Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

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Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

1 Land the message

You will start this session by hearing how those working in the sport and fitness sector often describe influencing others as an integral part of their job.

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Figure 2 Landing something as expected can never be assumed

Activity 1 A performance analyst’s focus on landing the message

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

In this video, Chris White, Head of Performance Analysis at the English Institute of Sport, describes ‘landing the message’. His job involves observations to enhance sport performance primarily delivered through statistical analysis and visual feedback (video analysis). Which strategies does he describe in order to land the message?

Download this video clip.Video player: e119_2018j_vwr059-640x360.mp4
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Transcript

CHRIS WHITE
You've got to have people who are self-starters, self-motivated, can develop relationships, can become the right hand of the coach. The best analysts are genuinely the right-hand of the coach. They build the trust, build the relationship, integrate into their systems, be the gatekeeper of whatever they're trying to do, and the interpreter of them. And that's the relationship piece and being with the skills to do that. The one phrase that we'd say, that you can be the best to capture and manage your data possible, the best analysis possible, but you don't have the skill set to learn the message with the coach, develop the relationship, present that data in the most compelling bite size or big picture way, whatever it needs to be. Learn the message is a key thing that we look for in that process.
End transcript
 
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Discussion

Chris identifies the starting point as building close working relationships. Once integrated with a coaching team, he suggests influencing as being about presenting messages in the most appropriate way. Sometimes, small bite-sized messages are used, while at other times a holistic overall view of potential changes is presented. Cope (2018) observes: ‘my experiences, particularly joining a new organisation, have taught me to take the time to understand other people’s perspectives before making a decision or thinking I know a situation when I maybe don’t’.

One of the key questions is how to make messages more compelling or persuasive.

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