Performance Lifestyle

Performance Lifestyle is a personalised support service designed to enable an athlete’s sporting and non-sporting lives to work together and complement each other, for the benefit of the individual and their sporting performance.

 

Trained and accredited PL practitioners at the EIS provide support to athletes by working to develop the necessary skills needed to cope with the unique demands of being an elite performer. They also help athletes prepare for life after sport and develop links with employers to provide career development opportunities designed to fit around training and competition demands.

The PL practitioners work closely with coaches and support staff as part of integrated multi-disciplinary teams to minimise potential concerns, conflicts and distractions, all of which can be detrimental to both performance and personal life. Support offered by PL practitioners ranges from 1:1 sessions to group workshops and practitioners focus on nurturing relationships based on trust and integrity which enables athletes to work in a safe, secure and where necessary, confidential space.

The main areas of expertise within Performance Lifestyle are: Managing Transitions Career Development & Planning Education Personal & Professional Development Finance Supporting Well Being Performance Lifestyle is available to all athletes on the World Class Performance Programme and those nominated by their Home Country Institutes.

Why is there a Performance Lifestyle team at the EIS?

Elite sport has a responsibility to care, develop and support the people it asks the most of – the athletes. In striving for Olympic and Paralympic success or the highest performances in any sport, huge expectations are placed on athletes. They sacrifice much of their adolescence and a large part of their adult life to pursue their sporting goals. They put their bodies on the line, give up careers and make huge compromises in their personal lives for medals or sporting success that benefits the nation as well as the athletes themselves.

Performance Lifestyle exists to ensure that there is an appropriate balance between the pursuit of performance and the care for the person behind that performance. The high performance environment is inherently stressful and so it is important for athletes to have a professional, trusted, and caring service to help them throughout their time on the world class performance programme.

Ensuring that athletes are ready for the future ahead is an important part of this. The world of elite sport can be unpredictable – not every athlete will achieve their ultimate ambitions but every athlete will inevitably have to transition from their sporting careers at some point and this can be a particularly difficult time for retiring athletes.

Performance Lifestyle exists to enhance and influence the high performance system through passionate practitioners, who help to create and nurture a culture that delivers performance and responsibly cares for its people.

The Performance Lifestyle Team Values are:

  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Adaptability
  • Courage
  • Care
  • (Empowering Change & Growth)

How does Performance Lifestyle have a performance impact?

Supporting the well-being and personal development of athletes whilst on the world class programme is an important part of our responsibility towards our country’s best athletes and it can also contribute positively to their performances. Athletes themselves have fully endorsed the approach of the EIS Performance Lifestyle team:

  • Olympic Bob Skeleton Champion Lizzy Yarnold said:

“With so many aspects of performance to consider, working with my Performance Lifestyle practitioner has allowed me to step back and review what I’m doing with the big picture in mind. I can achieve more in sport when I believe in and can see the direction I’m going and that’s come from working closely with my Performance Lifestyle practitioner.”

  • Olympic Rowing Champion Kath Grainger said:

“I’ve used Performance Lifestyle support as long as it has been available to me. It’s been an absolutely essential part of my career and I believe I wouldn’t have had such a long and successful career without its guidance and support. It has been in various forms including discussing the best way to continue studying alongside my sport, finding ways to plan for a life after sport, getting advice on time and life management issues and enabling access to inspirational influences outside of sport, and having someone to turn to as a mentor and a confidante.”

  • European Athletics Champion Adam Gemili said:

“The work I do with my Performance Lifestyle practitioner plays a key role in my setup as an athlete. Part of being an elite athlete is not only managing everything you do on the track perfectly, but off the track too. “

  • European Diving Champion Sarah Barrow said:

“Performance lifestyle has enabled me to feel confident whilst preparing for my retirement in my sport. With their help and encouragement plus the funding I receive, I have been able to complete courses I perhaps would not have known about, therefore boosting my CV profile.”