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Jennifer Denyer and Mark Gittins

Medals over morals – winning at what cost?

Theme: Your Practice
Area: Coaching
Type: Workshop
Style: Mainly Discussion

Session on Friday, Apr 13, 09:00
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Drawing on our experiences in elite sport and business, we will consider the shadow-side of striving for high performance. By exploring the moral and ethical issues involved in the pursuit of high performance we will invite you to consider ‘who and what does our coaching serve?’ and ‘what role are we (coaches) playing in all of this?’. The session will challenge some of our taken-for-granted assumptions about the coaching assignments we take on and how we approach them.

The session will include:
1. ‘Medals over morals; winning at what cost?’ – Sharing recent examples of the shadow-side of striving for high performance
2. Application to business environments. An opportunity to share experiences of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ and discuss the ‘myths of high performance’ we have come across i.e. unhelpful beliefs that leaders hold about ‘what it takes’.
3. The role of the coach in all of this. How do we equip ourselves to navigate the moral and ethical challenges of pursuing high performance? How can supervision help us here?


Dr Jenny Denyer is a Coach and Performance Consultant with over 15 years experience of working with elite performers in business, sport and education. She is currently an Associate Consultant at Lane4 Management Group, an Executive coach on the Cranfield MBA and a Performance Psychology Coach working at the highest levels in sport. As a performer Jenny competed on the Women’s Squash Association World Tour for 10 years reaching a career high world ranking of 8 and representing England and Great Britain. After completing a Ph.D in ‘Stress & Coping in High Performance Coaching’ at Loughborough University (UK) in 2002, Jenny went on to achieve BASES accreditation as a Sport Psychologist. At Lane4 Jenny is the Course Leader of ‘Coaching Performance Excellence’ – Lane4’s EMCC Accredited Coach Training programme.

Dr Mark Gittins works in sport and business, supporting leaders and coaches to create high performance environments. In sport he has worked with world-class athletes and coaches, and in business with high potentials through to senior executives. Mark worked for Lane4 Management Group for 13 years before becoming an Associate Consultant in 2015. During this time he completed a PhD in high performance environments, trained as an executive coach and coach supervisor, and delivered their EMCC Accredited Coach training programme in a number of different organisations. Most recently Mark worked for two seasons as a People and Team Development Consultant to the England U20’s football team. This time culminated in the team winning the World Cup in South Korea in May 2017, making them the first England football team to win a World Cup since 1966.

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