ECB Leading to Performance Day 3: Sport Science and Sport Medicine

Day 3 of the ECB’s Leading to Performance Conference at St George’s Park brought together the network of sport science and sport medicine practitioners servicing cricket.

Raph Brandon

Raph Brandon, the recently appointed Head of ECB Sport Science and Sport Medicine (formerly Director of Performance Solutions at the EIS) opened the day’s proceedings. Raph has been with the EIS for twelve years and he discussed his move within the organisation from a strength and conditioning service provider to the role of Director of Performance Solutions.
Raph presented a case study of service support for Jenny Jones, a Slopestyle Snowboarder, to explore an integrated approach to athlete flourishing. He mapped out the Why? How? What? approach taken to integrate the service to Jenny.
Raph suggested that the keys to success in this process were:

  • Working with Jenny to ensure that she had a full understanding of the process and had opportunities to ask questions to affirm this understanding.
  • Jenny made her own choices based on expert advice and leadership.
  • Information and communication were as important as content.

I enjoyed Raph’s closing remarks:

Choose an impact area AND deliver excellence. Chunk it up to performance. Nail it!

Andrew Strauss

Raph’s presentation was followed by a Keynote address from Andrew Strauss. Andrew gave his perspective on Sport Science and Sport Medicine service provision in cricket.
I thought Andrew’s presentation was an excellent guide to service providers. I was particularly interested in his perspective as a captain of a team accessing a diverse range of sport science and sport medicine support. I thought Andrew’s honesty about mistakes and successes as a captain were most refreshing.
Key points from his talk for me were:

  • Trust is a vital commodity.
  • The aim of any service provision is to help each player play better.
  • Coach and captain must be active in inducting support staff into the team.
  • Appreciate that players are self-reliant and avoid ‘telling’.
  • Be clear about any short term intervention. If in doubt defer to a longer time scale.
  • Embrace player-led choices.

Andrew concluded his presentation in conversation with Mark Bawden. I was interested to learn that one of Andrew’s choices for service support if he were playing now would be to develop his mindfulness, particularly in his role as captain.
It was fascinating hearing Andrew’s story after Andy Flower’s presentation on Day 1 of the conference. Both talks were outstanding triangulation points for thinking about the practice of leadership. I thought the quality of both presentations were of the highest order.


The remainder of Day 3 was allocated to workshops.
I was delighted to be able to attend Mike Mustoe‘s presentation on Data Visualisation (with input from Liam Sanders).
It was a very timely workshop for me. Next year I am facilitating a Sport Informatics and Analytics open online course. One of the four structured attention themes will be Audiences and Messages of which visualisation is an integral part.
Mike took the workshop group through:

  • Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom taxonomy
  • Science and art in visualisation

I enjoyed Mike’s discussion of crafting visualisation and liked his and Liam’s use of sketched storyboards prior to formalising their visualisations.I read into Mike’s comments that he was using a semantic approach to colour (I read this 2013 paper recently). This took me off to think about semantic resonance and perception constraints in visualisation. I revisited my post on Roy de Mestre too and his colour wheel.
Mike discussed the use of interactive visualisations and shared some examples from his use of iBooks authoring and Tableau software.
I admired Mike’s approach to visualisation. I left the workshop thinking about the remarkable skill sets service providers have to offer.
I am looking forward to many more audience and message discussions.

Photo Credit

Adelaide Oval (Jenny Scott, CC BY-NC 2.0)


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