GAINcast Episode 63: Supporting Champions (with Steve Ingham)

Modern sports have a team of coaches behind each athlete. The support staff can add value to a team, but they can also detract from the team if not properly integrated. Physiologist Steve Ingham has served in a variety of senior national roles in the UK. Throughout a career of assisting world-class athletes he has learned how to build a performance team and how support coaches can best support athletes. On this week’s episode we discuss some lessons Ingham has learned in this area.

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Ingham is a physiologist who has served as sports science manager for British Olympic Association and Head of Physiology for English Institute of Sport. In those roles he has worked with medalists and record setters like Steve Redgrave, and Jessica Ennis-Hill. More recently he has written the book How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete. The role of support coaches in the performance team is the focus of this episode.

Will you improve the athlete's performance? That's the central question support coaches can't forget. Click To Tweet There are no medals for training. The objective is not to do more; it is to improve more. Click To Tweet The important word is support. You are there to help, not to claim any glory or a selfie. Click To Tweet

In many cases, when the above advice is not adhered to, support workers can hurt the team culture and environment. Too much focus on theory instead of practice is one of the chief problems. We also went on to discuss issues that come up with the marginal gains approach.

You are educated to become a knowledgable; but your job is to bring knowledge to life. @ingham_steve Click To Tweet Don't culture dependence on support workers. Try to make yourself redundant. @ingham_steve Click To Tweet

To hear more about this topic you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further Reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:

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