Creating a High Performing Centre


There are a number of things I struggle with in the sporting arena. Actually there is a great deal I struggle with if I’m being honest.

At the moment its high performance centres and what that really means.

Right now I am filling my days planning year 1 (next year) of a 5 year plan I have set myself (and my club) to produce a system that will guarantee success.
You see I am firmly in the ‘nurture camp’ when it come to the debate about nature over nurture or vice versa. I firmly believe that we are all products of our environment and our experiences. So the challenge is to develop an environment that provides the right experiences at the right time to the athletes in order to enhance their potential (a better word than talent i think)

Sounds pretty simple right!! 🙂

I was once asked what place I felt High Performance Centres had in swimming, at the time my answer was fairly blunt – I dont think they will work.

Part of that stemmed from my fear, as a coach, of losing my best athletes. How was I supposed to improve myself as a coach if every time an athlete achieved a standard they were moved into a ‘High Performance Centre’?

In some ways I still harbour those feelings but I am trying to tackle the issue in a different way. As a club coach I cannot change a club set up into a HPC, the entire club needs to be nurtured and grown not simply the top end. However that does not mean I cannot develop the club program into a high performing centre. A program where there is a realistic expectation that if the systems are followed success will be inevitable.

Thats the starting point for this 5 year plan.

To develop a high performing centre in Ulster and Irish swimming where athletes in the program can have realistic expectation of fulfilling their goals – to out perform the performance centre.

Should be a trip

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Posted by Peter

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