In November 2016, I attended the Leaders Sport Performance Summit at the Emirates Stadium, London UK. It was a great event, professionally organized and managed with world-class speakers.
It was fantastic to hear from Michael Owen, how his career was plagued with hamstring injuries and limitations and the effect this had on him both physically and psychologically.
As the first day progressed, I got a strong sense of where the world of elite sport is right now post RIO 2016 – let me explain?
The quality of the speakers at the conference was superb, interesting data and expertise, as well as articulate and intelligent sharing of experiences and results.
It occurred to me; just how much elite sport has become a global commercial business!
Yes, I may be stating the obvious, but the implications on sportspeople of this ‘podium only’ style approach, and by that I mean, results first over people as human beings, has become a real issue in modern day sport.
Elite performance has become so cut throat it may kill itself!
No longer it is enough to be 100% dedicated, hugely skillful, and highly competitive in your inspired endeavor – no, you must now demonstrate super human qualities, otherwise you simply won’t get the funding or support.
It’s huge business and the gap between those who are incredibly talented and the super elite just got bigger!
What will be the impact on world sport with this gold medal, superior world-class philosophy?
Will we see our talent pools shrink, with the youth no longer willing or able to step up?
Will our so-called less successful sports become extinct, those that used to be played on planet earth?
The impact, however, close to my heart is the effect on athletes and coaches, both those who are considered in the realm of the new super elite and those who are aspiring in this direction.
Are we innocently driving sportspeople towards psychological suffering and disconnect?
Worse still, could we be accused of abusing our sportspeople for commercial gain and sporting political power?
Yuk, even the thought of this makes my stomach churn?
You only have to look at the many new initiatives around mental health in sport to give you a clue that something is not adding up?
How many sportspeople will need to publicly ‘fall from grace’ with low psychological functioning and a mental illness diagnosis, before the world of sport wakes up and starts to put people first over results?
The irony of it all is that when you look in the direction of all humans having psychological well being, and resilience as an innate capacity, it’s a win win situation!
People, who are spiritually and psychologically aware of their human experience, exude super elite qualities naturally. You get extra ordinary results from human beings who operate at higher levels of consciousness or awareness; they are expansive, instinctive, highly confident and creative.
Without such a profound understanding of the human dimension, sportspeople are innocently left to strive for excellence rather than naturally thrive connected to excellence, the universal power and intelligence behind all life forms.
A paradigm shift on a global scale, towards understanding the human condition will happen and when it does, the world of sport will witness extra-ordinary advances in the expression of sport performances at all levels.
If you would like to discuss this article further, get in touch, and we’ll arrange a time to speak.