Sport

 

How to affect fine margins in sport

The difference between success and failure in sport often comes down to fine margins and often it’s not just a simple factor of pure skill that impacts on winning.  We are able to accurately measure the value to which sportsmen put on areas of life and work.  And in addition we can identify to what extent a performer has strong or poor judgement ability either off the field or within training and competition environments.

The term judgement in this instance refers to a far wider context than decision making but also includes how a person interacts with people and their respective environment.  It is with this information that we are able to predict performance and identify potential barriers to success.

What the Judgement Index can do, is go some way to bridging the gap between potential and winning. Just as we can map indicators against capability areas for employment roles we can do the same for many critical sport performance areas.

“I have used the Judgement Index over the last 5 years and found it extremely valuable on a personal level and with staff. The analysis was very accurate and certainly made me more aware of my personal circumstances and hence I was able to action strengths and weaknesses accordingly.”

The Judgement Index is used to support player and coaching staff development. This has included profiling over 200 players against capability frameworks especially designed for player and coach development.

Nigel Edwards, Performance Coach, England Golf

What the Judgement Index can measure

This methodology has been adopted from our more traditional system of clustering performance indicators against key capability areas.  These areas will differ depending on the sport, for example team sports will probably require people skills factoring in where individual sports may be less dependent on this.  Some of the typical areas we will measure in sports men and women are:

Stress, wellness
Energy and burnout
Trainability
Competition judgement
Team cohesion
Player coach relationships

What the Judgement Index can’t do

Inform you of typical skill based competency i.e. who can bend a football around a wall of defenders or who could run a 4 min mile.  Although, as eluded to earlier we can identify potential issues that might negatively influence performance and undermine the realisation of potential.  Burnout and high levels of stress are two obvious factors.  To quote the Arsenal Football manager Arsene Wenger in March 2013 “my players are burned out both mentally and physically”.  Well, he started to recognise this at a point when the team began to under perform, but wouldn’t it be useful to identify signs of this at the earliest stages or even highlight players who might be more likely to burnout?

“Without a win against the Army since 2001, Navy Rugby knew that the challenge to break the losing run was as much about themselves as about the opposition.  The easy part of the challenge was the physical and tactical preparation.  More difficult was to develop player self awareness, decision making and to ensure the team’s mental preparation was where it needed to be to cope with a match played in front of 56,000 spectators.  In partnership with Judgement Index, Navy Rugby invested in a ground breaking programme for two of its coaches and seven senior players.  Over the course of four months I, as Director of Rugby, was able to tailor our preparation through the unique understanding afforded from the work with Judgement Index.  Sport is a result driven business, at 16:49 Saturday 1st May the scoreboard at Twickenham read; ARMY 22 NAVY 24.  `Navy Rugby, in partnership with Judgement Index, had won the Inter Services Championship for the first time in nine years.  I have no doubt that the contributing factors were many and varied but I also have no doubt as to the significant contribution made from utilising the insight afforded by the Judgement Index.”

Without a win in 9 years against their Army counterparts, the Director of Navy Rugby, Lt Cdr Geraint Ashton Jones turned to the Judgement Index to gain the insight he felt he was lacking to effectively prepare his team for the match. By applying the Judgement Index to nine senior players, this new and unique understanding of the core of his team successfully informed the match preparations to the point where victory was achieved for the first time in almost a decade.

Lt Cdr Geraint Ashton Jones RN, Director of Rugby, Royal Navy Rugby Union

Our work in sport

England Rugby – the Judgement index has been used extensively as a support to recruitment for support staff at all levels from senior executives through to development managers.

Navy Rugby – See testimonial above.

England Golf – See testimonial above.

Power lifting – the Judgement Index was used to identify performance barriers for a talented power lifter who was not realising her potential.  From the information gained performance interventions were designed and implemented with the performer subsequently becoming World Champion.

USA Ryder cup (Paul Azinger team) – In 2008, US Ryder Cup Team Captain Paul Azinger harnessed the power of The Judgement Index to help him make the most perceptive choices possible in his team picks and also in the pairings for the match against Europe. Believing that having the insight to understand what selections and pairings would result in the best possible chemistry for the US team, Azinger successfully implemented the Judgement Index and achieved the first victory against Europe for the US in 9 years.

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