We often focus only on winning or getting to the top of the league table in sport, but what else can playing sport teach us? Can sport teach us to build confidence, to combat setbacks or to develop our leadership skills?
In 2013, 821 global leaders – 328 of which were female, took part in a study lead by Ernst and Young, which explored how women build leadership skills through sport and how it helps to forge their business careers.
The study identified that teamwork, building confidence and dealing with setbacks were the principal lessons that female leaders learnt from sport, which helped not only to support their business careers but excel in their chosen path. Of the female leaders interviewed, 94% of CEO’s played sport and 52% played sport at University level.
It is apparent that sport and the lessons which it teaches, can be harnessed within the working world – evidenced by the 76% of female leaders interviewed, who agreed that adopting sporting behaviours and techniques in the corporate environment is an effective way of improving performance.
Clearly dealing with mistakes, obstacles, setbacks and challenges are part and parcel of competing. But how exactly do you build confidence and self-belief?
People with high levels of confidence consciously know and reflect on what they have already achieved. Visualising and recording past performances is a good exercise for anchoring these moments in the ‘memory bank’.
The champions of confidence will often emphasise their good moments with a slightly optimistic filter. These optimistic memories will then become a part of their narrative, the stories they tell themselves and believe others tell about them.
In 2019, I conducted surveys with 65 tennis players and 48 employees (legal and accountancy). This research uncovered that more than 90% of those people who rated as confident, were able to learn and move on from their mistakes. 28 of the 32 people who rated lower on confidence, were not able to move on from mistakes.
Confident people extract the valuable lessons learnt from their bad moments and then delete their failures from memory swiftly. Primarily focusing on their strengths and expecting to reach their goals with optimism. People with confidence trust their own skill and ability to accomplish the task, they don’t strive for perfection but set attainable goals and record these achievements as they progress.
Self-confident people are characteristically willing to take risks, make a stand and face up to consequences. They are generally good listeners and speak with certainty. Those who are characterised as self-confident celebrate other’s successes, are not afraid to ask for help from experts and are careful to judge others.
Surprisingly, self-confidence has a bigger, more than twice, the impact on performance levels than the influence of anxiety. In an extensive meta-analysis research project, Woodman and Hardy (2003) found self-confidence positively influenced performance in a whole range of national level sports by 24 percentage points versus the limiting influence of anxiety by -10 percentage points. This is yet another reason to support focusing on your strengths, because it can deliver bigger gains than trying to improve your weaknesses.
The following is a shortlist of the beneficial lessons people can adopt from the sporting arena to the business world.
Through sport we can learn how to:
Managing Mental Health and Technostress: Now is not the time to start judging your efforts against tough performance benchmarks
Speaking to colleagues across a range of professions, on how they are coping with working from home, has highlighted key areas and the importance of managing stress. Having recently completed a ‘Managing Mental Health and Stress’ course, I explored a whole range of causes, prevention strategies, practical solutions and case studies of stress. The section on Technostress has taken on particular significance, with so many people including myself, required to work from home.
We are bombarded with all possible causes of stress at present, including financial pressure to managing families in a confined space – our own health and wellbeing is at stake. Technostress is characterised by technical complexity, work overload, role ambiguity, invasion of privacy, the pace of change, job insecurity, work-home boundaries and often low reward for maximum effort. The Effort-Reward Imbalance Model seems to be flipped upside down.
Be aware of the early warning signs of wellbeing taking a dive: withdrawal, apathy, irritability, mood swings, blame culture thinking, lack of motivation and commitment. Changing behaviours and thought patterns at this stage is critical. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of the primary interventions such as job redesign, ergonomic improvements, role clarification, role rotation, participation in implementing technologies to combat stress – we had to swiftly adapt into these arrangements without an alternative.
Therefore, we can look towards secondary prevention tools such as Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) training and Present Moment Awareness, also known as Mindfulness training. I began using these training methods and visualisation techniques as a young touring professional on the ATP Tour – crucial not only for performance enhancement, but also for managing the daily stresses, uncertainty and pressure of having to win tennis matches to secure an income. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a third option, a more sustained process, advisably undertaken with the guidance of a professionally trained therapist.
Implementing these techniques in combination with the normal healthy habits of balanced diet, taking regular breaks, exercising, good rest and sleep can help to combat our current state of technostress and other work-life related pressures.
It's crucial to remember – now is not the time to start judging our efforts against tough performance benchmarks. We have to give ourselves an emotional break, be more non-judgmental, filter the amount of information we digest, as well as being conscious of the information type we absorb in this climate.
Thank you for the opportunity to deliver the Showcase at PSA Yorkshire last Saturday. It was great to hear your insightful and positive feedback, as well as listen to the variety of talented speakers at the event.
In summary, the aim of the Clear Links Model Theory, is to build sustained self-belief to enable us to deliver consciously controlled, confident future performances.
This is achieved through self-awareness and controlling our perceptions, our beneficial memories and creating personal narratives in areas of strength. The final component of this virtuous circle, is to align our beliefs to the level of our aspiration.
The repetition of similar experiences become habitual and these can be positively or negatively oriented, defining us as people - we become the person of our habits.
We become the performer who is a pessimist or optimist; the performer who is anxious or relaxed and confident; the performer who is the victim of events or who is in control; the performer who reacts to adversity with anger or with strategy.
My hope is that all of us can use this model to build our self-belief as speakers, players and business people. Well done to Steve Judge and his colleagues for a very insightful, entertaining and humorous event.
How to create a cycle of confident future performances, under pressure, through self- awareness?
Can you control your perception of events and the way your memories represent your earlier experiences?
This lay the foundation of our fixed beliefs about ourselves and what we think others believe about us (our narratives).
