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)

ECB Leading to Performance: Day 1 Keynotes


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.


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.


At St George’s Park with the ECB and Billy Wright


It is Day 1 at the ECB’s Leading to Performance Conference at St George’s Park.

Today’s program has three keynote presentations.

There are six workshops too:

I arrived at the Park last night and was delighted to discover that Billy Wright would be watching over me.


He was the first player I saw in my first copies of Football Monthly.

This is an earlier picture (not in my room at the hotel) of an epic game in football history, England v Hungary at Wembley in 1953. It was the first game England lost at home.


Billy Wright was part of all the informal games of football I played in the late 1950s. Everyone wanted to be him so it was competitive even to get to be him and then to play with composure.

Later, my vicarious connection with Billy was renewed when I discussed with Charles Reep his work with Stan Cullis at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Photo Credit

Billy Wright (Daily Telegraph)