This has been a long time coming. Fergus and I have spoken about having him involved with The Seminar sense we met at Art Horne’s BSMPG about 6 years back. I’m so excited to finally have been able to make this work and welcome Fergus to this summer’s edition of The Seminar. With his mind-blowing resume and stellar list of past experiences tied together with his exceptionally wiliness to share and help better the field, Fergus is an absolute home run of an addition, and I cannot wait to have him on campus this July. So, without further ado, let’s meet Dr. Fergus Connolly.

JD: If you could, please give our readers a little background information about you, what your niche in the world of athletics is, accomplishments, how you got there, education, any products you have available and/or notable publications.

FC: I have been very fortunate in my career to have been able to travel around the world and work full-time in every major league around the world. This includes stints as director of elite performance for the San Francisco 49ers, sports science director with the Welsh Rugby Union, and performance director and director of football operations for University of Michigan Football. I’ve also had the pleasure of being able to mentor and advise coaches, support staff, and players in the NBA, MLB, NHL, Australian Rules Football, and international cricket, and have also trained world boxing champions and advises elite military units and companies around the world.

With this I’ve also had the opportunity to author two books, “Game Changer – The Art of Sports Science”, which is the first blueprint for coaches to present a holistic philosophy for winning in all team sports, and ’59 Lessons: Working with the World’s Greatest Coaches, Athletes, & Special Forces”, which are insights from working with the world’s most elite winners.

JD: Discuss with us the mistakes you see made by strength and conditioning coaches in the United States and around the world, and what you feel should be done differently/how to correct these issues.

FC: There has been a trend in sports performance towards isolationism.

This isolationism has led to two main issues:

  • Specialization in S&C at the expense of awareness of the performance demands
  • Siloed approach which doesn’t encourage collaboration with other departments

Over estimation of the capability of technology which has encouraged an over reliance on data and information at the expense of knowledge and wisdom from experience and practical skills.

We have drifted from what was an initially a vocation to a more technical based profession. Like other vocations such as nursing, medicine, teaching which are best learned through an apprenticeship approach we have grown to regard academic only experience as the qualification for employment which is sadly insufficient. The skills of interpersonal interaction are vital to effective coaching.

Finally, as society continues to change, there must be a growing recognition among our community of our more influential role as a resource for, and our influence on the personal lives of the youth of the nation. We have a greater responsibility to both the physical and psychological health and welfare of the athletes and players we coach.

JD: What advice would you give a coach to improve knowledge in the lines of continuing education, meaning could you point our readers in a direction to find the scientific and practical information to improve the methods they use to improve performance?

FC: To become an effective S&C coach you need to balance both science and practice. The true approach should be an ‘action-based research’ approach to developing our expertise. There is a limit to both art and science and neither alone can be relied on to be successful. Finding the balance and learning in two streams is the optimal approach.

Finally, go to the source. Learning through reading and experiment is important, but there is nothing that beats hearing, seeing and discussing with the actual coach or originator of a concept and their thorough explanation.

JD: If you could give a brief description of what our attendees can expect from you at The Seminar?

FC: I will be presenting on three main areas:

  • The next natural stage in Holistic Team Sport Performance – application of concepts presented originally in Game Changer.
  • The first presentation of the ‘Secret Syllabus’ – skills needed for the Art of Performance for Performance Directors
  • Personal Development – Helping coaches manage life with the ever-increasing demands of the vocation

JD: Any closing thoughts.?

FC: I’m humbled and honored to speak at CVASPS. CVASPS is a seminar I have long admired and it’s a unique conference that has always been on the cutting edge of performance. It’s contribution to the industry is truly unique and invaluable and I hope I can continue to add to its great legacy.

 

Who is Fergus Connolly?

Fergus Connolly is one of the world’s leading experts in team human performance.

He is the only person to have worked full-time in every major sports league around the world. Fergus partners with teams to win at the highest level with the integrated application of best practices in all areas of performance – his lessons transcend all businesses and industries.

His highly acclaimed book ‘Game Changer – The Art of Science’ was the first blueprint to present a holistic philosophy for winning in all team sports and is used worldwide.

His second-best seller ’59 Lessons: Working with the World’s Greatest Coaches, Athletes, & Special Forces’ reveals the secrets learned first-hand from working with the world’s greatest winners. Your guests will be fascinated hearing these stories first hand from the person who was there!

Fergus has served as director of elite performance for the San Francisco 49ers, sports science director with the Welsh Rugby Union, and performance director and director of football operations for University of Michigan Football. He has mentored and advised coaches, support staff, and players in the NBA, MLB, NHL, Australian Rules Football, and international cricket. Fergus has also trained world boxing champions and advises elite military units and companies across the globe.

He is a keynote speaker and consultant to high performing organizations around the world.

Oh … and he uses an entertaining Irish accent – because that’s the only one he has!

Learn more at fergusconnolly.com

Book your seat for The 2019 Seminar by clicking the link here: https://cvasps.com/the-seminar/2019-seminar/

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