These stories are crucial in shaping our self-belief, beliefs in general and ultimately if we are able to perform at the level we aspire to, especially under pressure.
Thank you to Frances Houghton MBE, Big Ian Donaghy and David Sammel for some wonderful and inspiring insights at ‘Unlock Your Personal Best’ on Friday. Also thanks to the thirty delegates who played their part with some intriguing questions. We hope to arrange another event in the not so distant future.
Unlock Your Personal Best Tickets now available for "Unlock Your Personal Best" talk and networking event, with motivational speakers who will enhance personal and team performance, through exploration of the tools elite performers harness to succeed.
Listen to 6x ATP Tour, Inc. Champion, Coach and Speaker Marius Barnard, 5x Olympian and 4x World Champion Frances Houghton MBE, motivational Keynote Speaker, Author and Performer Big Ian Donaghy as well as Team Bath’s Head Coach and bestselling Locker Room Power Author, David Sammel.
The speakers will explore themes such as performance under pressure, resilience, effective teamwork, leadership, changing perspectives and goal setting. Providing individuals, teams and businesses with transferable skills across a range of expertise.
When: Fri 17th Jan, 9:00am-12:30pm
Where: Hilton Hotel, York
For more info and to purchase tickets follow: https://lnkd.in/g4PCTsH
£10 from every ticket purchase will be donated to OSCAR’s Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity.
Unlock Your Personal Best will enhance personal and team performance, exploring the tools elite performers harness to achieve their best.
About this Event
9:30 am Marius Barnard
10:00 am Big Ian Donaghy
10:45 am Fran Houghton MBE
11:30 am David Sammel
Breakfast coffee and tea will be served on arrival, with a fully stocked buffet (vegan options available) through until 12 pm. Between 12 -1pm there will be opportunity to network with guests and speakers.
£10 from every ticket purchase will be donated to OSCAR'S Paediatric Brain Tumour Charity.
Marius Barnard: What Professional sport can teach us about business and life
Marius will share his insights of how he learned to deal with the pressure of match points on the big stage to win 6 ATP Tour titles and beat Rodger Federer, Goran Ivanisivic and 5 other world no. 1 players. He teaches businesses the secrets to resilience, visualising and performing under pressure. Marius will focus on the process, changing narratives, controlling perceptions and building self-belief. Drawing upon the experiences he encountered during his 13 years on the ATP Tour and Grand Slams. This will conclude with a 10 min Q&A session.
Ian Donaghy: It's a Team Game
A unique, entertaining and dynamic Keynote Speaker and Conference Host with a heartfelt message that will emotionally capture his audience. Ian is an author of 2 books and winner of "Care Trainer of the Year" at the British Care Awards. Ian has been a tutor, head of maths, trainer and fundraiser since he qualified in education at Leeds Beckett. Ian organised, presented and promoted "A Night to Remember" at York Theatre Royal, Grand Opera House and the Barbican in aid of St Leonard’s Hospice.
Frances Houghton MBE: "Learnings from 5 Olympic Games" People, Pressure & Performance
Frances Houghton, a 4x World Champion, 3x Olympic Silver Medallist and 2x Record Holder will share her insights and experience of 21 years at the forefront of British rowing. Frances discusses her changing perspective on teamwork and leadership throughout the adversities of elite performance.
Performance takes both passion and process, but ultimately, it's "all about people".
David Sammel: Locker Room Power
David Sammel, author and creator of Locker Room Power, Head Coach at Team Bath, ATP Tour coach and coach of 13 Davis Cup players. His 30 years of experience will help you change your perspectives with upside down thinking, effective and friendly confrontation, as well as goals from the heart. David is a life skills consultant with clients and teams from all over the world. His coaching experience specialises in getting to the core of what is needed to find inspirational and pragmatic solutions to problems.
These days you will find Marius Barnard working as a tennis coach as well as operating as a motivational speaker. During his career as a professional player, he claimed some top scalps on the ATP tour. “In doubles, I beat six number one players: Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Marcelo Ríos, Juan Carlos Ferrero,” said South African born Marius, who now lives in York with his family.
“When I beat Roger he was ranked 35 in singles. It was June 2000 and a year later he went on to beat Sampras at Wimbledon. He moved into the top ten within two years of our first meeting.”
Read The Full Article Here
york press: Meet York dad of 3 and tennis coach Marius Barnard who played at Wimbledon – and beat Federer
As the world's favourite tennis tournament starts on Monday, Maxine Gordon meets the York tennis coach who played at Wimbledon – and beat Federer on the doubles court
PLAYING on Centre Court at Wimbledon would be a dream come true for most tennis players. But the first time Marius Barnard stepped out on to the hallowed grass of the game's most famous court in the summer of 1992 there was a snag – his wedding was booked for the second Friday of Wimbledon fortnight, meaning that if he hit a winning streak there would be a big decision to make.
Read The Full Article Here
Thank you to Audrie Woodhouse for inviting me as a guest speaker to present at the Honestly Speaking, Speak Up to Scale Up 2019 training event this Friday.
It was fascinating to hear how many similar psychological factors can be applied in sport, business and the art of public speaking.
A further thanks to David Sammel for joining and signing copies as well as sharing insights from his new edition of Locker Room Power.
A thank you to Russell Turner and Chloe Owens who gave me the opportunity to share my Locker Room Power presentation at the newly established hashtag#YorkshireRowsEventHub at Garbutt + Elliott. I can recommend this business hub for its HD screen, impactful acoustics and interactive design, which enabled ease of communication and full audience engagement.
The talk explored changing perceptions on awareness, narratives, pressure in the workplace and managing fear. In moving closer to our personal best we focused on blending strengths with our strategy. I look forward to hearing about the behavioural changes, actioned by the attendees, at my next visit.