Wellbeing Hub

Top 10 traits of elite athlete wellbeing managers

There’s a big difference between how a professional elite athlete wellbeing manager operates vs an amateur.

Here are our thoughts, what do you think?

#1: Have a growth mindset not a fixed one

Getting or having the job is just the starting point.  They value learning, effort, persistence & feedback.  These are all essential components of a growth mindset.

But they also deal with the environment as it is, not how they think it “should be”.  This is their starting point.

#2: Are emotionally competent, not fearful

Professionals are not fearful about emotional connection, self-honesty and vulnerability.

They work hard on their own self-awareness and equally hard to understand others.  They also recognise that emotional competence requires continuous learning. (Deliberately haven’t used the word intelligence here which implies a cap or score).

#3: Value process over goals

Professionals know that processes help create standards and drive behaviour, whereas goals are just the starting point.  Goals require plans and action.

They value process because they know it raises the bar for more people.  They know that shared processes deliver consistency, quality outcomes & create learning environments.

#4: Think systemically not reactively

When challenges arise they continually ask “why” to understand the underlying causes before moving into solution-mode and taking action.

They can they effortlessly move between the big picture & practical action.  As a result, they can solve real problems in a timely manner.

#5: Pursue a critical mass not just a few key stakeholders

“When enough people (a critical mass) think about and truly consider the plausibility of a concept, it becomes reality.” Joseph Duda (sociologist)

Professionals work endlessly to engage all stakeholders in the value of wellbeing to purpose, resilience & life satisfaction.

They know that to achieve critical mass and real change they must partner across disciplines, across sports, across sectors and industries.  They view demarcation disputes & turf wars as low-value behaviour.

#6: Find real accountability motivating not intimidating

The professionals understand that accountability doesn’t mean who gets the blame.  Instead it means they keep their promises and expect others to do the same.

They also view accountability as a 2-way process where their job is to make others more effective by transferring knowledge & skills.  Not simply sharing stories & quotes.

#7: Value the psychological contract not the just the legal & economic one

The professionals see themselves as custodians of the psychological contract, not simply the economic & legal one. Trust & fairness is central to everything they do.

They are true stewards of the organisation’s values. At the same time, they understand that businesses have to be economically sustainable.  As a consequence they continually strive for win-win outcomes.

#8: View opposition as productive not negative

The professionals recognise that opposition is not conflict.  In the face of opposition, they are still able to focus on the other person, the problem and themselves.

This is how the professional avoids conflict and is able to manage their own behaviour when the stakes are high.

#9: Are intrinsically satisfied by others’ success not threatened by it

What drives the professional is their desire to see others move toward their potential as people, not just as athletes.  And seeing others live their lives in a valued way.

When they sit down after a hard day, their immediate thoughts go to how they made a difference to others and what they can do to achieve more of this.

#10: Value qualifications for the right reasons

Professionals see qualifications in their sport as being a means to delivering better outcomes for coaches, athletes and officials.  They don’t see qualifications as simply an exercise in CV-building.

They value qualifications for the knowledge, skills & learning that can be brought into their code, club & playing group. And they encourage & support people to get qualified.

Qualifications rather than being the end point are simply the starting point for creating a community of learning.