Recently I attended the first Envisage conference around exercise and fitness.  The first speaker was Dave Hembrough, who is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Sheffield Hallam University and a thoroughly top guy who, when you chat with him, always gives you things to take away and think about.  He gave a great talk around 10 lessons he had picked up from 10 years as an S&C coach working in elite sport.  He has worked in a number of sports including boxing, table tennis and volleyball and his work has taken him to world championship boxing camps, the Commonwealth games and London 2012 Olympics. 

Here are my musings of Dave’s lessons

  1. The importance of being aware of your own strengths and areas of development as well as those of the people you work with.  This awareness helps with your Journey and where you go professionally and personally.  Make sure you spend time to develop these weaknesses and focus on your strengths in the things you do.
  2. The importance of story telling.  Have trust in your story but also develop the skill of story telling (Seth Godin also talks extensively on this and I encourage you to seek out his work).  This will make you more engaging and authentic; make sure your story mirrors that of your actions.  Also, to help with this, learn to appreciate and listen to other people’s stories; everyone of us has a New York Times best seller.  You will learn so much that you can use on your Journey.  You will also be seen as a ’nice guy (or gal)’ and despite the common misconception, good guys (or gals) do win in the end.  It really is a win win!
  3. The importance of the Happenstance theory.  The choices you make today will take you on a Journey tomorrow and you can’t “Join the dots in advance”.  So you have to set the foundations, do the ground work today for success tomorrow.  The relationships you form today, the things you put in place today will become important in the future.  So form positive relationships with everyone because one day they could well become your ‘gatekeeper’.
  4. Learn the art of negotiation so every relationship is a win win.  How can the relationship/experience be of benefit to everyone involved.  So make sure you play nice and “Pick the low hanging fruit” so the foundations of a good relationship are put in place. 
  5. Start with the basics.  As you do when you build a house you need to put in the ground work and establish the foundations so the house doesn’t fall down.  The same can be said for every other domain, you have to start with basics and then you can move on to more complex endeavours.