It’s turned into a case of he-said, she-said as violent clashes between England and Russian supporters have marred the Euro Championships in France. Russia has been fined and handed a “suspended disqualification” while England escaped any punishment. The situation requires strong leadership from both UEFA and FIFA as both governing bodies are responsible for rooting out the rise of hooliganism, often fuelled by right-wing supporters.
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Innovation & Technology
Every day elite athletes and coaches earn a living by pushing the boundaries of human potential. The dividing line between what was once considered impossible and what is now a prerequisite for success is constantly shifting. Michael Johnson, one of the best athletes that has ever lived, has created a high performance centre that is the world's leading speed factory. It is here that athletes from all over the world improve their speed and where the limitations of athletic capabilities are being explored.
Gianni Infantino, the newly appointed president of FIFA, has said he wants soccer to consider video replay trials “sooner rather than later”. The beautiful game has lagged behind with the implementation of this technology, and while it will be broadly welcomed, it should take a few lessons from cricket and rugby to make sure the trials and subsequent implementation goes smoothly.
What if the next global superstar is playing the wrong sport? How many world champions and gold medallists were saved by switching codes? Talent transfer, or talent recycling, is when an athlete abandons their primary sport for another in the pursuit of new challenges and glory. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is the world’s leader when it comes to talent transfer and they, along with adaptable coaches and athletes, ensure Australia remains a global sporting powerhouse.
There’s nothing like sport to get one’s emotions soaring. Nothing compares to the thrills you feel when your team secures a dramatic victory or the agony of watching the athletes you love fail to reach their potential. Elite sports teams know this and now tap into that emotion by building a brand and an ideology that transcends the borders of the field of play. Fan engagement means so much more than merely rolling out a colourful banner and building positive brand equity could prove the difference between a successful season and another mediocre one. CONQA Sport explores how off-field marketing can drive on-field performance.
In the closing stages of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Australia and Scotland, it appeared, against all odds, that the brave Scots were on their way to be the Northern Hemisphere's only representative in the semi-finals. It was not to be. Minutes later, South African referee Craig Joubert awarded Australia a penalty that Bernard Foley duly kicked over to give the Wallabies a dramatic victory. Since then the rugby world has been divided into those who are calling for Joubert's head and those staunchly defending the ref.What is not up for debate is that the sport needs a good long hard look in the mirror as this could have easily been avoided if players had the power to review a decision.
Every day, scientific breakthroughs change the world we live in and the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to stay ahead of the ever steepening curve. Elite sport is a cutthroat and competitive environment where only the best survive. As a result, sports technology is proving to be the difference in many close contests. CONQA Sport speaks to Mounir Zok, the Senior Sports Technologist at the Unites States Olympic Committee (USOC), and finds out that it is still the human element that ensures success in a world hurtling towards to the future.
With two Rugby World Cups, a Cricket World Cup, Formula 1 race wins, golf Major titles, as well as championships and victories in a host of other sports such as netball, football, hockey, tennis, and water polo, Dr Sherylle Calder is arguably one of the most successful individuals in world sport. Her innovative and highly successful programme, EyeGym, has improved the performance of thousands of athletes across the globe. By improving how the eye sees and understands the world around us, the cognitive process of seeing and doing, and then effectively and accurately responding to what is being seen, elite athletes are able to separate themselves from the competition.
Finding the right level of arousal is vital for elite athletes if they are to succeed. A long distance runner who burns himself out too early will have as little chance of success as a boxer who is too slow to get in the zone for his fight. Unfortunately, arousal is not a switch that can simply be turned on or off. Mitzi Hollander, founder of The ADD Lab, has helped Attention Deficit Disorder patients maintain their levels of arousal for years. Using the same methods, she is helping professional athletes manage their body and minds for peak performance.
It only takes a few seconds and 140 characters, but an inappropriate tweet has the potential to ruin a professional athlete's career. With the world's eyes glued to social media, the psychological, social and financial dangers are real. Tracey Veivers, head psychologist for the Brisbane Lions (Australian Football League) discusses how new technology has influenced her job and caused her more headaches than she would have envisaged.
Whether you're liking, sharing, or retweeting, the exchange of information is simply a click away. By sharing knowledge we progress our own understanding of the world around us. It's how we grow and develop ideas. For some though, making cognitive progress requires a little more than a social media interaction. For coaches in the Australian Football League (AFL), developing their game has required some out of the box thinking.
MTN-Qhubeka are set to become the first African team to race in the Tour de France. Their journey has been one of upliftment and dedication. This is no mere sporting success story; what is happening with this team transcends the standard checks and balances of professional sport. CONQA Sport sat down with Douglas Ryder, owner and manager of the team, to discuss his MTN-Qhubeka's journey and how through a unique ethos and philosophy, he is set to make history.
It’s hard to imagine that the United States of America spends less money on any sport compared to their direct competition, but that is the case for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). Luke Bodensteiner, the Executive Vice President of Athletics for the association, explains how his unique program implementation ensures his athletes win as many medals as possible, for the least amount of money.