Guernsey Sports Commission
18 Nov

Helping our club grow – An invitation to GSC Coaching Conference

Many thanks to those of you who have responded to our consultation on the future of Guernsey athletics. It is evident from the responses and conversations so far that club members have clear, strong views about how we develop. Some themes have already developed:

  • We are in a position where we can be positive about our future and we should be ambitious in the goals that we set ourselves.
  • A particular strength is that we are an inclusive club and, alongside  the focus on success –especially of our elite athletes, we should cater for all needs, ages and disciplines
  • We appreciate Footes Lane and the opportunity that it gives us to thrive as an athletics venue – we want to maximise that facility by hosting a number of top rate track and field meets, on the international stage, in the next few years.

All in all – a really useful and positive start. Over the next few weeks we will meet with all sectors of the club to gauge your views. Please keep comments coming by emailing me at

All in all – a really useful and positive start. Over the next few weeks we will meet with all sectors of the club to gauge your views. Please keep comments coming by emailing me at

The Guernsey Sports Commission Coaching Conference Friday 24th – Sunday 26th November

To help the club shape our thinking – and to assist athletes and club members alike in developing their expertise and learning more about positive performance –  we would encourage athletes, coaches and parents to attend the sports commission coaching conference which is being held on the weekend of Friday 24th – Sunday November 26th – see the attached link for details:

We would especially encourage colleagues to attend the key note address on Friday night when Matthew Syed – the author of ‘Bounce’ will be speaking.

‘Bounce’ is an excellent book which has shaped the thinking of many athletes, coaches and officials – (our very own Lee Merrien is a huge fan)

In Bounce, Syed makes a compelling argument that success at the highest levels is not a result of talent but of many hours of purposeful practice combined with the right mindset.  He dispels the ‘talent myth’ with high profile examples across music, sport and business and challenges the widely held view that natural talent is the determinant of success and failure – his main mantra is that we should praise effort – not talent

He also identifies other key factors that drive excellence and success:

10,000 hours of purposeful practice

Syed supports the assertion that a major component of success is many hours of sustained practice ( 10,000 hours = 2.7 hours a day for 10 years). Syed insists it is more than just hours – the practice itself needs to be ‘purposeful’ with high standards and quality feedback.

A mindset of hard work (Innate Talent vs. Perseverance)

We need to be very careful when we set people up as being ‘innately talented’ as it holds people back from trying (as they fear ‘being found out’) and hence will reduce their long term performance.

Pushing well past the comfort zone

Excellence comes from constantly stretching to reach a much higher goal (often a goal that only the coach/manger thinks is possible). Thus training with (and being with) the best is critical to drive up performance (and mindset).


Performance often rises (or reduces) to the level of expectations put upon them.


Belief is a critical element to success. Often it’s the coach/mentor who has a greater belief than the individual, but eventually the performer needs to develop it as well.

Basically I believe that our club adheres to many of these principles already – but, as we develop over the next ten years, we can build on these factors. There will also be a question and answer on the Friday evening featuring our very own Lee Merrien.

On the Saturday morning I have also block booked places at a session on ’positive mindset’ which is available to athletes, coaches and parents alike. If you would like to attend  – please contact Josh in the first instance at by Wednesday 20th November

Yours in sport

Alun Williams

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