CEO Today - Europe Awards 2023

preparation for a world championship or in the development of talent in a youth academy. But what I have learned in sport is that plans are there so that you can deviate from them flexibly. Let me give you a typical example. There was a week when 4 world championships were going on at the same time, in 4 different sports, on 3 different continents. We had the plans, how many workshops each athlete/ team would need, and how long they would compete for. We had the targets, meaning what final result they would be competing for. But all at once, one of the men’s teams in the top 8 – which was the target -–marched on to the final. In contrast, another men’s team, who was expected to finish in the top 4, also made the final. Also, the women’s team, for whom just getting to the World Championships was a big event, made the semi-finals, and there was one individual athlete who achieved their target by also making the final. Mentoring these three teams filled up many days because, obviously, you don’t stop providing support for a team just because they reached their pretournament goal. What are the common challenges faced by the athletes and coaches you mentor, and how does your consultation help them overcome them? Why do athletes need external input and feedback in addition to the support they may get from their coaches and clubs? I would never have thought about what the biggest challenges are mentally in the life of an athlete/team/coach until I really saw behind the scenes. At the start of almost every project, I was told that the sports psychology they tried was completely ineffective and that they didn’t trust mental development in general. It took me a while to realise why this was the case. My biggest lesson and belief is that we need to acknowledge: athletes are human beings too! Sponsors, fans, and the average person are not aware of this. To them, they are just “beings” who are there to perform perfectly all the time. It’s also interesting that most sports people forget, even if they were an athlete once, what it was like. The effectiveness of mentoring changed dimensions when we started to look at the private lives of athletes/ coaches, when we analysed the key people in their private lives, we mentored them in that area as well. Another dimension shift occurred when we started to look at communication, image building (both internal and external), and image maintenance. We also had to realise that even the most prestigious universities do not have studies that are really useful in practice because to get real information, you have to build up a level of trust with an athlete or coach that is not possible for someone who wants to “study” them. So, we had to build our own path, our own studies, methodologies, and techniques from scratch. Your website https://8848mentoring. com/ speaks about your development programme, the RISE Human Development System. Could you provide some insights into this? How does it differ from other training/development methods, and why did you base your programme on this system? A great help, in fact the alpha and omega of everything, is the RISE Human Development System. Its basis is, of course, typification psychology (Typification psychology is the process of dividing people into groups/types by their personality), but with the help of custom research, built-in big data elements, algorithms, social media profiling, etc., it is the only system that can clearly define and separate a person’s “crisis personality” from their “present personality”. In other words, it can show exactly what that athlete is trying to show and what they will actually be like in a crisis situation, which is very common in sport. This system is now becoming increasingly popular in business, as top managers face serious crisis situations since 2020, but it is essential for success in sport. This gives a clear indication of what the athlete will face – feelings, reactions, behaviours, decisions, and of course, the exact actions – if a real crisis situation arises, and can prepare them to avoid the expected negative, failure points. 8848 has been involved in various sports, from team sports like football, basketball, and handball to individual sports like martial arts and shooting. Are there unique challenges in adapting your methodologies across such diverse disciplines? All sports, including specific events, have specific mental challenges. You can’t even compare basketball to football. But even within basketball, the competition system itself is not all the same. If, for example, a world tournament has group stages, its mental methodology is completely different from one where the competition is a knockout system from the jump. Not to mention the fact that, for example, fencing cannot be compared –3x3 minutes of intensive brain work – with show jumping, where the horse, as a living being, is a partner and part of the mental situation. That is why, for any new sport, it is a major task to build up a mental method for that sport. CEO Today Europe Awards 2023 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 15 -

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