What an Olympic mindset can bring to your workforce

Olympic Mindset

For two weeks, the Olympics dominate the airwaves and conversations in offices across the globe. While most of us aren’t aiming for the podium, there’s still so much we can take away from the games – especially when it comes to the work it takes to get there.

Game Plan is an organization that supports Canada’s Olympic athletes during their high-performance careers and beyond. We spoke with Game Plan Project Manager Chantale Lussier, PhD, who shared tips on how employers can instill an Olympic mindset in their teams through training, coaching, and team-building.

 Workopolis: How can training for the Olympics inspire companies when developing their own training programs?

CL: Training for the Olympics is all about embracing a long-term vision. It’s about understanding what it means to train and play the long game.

Coaching models, including the Long-Term Athlete Development plan, which includes the phases Learn to Train, Train to Train, Train to Compete, and Train to Win, can help companies envision a professional development model that invests in the long game of their employees, and thus the long-term, sustainable success of their company.

Seasonal work plans, like periodized training plans, could include periods to build (ideas, proposals, plans, etc.), perform (develop, pilot, test), taper (edit, refine, narrow, revise), peak (deliver, present, pitch), and recovery (rest, vacation, change of focus, team outing, professional development) cycles to ensure both tactical and optimal planning for success not only project to project, but over the company’s long-term growth and development.

What can a manager learn from an Olympic coach when it comes to their team’s success?

A few key things:

  • Set strategic seasonal goals and develop sound performance plans.
  • Instill a solid work ethic and a commitment to daily excellence, inspiring in others a sense of vision and belief in growth, development, and raising the bar on our respective performances.
  • Work as a team towards daily wins and trust the process to build and sustain efforts towards the long-term big win.
  • Understand how to adapt management styles in order to best coach each individual employees and help them foster their best performance.
What can Olympic-level teams teach companies about team-building?

Olympic-level teams consciously, tactically, yet playfully address team cohesion in order to maximize working as an effective team that values each player’s roles and responsibilities. Scout for the right people that complement the skills and culture of your team, and invest in training people towards optimal performance in certain capacities and roles.

How can companies get involved with Game Plan?

Game Plan is always looking for companies who appreciate the values inherent to the Olympic movement, who appreciate athletes’ successes and the path it took to get there, and who can recognize the immense contributions these highly driven, focused, dedicated, and capable individuals can offer to the workforce.

Game Plan is dedicated to fostering athlete-friendly informational interviews, job shadowing, internships, and job placements with all types of prospective employers; from visionary start-ups, to long-established corporate organization.

For more information, contact Game Plan at info@mygameplan.ca.

See also:
5 reasons why athletes make the best employees
P.K. Subban: when hiring for fit goes wrong


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