FLS Workshop, Ashton Gate Stadium

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FLS Workshop, Ashton Gate Stadium

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On March 11, a very successful workshop was held at Bristol’s Ashton Gate stadium. The theme was ‘Taking control of emotion in sport, business and the military’. Frank Dick and Claire-Marie Roberts gave inspiring presentations on the subject, Frank basing his more on practical experience and Claire-Marie on research in the field. Their talks led to a great deal of discussion among the delegates.

A discussion panel, comprising sporting Internationals Eboni Usoru-Brown and Elenor Snowsill, plus Lt Col Justin Baker, Mark Evans and Gordon Lord provided fresh insight based on their own experiences.

Recordings of the workshop will appear in the members secure section of this website.

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Annual FLS Conference

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Annual FLS Conference

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The annual FLS conference, held in conjunction with Loughborough University London, took place at Twickenham on November 6th.

The theme ‘Turning followers into leaders’ proved to be of great interest to a wide range of members and others. David Marquet, whose book, ‘Turn the ship around’ has been a worldwide best-seller, came over specially from the USA, and enthralled the audience with his experiences in turning a ‘failing’ submarine into the best performing vessel in the US Navy. The discussion panel that followed provided excellent conversation involving Richard Hytner and leaders from sport, business and the military.

The afternoon was equally interesting. James Kerr, author of ‘Legacy- Lessons on Leadership from the All Blacks’ provided insight into what he learned having spent a long period in the company of the most successful sports team in history.

Clips from the conference can be seen on the FLS Resources - Videos page, with more comprehensive coverage in the secure members section.

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FLS - Loughborough Conference

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FLS - Loughborough Conference

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'HOT OFF THE PRESS’
The annual FLS conference at Loughborough University in London will be held on November 6. The theme will be ‘Turning followers into leaders’, and the main contributor will be someone who has written perhaps the most interesting book on leadership in recent years, David Marquet. ‘Turn the Ship Around’, about his time as Captain of the US Nuclear submarine, is one of the best detailed examples of leadership under pressure. The conference will address how David’s experience might help in changing the leader-follower relationships in sport. More information will be released by the end of August.

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LORDS CRICKET GROUND

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LORDS CRICKET GROUND

Rod talked about his time at British Airways and how leaders have to be able to deal with pressure, not least that cause by unanticipated events. His account of how major decisions had to be made on 9/11 with planes in the air heading for North America was compelling. He used one pertinent example to remind us how important it is to acknowledge and respect people at all times and at all levels. When many B A planes were diverted to Newfoundland on that fateful day, there were hundreds of people potentially stranded at a military airfield. Local residents took people in and cared for them. Rod told us that he personally wrote to everyone who had helped in this way- a slightly different take on leadership, but hugely important.

The discussion group that followed Rod’s talk included James Kerr (author of ‘Legacy’ about the All Blacks), Maj Justin Baker (i/c Army Leadership programme), Helen Weir (CFO Marks and Spencer), and former Army Chief of Staff, Gen Sir Peter Wall.

This was followed by a group discussing the business of sport, led by Simon Halliday (Chairman of European Rugby) and including Rob Andrew (CEO Sussex CCC), Richard Bevan (CEO Football League managers Association), Mark Evans (Former CEO of Harlequins Rugby Union and Melbourne Storm Rugby League, now Chair of netball Super League), Polly Handford (Legal and Governance Director, Football Association) and Bill Sweeney (CEO British Olympic Association).
Finally, those attending were involved in a fascinating discussion about the changing world of sport from a playing and coaching point of view.  Fascinating contributions were made by Alastair Hignell (ex County cricket and International rugby), Frank Dick (Former GB Athletics Head Coach), Gordn Lord ( RFU Coach development manager), James Farndon (performance adviser, UKSport) and former England cricketers, Vic Marks and Chris Tavare.

Such a high-powered group of people was bound to produce important and meaningful debate, as indeed it transpired. Brief highlights can be seen here, with the whole workshop available in the members only section of this FLS website.

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FLS - Saracens Rugby Club

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FLS - Saracens Rugby Club

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The workshop at Saracens gave Nigel Wray, Director of FLS, the opportunity to show delegates some of his remarkable sporting memorabilia collection. This is said to be the largest and best such collection in private hands in the world.Nigel, the Chairman/owner of Saracens, has a selection of his collection on display at the club.

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Workshop at Accolade Wines, Bristol

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Workshop at Accolade Wines, Bristol

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The theme of this workshop was ‘Creating and Developing the Culture for Sustained High-Class performance in Sport and Business’.

Accolade Wines is not well-known by this name, but the company owns many pf the most famous Southern Hemisphere brands such as Hardy’s and Kumala. It is the biggest wine distribution centre in Europe, filling, capping, labeling and packing one million bottles every day. What is hugely impressive about the company is the employee engagement, along with the vision and purpose which appear to be understood and supported by staff at all levels. The morning was spent finding out about Accolade, initially via Richard Lloyd the General Manager and then via a guided tour, during which delegates had the opportunity to talk with many members of staff.

