Being a successful athlete isn’t just about raw talent. For every example of a star athlete that has made their way thanks to sheer ability, there’s another story of a sportsperson who rose to the top through hard work, will and perseverance.
These athletes don’t do it themselves – they are supported by teams and experts who help develop systems that ensure consistent wellbeing and performance.
Businesses can also get the most out of their teams by incorporating the approaches taken by athletes and high performance teams. Here’s how.
Everybody has habits. Some of them are positive in terms of the influence they have on wellbeing and productivity, however many achieve the exact opposite. Fortunately, with discipline, habits can be moulded over time.
Successful athletes are often fiercely habitual, from when and how they start each day to the routines they carry out before they compete.
Successful athletes are also habitual in their approach to nutrition and training, which maximises health and energy while avoiding performance slippage and injuries. They also meticulously log key aspects of their performance during training and when competing, allowing them to see patterns and identify areas for improvement – all techniques that can be utilised by businesses to get the most out of their teams.
Maintaining a positive mindset is something we all struggle with at times. That challenge is amplified significantly for athletes who must stay focused and positive in the face of extreme pressure from the media, fans, coaches, and from themselves as they set out to make their mark in their chosen arena.
One way many athletes develop a consistent, positive mindset is through pre-game rituals, which help cut out the background noise allows them to focus on the task at hand.
Mindfulness routines are also a great way to achieve that mental ‘quiet’ required to stay tuned-in to what really matters. Business people can also use these techniques to protect their wellbeing and perform to the best of their ability when the stakes in their workplace are high.
Physical health is, obviously, central to athletic performance, but it also offers huge benefits to anybody with an interest in managing stress and maintaining energy levels.
For those with busy lifestyles, prioritising exercise and scheduling regular workout sessions is crucial.
Exercise is a great way to de-stress, and also offers the ability to disconnect from technology and focus on the physical world, which has proven wellbeing benefits.
Combining exercise with a healthy, balanced diet also has the effect on helping boost energy levels and improve sleep quality, which in turn improves both physical and mental performance.
Recovery is also important. In a business setting, that means committing to getting a sustainable amount of sleep and balancing work with time with family and friends.
Whether in the sports arena of the business sector, successful leaders share many of the same qualities.
Leaders in sports can clearly define the team’s goals and are able to unify their players around that common objective. They can demonstrate that a path to success exists, and are able to motivate each member of the team to do what they individually and collectively have to do to make that vision a reality.
Leadership is also about understanding the personalities and abilities of each member of the team, and working with them to achieve their best. Team members who feel understood by their leaders and supported to improve and achieve are not only happier, they perform better too.
Every athlete experiences the extreme highs of sporting success as well as enduring the devastating lows - in sport, no one is immune.
What sets truly great athletes apart, however, is their ability to take a loss or failure, learn from it, and leverage it to improve their performance and come back stronger than ever.
The careers of both successful athletes and business people are littered with setbacks. But by treating them as opportunities to learn and re-focus, setbacks can be temporary.
Leaders in sport often talk about the ‘coachability’ of star athletes. This refers to their willingness to take feedback and continuously improve, rather than be defensive and stick with what they know.
There’s also an onus on leaders to learn how to give feedback well, in order to get the most out of their team. Feedback that is constructive, understands the abilities of the recipient and sets achievable and measurable targets not only boosts team performance, it enhances wellbeing as well.
"As a professional cycling team we have athletes based all over the world, and at times we don’t see them in person for several weeks during the season or months during the off season, and even longer in the current climate. The Lumin Arc platform and Phila app allow us to simplify and centralise both qualitative and quantitative data on the athletes and is a valuable tool for us both for helping with team selection decisions, but also for general monitoring of the athletes health and well being.">
"We joined Lumin early in the development of their Arc platform as we believed that Arc has tremendous potential in the AFL. As a decision maker in the club, I need key player data presented and available to me at any given time, this is something that Arc has shown extremely strong potential.">
“As an athlete I find it incredibly powerful to have the access to my data that all of my coaches also see. It allows me to understand the importance of training and trends in a visual form. The relationship between Dimension Data now NTT and Lumin has been very powerful for athletes and the team as a whole.”>
"Lumin's ARC platform is a game changer in professional cycling. Arc has given our team real insights into the athlete’s performance and how they are feeling and training every day. This has and will continue to improve our decision making in a globally disparate team.">
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"I can comfortably say that Lumin has saved us well over 40% in time spent collecting and preparing data, meaning we can spend more time putting the data to use.">