Dr Steve Ingham's Visit to Speakers Corner HQ: Creating and Sustaining Elite Performance at London 2012 and Beyond

25 April 2018

Let’s go back to The London 2012 Olympic games. The sun shone for 2 whole weeks, commuters smiled and nodded at each other and Team GB basked in unprecedented glory – who can forget Super Saturday with 12 British gold medals won, including those won by Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford during the evening at the Olympic Stadium.

Understanding what drove this success, and what we can all learn from the strategies employed by Team GB to drive elite performance, remain popular topics for individuals and businesses alike.

Therefore, when we welcomed Dr Steve Ingham, a world leading performance scientist and an integral part of the development of Britain as a sporting superpower, to Speakers Corner HQ, we were super keen to understand how the strategies used to create and sustain elite performance can be employed in the business world.

The discussion was packed with incredible and awe-inspiring success stories and how businesses can still apply these principals to drive elite performance.

Building an Elite Performance Programme

Steve started by showing us a video clip featuring Jessica Ennis is at the start line of the 110m hurdles, the first event of the heptathlon. The crowd roar as her name is called by the stadium announcer. She waves, takes a deep breathe, and gets ready. The gun goes off and 12.54 seconds later the crowd roar again – Jessica wins her heat setting the quickest time ever in a women’s heptathlon.

Steve rewinds several years prior and discusses the road to this moment, and how Team GB developed a high-performance plan to help Jessica perform in her weakest event - the 800m – and secure gold for Team GB.

But Steve will equally help businesses understand why mental preparation is just as important to deliver elite performance.

High performing teams need a singular focus. Its critical to understanding what the overall goal is and begin from the ground up.

Team Jess, as Steve will explain to audiences across the world, had previously identified that a total of 6900 points would probably secure a gold medal – which translated into a time of 2.08 in the 800m – the last stage of the event.

Audiences keen to understand how athletes perform under pressure will find meaningful insights from Steve’s comparison between how Team GB prepared Jessica to perform on the 110m hurdle start line and the strategies employed by businesses in high-risk environments where mistakes can be fatal.

What Determines Performance

Steve discussed the fundamentals behind the question “What Determines Performance” and its fascinating to discover the principles behind the training programmes developed for these athletes.

Businesses will learn how and why to prioritise, when to deploy strategies to build weaknesses into strengths, techniques to overcome failures and the mental determination required to give the best possible chance of success. Mind maps, priority keys, evaluations, improvements – these keywords are used as often as on the track as they are in boardrooms across the world.

It’s truly fascinating to sit and absorb best practices which were so successful on the biggest stage of them all. Businesses who can learn and apply strategies like the ones used by Team GB will almost certainly be basking in glory come Summer 2022.

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