The afternoon was richly rewarding, with inspirational presentations from Pat Lam, Head Coach at Bristol Rugby and from Jess Thirlby, Anna Stembridge and Eboni Beckford-Chambers of Team Bath Netball.  They all provided inspirational stories regarding their journey towards creating the culture they seek in order to be leading clubs in their field.

England rugby coaches Russell Earnshaw and John Fletcher provided an entertaining vision for creating a learning culture for long term involvement and enjoyment of sport. 

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September 15, 2nd Annual Conference

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September 15, 2nd Annual Conference

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Loughborough University’s Olympic Park campus was again the setting for the LUL/FLS conference. This year’s theme was ‘Staying at the top- Challenging from the Front’.

A distinguished group of experts from sport, business and the military provided an entertaining and informative day. Keynote speakers were Danny Kerry, coach of the Olympic gold medal winning Womens Hockey team, and England Rugby coach Eddie Jones.

They provided insights into the issues associated with sustaining success.

Other contributors included Chris Casper, Sporting Director of Salford City FC, Kate Richardson-Walsh, GB Hockey captain, Sarah Hunter, England Rugby captain and Premier League rugby player, George Robson.

From the worlds of military and business we had Lt Col Lucy Giles (Commander New College Sandhurst), Andy Cosslett (RFU Chairman), Harry Keogh (Managing Director Coutts Bank), Richard Gray (Commercial Director, Grays of Cambridge).

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Learning to Lead

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Learning to Lead

Learning to Lead

The majority of sports coaches, when asked about their purpose, would say something like ‘to improve players (or teams) and to be successful.’ Some coaches of youngsters might add ‘to have fun’. Few would refer to improving them as people or developing leadership qualities.

I know, because I have run many workshops for coaches and asked the question.
I follow this up by asking whether, if leadership development was a stated purpose, would it require them to coach differently. Most agree that it would. We then go on to consider this more deeply, often beginning with examples of leadership being found wanting in high level sport that we witness.

We are not very good at producing leaders in our major sports. If we were, we may not have so many foreigners in leading coaching and administrative roles. It all goes back to how teachers and coaches operate, from school to club to country.

Coaches are leaders. They are instrumental in bringing about change. They are experienced and knowledgeable. They are important. Far too often, they coach using didactic methods, whereby the athlete is a passive recipient of information and instructions. The coach does most of the talking at half time, injury breaks, team talks and in practice sessions. The typical coach is very good at developing a group of willing followers.

Of course, when thought of in this way, it is clear that most coaches need to change. They should coach in such a way that players become more skilful in decision-making and understanding their sport. How is this achieved? In a nutshell- by asking and listening. Encouraging players by asking them what they think, what needs working on, and even getting them to run sessions, is a start.
It sometimes needs a brave move on the part of the coach. Stuart Lancaster, a fine man who in many ways did a splendid job with England Rugby, was once asked what proportion of the practices were coach or player led. He said it was 70-30 coach led. When asked why the players did not do more, he said that the coaches did not think the players were ready for it.

I organised a conference las year on coaching sport to develop leaders. Brian Ashton made a fascinating contribution. He showed a picture of some youngsters in the 1950’s, satchels over shoulders, kicking a football on the way down the street to school. He said he had done that, and whenever possible, he and his pals would organise a game, in street or playground. They would select their own teams, decide on the rules, whether it was a goal or not, and make changes if it was not a good game. At the age of 6, Brian said they were organising their own sport, and then, tellingly, that over the next 30 years, people took that away from them.

I hope this sets you, the reader, thinking. In future articles, I hope to go a bit further into how to coach to develop leaders. It is important.

Bob Reeves

 

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Forthcoming Conference

On September 15th, FLS will be jointly hosting with Loughborough in London, the Second Annual Leadership through Sport Conference. It will take place at Loughborough’s London campus in the Olympic Park.

The particular theme of this year’s conference is-

‘Sustaining Success- Challenging from the Front’.

Taking part will be an array of leading figures from sport, commerce and the military. These include Eddie Jones (England rugby), Danny Kerry (GB Womens hockey), Kate Richardson-Walsh (GB Womens hockey), Toni Minichiello (Athletics), Harry Keogh (MD Coutts Bank), Richard Hytner (ex Saatchi and Saatchi, now founder of ‘Beta Baboon’).

Full details will be announced at the end of May. Any FLS members wishing to be placed on a reserve list should contact liz.reeves@flsport.net.

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Rugby Coaching Conference

FLS is playing a leading role in a rugby coaching conference being held at Oxford University on May 28. The general theme concerns coaching to develop leaders and encouraging better decision-making on the field.

Bob Reeves, Director of FLS, will head a workshop on coaching, and the legendary French player and coach, Pierre Villepreux, will take a practical session which will explore and demonstrate his renowned coaching philosophy. Lynn Evans, experienced coach at club and university, renowned for his approach to coaching skills, will also be taking part.

Any FLS member wishing to attend should contact Joe Winpenny-

joe.winpenny@sport.ox.ac.uk

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