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Teamwork 29 November 2019 Hannah Prince

Insights Discovery helps prepare athletes for life after sport

While it’s widely acknowledged that Insights people development solutions have a serious impact in the corporate world, many people don’t realise how well it translates into other areas of life. Self-awareness is more than a tool to be used to enhance workplace relationships or improve career trajectories; it should, and does, have a real impact on relationships and lives, in a holistic way.

One of the lesser-known ways in which Insights delivers personal development is in the sporting world. We’ve worked with many sports professionals to help them hit peak performance when they’re under huge amounts of pressure in their careers. For example, we help create a common language which allows team-mates to work together more effectively at crucial moments. We deliver a deeper understanding of how team-mates are different and where there may be common ground, which is crucial for high performance. Relationships are improved to the point where communication on the field or pitch is quicker and slicker, leading to more success for teams.

And now one of Britain’s greatest ever sportsmen has said more needs to be done to prepare athletes once they call time on their sporting life.

“Sport does a bad job of preparing athletes for life after sport,”

Sir Andy Murray said ahead of the launch of a new documentary, Andy Murray: Resurfacing. The documentary, which is available on Amazon Prime from today, tells the story of the former world number one’s extraordinary return to professional tennis after a hip resurfacing operation in January. In it he shares his thoughts on how athletes might transition into a different kind of life, post-retirement.

Develop the person, not the athlete

One of the ways that personal development – and self-awareness in particular – can support athletes in finding their way in a post-retirement world, is by helping them understand themselves on a profound level. What motivates them, what brings them joy, what satisfies them, when do they feel demotivated, are they keen to work with others or strike out alone, what legacy do they want to leave as they walk this new path? So many of these questions can be answered by making an investment in true self-understanding.

Through the decades we’ve worked with key individuals in different sporting organisations to give coaches and athletes, at all levels, the ability to better understand themselves and others through Insights Discovery. However, the benefits to the individual don’t stop as their careers comes to an end. That’s because we develop the person, not the athlete.

“If I’d had this 10 years ago, I know I would have been a better player. I know I would have been a better coach.” – Jordan Broadbent, V9 Football Association Coach

When we understand ourselves better, we open up the possibility of making better choices, which of course can lead to better outcomes. Increased self-awareness helps an athlete understand how they process information, how they like to orient themselves to the world around them and where they can find satisfaction in a life and career that isn’t made up of the extreme highs and lows they experienced in their sporting days. By knowing themselves well, anyone can continue to maximise their strengths and find a fulfilling path after retirement, or at any career crossroads.

* Hannah Prince is a Business Psychologist with a passion for understanding the underlying psychological factors required for high performance and general wellbeing. Connect at

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