Performing under pressure: Coaching highly effective teams in elite sports and global corporations
Walking down the player’s tunnel at Leicester Tigers’ Welford Road stadium a couple of weeks ago, and also watching new 4G pitch being laid at on Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park stadium, fulfilled some of my childhood dreams.

Like so many others, I always yearned to perform before a crowd of thousands, using every ounce of my ability to get the winning result for the team and our supporters. But I never guessed I would actually help by coaching the team indoors.

We’ve had the enormous privilege of working with world famous elite sports teams over the summer, including Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons.  The intensely public challenges that they face on a weekly basis may be unusual, but the similarities they share with every type of team is around the requirements to perform effectively in a high pressure environment.

OK, we all know the physical challenges are different – we don’t all have to tackle Kieran Brookes running at full tilt on a normal day at work.   But the emotional requirements are the same: total trust in your team mates, your team mate’s total trust in you, self confidence, honesty, shared passion, clear vision and leadership, respect for every individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

They sound obvious – but they require relentless attention regardless of whether you’re running with a ball in front of 20,000 people or running a production plant with a team of 500 people.  Results are everything.

Over the coming weeks, as the new Aviva Premiership season kicks off and our other clients measure the positive impact of our work with their teams, we’ll be sharing our stories and the lessons we’ve learned from elite sport and global business – and how they could help us all make a difference to our team’s performance.