From business class to cattle class: Optimal performance preparation in team sports

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Richard Hunwicks

This session will give an insight into the intricacies and philosophies of elite team preparation from world cup finals to bottom of the league weekly competition. Its focus is to provide a clear understanding of the performance principles applied when working with elite athletes whilst considering the numerous constraints including budgets, facilities and cultures. The content will be based on applied coaching experience and transferring theory to practice. With significant detail of the personal challenges, self-doubt and critical reflection that coaches can face in high pressure environments, this session is relevant to established coaches and new graduates alike. BIOG: Richard is currently the Head of Performance at Super League Rugby Club Catalans Dragons, where he won the 2018 Challenge Cup after his first year in position. Prior to this, he was Head of Performance with the England Rugby League team which culminated in a hugely successful campaign during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, reaching the final vs. Australia. As a consequence of his success in these posts, Richard received the award for UKSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in Elite Sport in 2018. Previous roles have included working at The Rugby Football League, Leeds Rhinos Rugby League and English Institute of Sport and Rugby Union. These have provided Richard with a wide variety of coaching and managerial skills that have helped him develop a holistic approach to athlete development and an eye for the creation of sustainable performance pathways. Richard also currently serves as the current Vice-Chair and Board Director for the UKSCA.