Case Study: Macau Olympic camp
" The last days of the preparation time are hugely critical. This is a chance to get used to the Olympic village atmosphere, which can be a challenging environment if you are not used to it. "
Before flying in to Beijing’s Olympic village in 2008, 147 of GB’s Olympic athletes – along with their coaches and support staff – stayed at the team GB holding camp in Macau.
William was one half of the camp’s pair of psychologists, with Kate Goodger from the English Institute of Sport.
As well as supporting athletes and coaches, his main role was helping Bernie Cotton lead the staff and create an immediately effective team from 25 of the country's top support staff. We know from countless England football sides that putting together a group of outstanding individuals doesn’t always make an effective team, so William designed and facilitated 3 team development sessions with Bernie and Kate. That included a recce to Macau to put the team on a firm footing to deal with the camp’s demands.
A smooth running camp is remarkable for its low key efficiency. It lets athletes relax, train, and learn to deal with being in the multisport Team GB environment.
Running up to The Greatest Show on Earth, there were inevitable traumas and spills. There were athletes whose games ended before they had begun through injury, and days when the well oiled machine ran less than perfectly, and relationships needed to be rebuilt. Through all this though, athletes, coaches and staff came away talking about a camp that had absolutely delivered on its mission:
"To provide the best possible training environment in which every member of Team GB can acclimatise and make final preparations for the ultimate challenge of achieving their personal best at the Beijing Olympic Games"