When dealing with recruiting elite sporting professionals it is of utmost importance that consideration is given to people’s weaknesses as well as their strengths.

Elite Performance Partners are privileged to work with a variety of elite sporting organisations, to help them to identify and acquire people to work for their clubs in key leadership positions. During these processes we have seen a common theme emerge, one thing that every performance expert admits to as a fault…

How do We Know?

Due to the seniority level of the roles that we are appointed to fill we are lucky enough to interview leaders, heads of departments and experienced practitioners within clubs and governing bodies, which in turn gives us access to valuable insight.

Through our questioning we must understand candidate’s careers and their specific individual journeys and, whilst we will have specific questions that are applicable for specialist roles, there are certain questions that apply to all, including those that cover strengths and weaknesses.

You can learn a lot about a person from how they perceive themselves, especially in how they understand their weaknesses. What we often find in exceptional candidates, regardless of their area of expertise, is a common high level of self-awareness. These individuals are truly comfortable being critical of themselves in an open and honest way.

The Common Weakness of Elite Performance Experts

Strengths can vary hugely but, as described, there is one weakness that we see repeatedly, and it is a real problem for performance experts. It is that they all recognise they lack an ability to generate a real balance in their life between their personal well-being and their work.

A common theme we hear is that these people are so passionate about what they do they struggle to leave their troubles at work. As individuals they are 100% focused on the athletes they are working with and will often sacrifice their own health and well-being for that of their athletes.

This theme is mentioned so often, with so many exceptional people, it begs the question is this even a weakness if the best people are still able to perform despite this sacrifice. They bring a passion to the role that allows them to deliver in a way that means it doesn’t feel like work at all. They do the job because they love it and are willing to make sacrifices to put their teams and athletes in a position to be successful and to win. That is the argument that is often portrayed anyway.

Whilst it may be ok to work long hours most of the time, the ability to think strategically and to evaluate your own performance against the vision of what success looks like, and where you want to get to, requires an ability to step back and think differently. If you are fully head down, working hard for the team, that is great operationally and you may feel it is essential to be done.

It is worth asking the question – are you giving yourself the best chance to reflect and evaluate where you are going and to make the correct decisions with clarity and focus? Are you able to perform at your best physically and mentally every day? It may seem like you are doing what is best for the team but looking after yourself better may also be what is needed to achieve yours and the teams end goals.

Elite Performance Partners

As specialists in placing senior leaders and expert practitioners into elite sports teams, governing bodies and federations, we understand the importance of sourcing candidates that will ensure future success within your organisation.

By looking at every recruitment assignment through the eyes of the playing staff, the coach and the chief decision-makers, we believe it is crucial to understand the bigger picture for your organisation and how its performance specialists work together.

Get in touch with a member of our team for more information on how we can deliver the right results for your organisation.