tucker, CONQA addresses these important questions.
Modern day sport is a monstrous machine that is driven by money in order to churn out results. That is an inescapable truth. So why then has there been so much pushback from traditional powerhouses of football at the rise of RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga and the exorbitant amount of money being spent in the Chinese Super League. CONQA explores the hypocrisy in modern sport.
The world game’s global showpiece is set to expand from 32 to 40 teams as of the 2026 edition, a decision that has divided opinion across the world. Here, two writers with very different opinions weigh in on the debate and offer compelling arguments for both sides of the divide.
Rather than look back on the year that was, CONQA Sport is casting an eye on 2017 and calling on the powers that be to make some changes to improve the games we love. In the cutthroat world of top level sport, stagnation is suicide and so, along with some of the leading figures in the industry, we have compiled a 2017 wish list for a happy and elite new year.
If something is broken it must be fixed. How a coach or manager seeks to do so can either steady the ship or send it to the brink much sooner than anticipated. Wholesale changes might grab headlines and demonstrate that the person in charge is being proactive, but almost always it is much wiser to implement incremental changes to steadily improve every facet of performance.
In a somewhat unprecedented move, this summer’s South African. domestic T20 competition will go ahead without a title sponsor – unless something drastically changes in the next few weeks. This sheds some light on cricket’s relevance and the country’s economic climate, but that does not mean all hope is lost. Antoinette Muller from the Daily Maverick explores this thorny issue which can be viewed as a microcosm of the broader financial narrative in the nation in particular, and the globe in general.
We all know the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s, right? How, using maths, the second poorest team in Major League Baseball went on a record-breaking winning streak and changed the way baseball scouts and general managers operated. The story was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster and the word ‘Moneyball’ became synonymous with statistical analysis in sport. Well, a similar story is underway in football. By combining the roles of head of scouting and head of analysis, Daniel Stenz is changing the game. CONQA Sport spoke with Stenz ahead of his move to the Hungarian Football Federation.
Caster Semenya is on a course with destiny and controversy at this year's Olympic Games in Rio. Gold in the 800m for the 25 year old South African is as close to a sure thing as you can get in sport. She has obliterated her opposition this season by running the fastest women's 800m in eight years. However, as has been the case since she burst on the scene in 2009 as a prodigal teenager, questions around Semenya's gender-identity and whether or not it is fair that she is competing will be brought up. CONQA Sport unpacks the debate and finds that in this case, there are many more questions than answers.
With less than a week to go to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, the integrity of sport and competition hangs by a thread. Every day, new information surrounding the developing Russian doping scandal emerges. President Vladimir Putin has remained steadfast in defence of his athletes and government while the whole debacle is getting uglier and more political as it progresses. In light of this, CONQA Sport takes a look at the relationship between sport and politics, and more specifically, war. For make no mistake, this is a 21st century imperial march on sport, and indeed, the world.
In elite sport, stagnation is a death knell. In order to stay ahead of the competition, new techniques and strategies must be actively sought and implemented. Every coach or athlete is after the next big thing that will propel them to greatness, but is it an idealistic dream to assume that innovation is something that can be taught? CONQA Sport examines the concept of innovation and finds that in the right environment, genius can flourish.
With less than a month to go before the world descends on Rio for the 27th Summer Olympic Games, thousands of athletes, coaches and sports practitioners are gearing up for the flagship sporting event of the year. The largest contingent will be representing the red, white and blue of the United States of America and such a big team comes with a host of big challenges. Finbarr Kirwan is a High Performance Director at the United States Olympics Committee (USOC) heading up two of the largest teams at the Games: track and field and swimming. He walks us through some of the obstacles he faces and divulges how he and his team are plotting for gold.
Go and Google “mental toughness quotes”. What you’ll find is scores of one liners from some of the greatest athletes, coaches and world leaders including Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Vince Lombardi and even Donald Trump. What you’ll find is a host of history makers who believe that the abstract concept of mental toughness plays a major role in success. If you ask Dr John Sullivan, a psychologist with experience in many leading teams around the world, what you’ll find are history makers with no idea what they’re talking about. In his recently published book, Why the Brain Always Wins, Sullivan debunks mental myths and shows why coaches and athletes have it all wrong. CONQA Sport explores and challenges this theory.