ECB Leading to Performance: Day 2 Keynotes

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There were three keynote addresses on Day 2 of the ECB’s Leading to Performance Conference at St George’s Park..

The Fellowship of Elite Coaches

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Gordon Lord chaired this keynote session. In it he, Peter, Andy and Kevin discussed the first two years of the Fellowship of Elite Coaches. Peter, Andy and Kevin were the founding fellows nominated in 2012.

Gordon posed the following questions to the Fellows:

  • Why did you agree to join the Fellowship?
  • Why does the game need a Fellowship?
  • How does it work?
  • What kind of projects might be envisaged if there were no budgetary constraints?

In response to the fourth question, Andy suggested decision-making; Kevin blending research with expert insights; and Peter elite pathways.

The keynote concluded with the induction of six Fellows:

… and the playing of a video tribute for Damian D’Oliveira.

Gemma Morgan

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Gemma shared a remarkable story of her service in Kosovo (1998-1999) and the aftermath of that service.

She spoke to five themes:

  • It starts with us.
  • Decide what really matters.
  • The little things are the big things.
  • Connect.
  • The difference makes a difference.

These themes were woven into a compelling story of understanding and being with people to create the stickiness of sound, sustainable relationships. Her discussion of an incident in 1999 underscored the vital importance of having connections with and the trust of the community in troubled and very dangerous times.

Stuart Lancaster

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Stuart concluded a special day of keynotes. He provided a background to his time as England coach starting with a most comprehensive review of the 2011 World Cup performance.

His talk looked at three themes:

  • Leadership, Coaching and Management
  • Player responsibility
  • Culture

Stuart illustrated his talk with three videos: Tom Brady, Kansas City Chiefs and Henry Fraser.

He concluded his talk with a discussion of the importance of strong, inspirational leadership. His message resonated powerfully with Gemma’s points and Andy Flower’s focus on Day 1.

All three emphasised the importance of being a people person as a leader.

ECB Leading to Performance: Day 1 Keynotes

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It has been a delightful, thought-provoking first day at the ECB Conference at St. George’s Park.

Paul Downton welcomed everyone. In his address he contrasted his experiences in cricket twenty years ago with his experiences now as Managing Director – English Cricket. I really enjoyed his discussion of the role teachers and coaches play in transforming people’s lives.

Andy Flower followed on from Paul’s welcome address. Andy talked about Learning to Lead. Andy is now the ECB’s Technical Director of Elite Coaching.

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Andy’s talk was wide-ranging. He discussed:

  • Environments and culture
  • Winning and losing
  • Change
  • Sustaining success

I enjoyed learning about the significance of honesty, personal responsibility and respect in Andy’s plans for England. It was a very clear, fascinating account of a period of change in English cricket (2009-2014).

His talk reminded me of listening to Robbie Deans’ talk on his rugby journey earlier this year in France.

Simon Weston gave the third keynote of the day and shared his story with the Conference delegates. I think his is a remarkable story. I was particularly struck by his discussion of personal identity and the journey a young Welsh Guard has made from 8 June 1982 to the present day.

I met Simon in 1996 when he came to speak with the Welsh Rugby team. I am delighted that the vision he had then has continued to flourish and diversify.

I thought the choice of the keynotes was an excellent way to explore the Conference theme of Leading to Performance.

There are three keynote addresses on Day 2.