I have been following developments in high performance sport in New Zealand with great interest.
I think many of the decisions New Zealand has made in recent years are exemplary.
Last week, I was prompted to look again at New Zealand. Three items caught my attention.
A young national coach shared some athlete and coach pathway ideas with me that I thought were outstanding. The coach’s ideas have immense long-term implications for athlete and coach flourishing. I liked how much thought and aspiration were evident in the documentation of these ideas.
John Lythe responded to a discussion on LinkedIn about open source tools. John is the Performance Systems Manager at High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ). In his LinkedIn profile, John notes that he has two roles at HPSNZ: As CRM Manager and Systems Developer, he is the Manager of the HPSNZ athlete management CRM system (ZED). (This system contains all information about athletes including performance plans, support staff notes and communications and individual programme items such as food plans, S&C programmes etc. ZED is also a tool for tracking organisational performance i.e. how well people are doing their job and how well the organisation is working towards its KPIs.) His second role is to develop athlete monitoring tools (design and build specific code and formula based excel solutions to help staff, contractors and clients work more effectively and efficiently). John has developed a training diary system, a match stats presentation tool and a training load calculator.
John is exactly the kind of person I had in mind when I wrote A Fourth Age of Sports Institutes. He used his professional wisdom to respond to Arnold’s LinkedIn quest for open source software for managing performance data in team sports:
My guess is that you are not after a video coding tool like Sportscode or Dartfish but rather an information management tool. Team monitoring systems that capture match performance data, fitness tests, medical treatments, training load etc are very hard to find because everyone wants something slightly different. You will find plenty of sophisticated products on the market but most of them are expensive subscriptions models. The best systems in the world are most likely to be found at pro clubs and national sports federations and would have been custom made to order. If there are any inexpensive and flexible options out there I would love to hear about them. I spent years building them in excel for my own use but these days you need something better to link with devices such as GPS, HR smartphones and the cloud.
The third item was an advert for a Performance Planning Manager with HPSNZ. The job description included this section:
Your people skills will be matched by your ability to positively influence those around you. Importantly, you need to have the ability to help and guide people in recognising they need to increase capacity in their sport and then guiding them in understanding what it takes to win. This is an exciting time to be joining HPSNZ. You will be part of a world’s best organisation and working alongside a highly professional, committed, passionate team with an absolute focus on ensuring New Zealand’s athletes and teams win on the world stage. If you understand how to develop and implement successful planning strategies to create winners on the world stage, then this could be the role for you!
The combination of the three items prompted me to think about the transformation opportunities that might arise when the coach, John and the new post holder get together.
A perfect antidote to feelings created by Top of the Lake.