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Episode 150 of 224

Lessons from James Cracknell

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Leader Manager Coach Podcast
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Authentically being yourself creates both happiness and achievement. This is what Rob personally thinks success is about, we are all born with different strength and weaknesses, it is what makes people and life so interesting, as well as challenging. Key to all of this is the understanding that you too have your own strengths and weaknesses and that there are things you have strong bias towards.
This week Rob speaks about an interview he listened to on BBC Radio 4 with world class sportsman James Cracknell. A number of years ago James suffered a brain injury whilst cycling in the USA, this created many changes in James and impacted his life in ways he had never even imagined, including his personality.

The more you try and understand others the more successful your life will become.
James believes that to become world class at something in sport you have to develop characteristics that are in direct opposition to being successful in the of rest life. What he means is that if you want to get to the top in sport, you have to develop characteristics like selfishness, one track mindedness and putting yourself first in every respect.
Something Rob teaches is that when you are going onto the pitch you have to put a ‘game face on’ but that it’s important to remember when you come off the pitch that you need to take on attributes that serve you in the rest of the world, such as empathy and understanding. You have to understand what hat to have on.
When speaking to the neurosurgeons and specialists after his injury, James was told that the part of his brain that was effected would mean he would see some personality changes. The parts of the personality that were truly ‘him’ would be much more magnified. That he would become more engrained in the things that are naturally him, the aspects he has had to work/develop on would either become less or be absent completely.
The high divorce rate in people with these types of injuries illustrates that if you become magnified in your true nature without any balance, or forethought, then it may feel easier and more natural but there will be big consequences in your life.
James talked about himself and his life being defined by being an elite sportsman. There are positives in this however it can also be very limiting to define yourself just by one aspect of your life. It restricts what you see about yourself.
Something key you can do when coaching young players is to help them discover what defines them and helping them find influences.
Relationships the glue and what make life worth living.

“It does appear there is some light at the end of the tunnel”
“If you want to be fantastic at what you do can you make that dilation between your personal and professional life?”
“One sledgehammer won’t solve all problems…we need a whole tool bag”
“There is an 82% divorce rate in the people that suffer a brain injury”
“Happy people make successes in many areas of life”
“Life can be complex and there’s not always simple answers…balance is a big key part of life”

Leader Manager Coach Podcast
Rob Ryles is a UEFA A licensed coach with a League Managers Association qualification and a science and medicine background. He has worked in the football industry in Europe, USA, and Africa; at International, Premiership, League, Non-League and grassroots levels with both World Cup and European Championship experience.

Rob Ryles prides himself on having a forward thinking and progressive approach to the game built through his own experience as well as lessons learned from a number of highly successful managers and coaches.

The Leader Manager Coach Podcast is where we take a deep dive examining knowledge, philosophies, wisdom and insight to help you lead, manage and coach in football, sport and life.