Growing Resilience in Sport Organizations, Athletes and Coaches
For those who missed it, the Sport Leadership Sportif Conference was this past week in Richmond, British Columbia. The 3-day annual event is hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada and this year we were proud to be both a sponsor and a exhibitor of the event. It was, in fact, Interpodia’s first-ever foray into conference exhibitions, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled with our connections and learnings from the event.
The mission of the event, according to the Coaching Association of Canada, was to grow resilience in our sport organizations, athletes and coaches.
“RESILIENCE: Our sport community must be resilient. Its success demands commitment, cooperation, and courage. Just as participants must overcome obstacles and recover from their setbacks in sport, so must we be resilient in the face of the challenges with our sport system. We can learn to be more resilient by learning from each other.”
And learn from each other we did. Over three days of inspiring speakers and breakout workshops, we were able to meet athletes and organizers from all different walks of life, different sports, backgrounds, and abilities. Our key takeaway from the event? Athletes are humans first. To grow resilience in the sport community, we need to re-focus our values to be mindset-driven rather than performance-driven.
More on this idea below, but first some high-level summary for those who missed the event.
Who Was There
We were very pleased with the diversity of roles that attended this event. Many attendees wore more than one hat, one person may be a club owner, a coach, and a board member for an organization. This conference really was unique in that it speaks to a wide range of sport leaders, from administrators, to coaches, executives and sport researchers. We also met with several new National Sport Organization representatives, Provincial and Territorial Sport Organization representatives, government officials, and international sport representatives.
Additionally, we found time to meet with our clients Canada Snowboard, Cheer Canada, Cycling Canada, Cycling BC , Badminton Canada and more to gather some video testimonials at our booth. These were a blast to create with our clients and will be released soon, so watch this space! A massive shoutout to all our clients at the event who participated, we are so grateful for their support.
What We Learned
While all the speakers and break-out leaders were very impressive, the speaker that stood out to us most was Stephanie Dixon who presented the Women in Sport Leadership Plenary on the last day of the conference. Stephanie is a Nineteen-time Paralympic Games medalist, and has also won seven Parapan America Games medals in the pool, includes six golds. Though she retired in 2010, she now coaches swimming, and is an advocate for Disability Rights with the Yukon Human Rights Commission among many other accomplishments.
She spoke about the need to build resilient humans, not just resilient athletes. She spoke of the danger of tying your self-worth too closely or solely on performance. Any athlete will be able to resonate with this dark side of competing, the fear of failure and damaged confidence or self esteem after a sub par performance. Stephanie reminded to the coaches and parents in the room of these high costs of putting value on performance alone. She shared that as an athlete herself, her ethos is “You are Enough.”
This change in mindset can be applied to growing resilience in sport organizations as well. For example, how does your company or organization deal with a failure or a missed goal. The key is to foster a mindset that ties your value as a human, athlete or employee, not to the end goal but to the experience. All we can do is focus on doing our best in the now, tackling today’s adventure moment by moment. So when bad days happen, as they do, we do not define our worth by that one moment’s outcome.
I will leave our conclusion to Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, Rupert May, who you will have met if you were at the event.
We are very proud to have been a sponsor at this year’s Sport Leadership Sportif Conference, and even prouder to be associated with the excellent work the Coaching Association of Canada is doing. A big thank you to the CAC for putting together such an inspiring and seamlessly-run event.
It was wonderful to see so many of our clients and partners-it really reinforced to me the leadership that is occurring within every vertical of our Canadian sport community. We were proud to meet with sector leaders such as Sport Law, Respect Group, Canadian Sport Institute and Sport for Life. Canada is in many ways leading on safe sport initiatives and these strong sector leaders are a key part of that movement. There is a clear need for the integrated solutions that Interpodia provides amongst NSO’s and PSO’s and we are proud to have sparked conversations with many new organizations at this event.
After the success of this event, we at Interpodia are greatly looking forward to presenting as keynote speaker at the Sport for Life Conference in Gatineu, Quebec in January. Our goal is to educate on how technology is assisting with success in sport and future developments. After talking to many professionals and leaders this past week, I can confirm that no sport organization is alone in their obstacles. We heard that sport administrators are feeling overwhelmed and under pressure. At Interpodia, we are very proud to provide services that assist with reducing stress, risk and unlocking limitations for sports organizations so that they can spend time and resources on what truly matters to their mandate.
Interested in learning how Interpodia can help your organization?
Please reach out to Rupert at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to arrange a meeting or fill out our consultation form below.