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Olympic Coaching

TIME - August 2016 special feature on Rio Olympics


TIME - August 2016 special feature on Rio Olympics

I was driving with all the windows down along a leafy Warwickshire lane one day in July. It was one of those rare days when temperatures soared into the 30’s, prompting me to think back to January when I’d been working with the US BMX team at the Olympic training centre in Chula Vista and then with beach volleyball in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles. The phone rang and a cultured American voice announced himself as Sean Gregory, chief sports editor with TIME magazine.

He told me he’d spent a day with the USA women’s beach volleyball team in June this year and wanted to know if I could help him understand what had happened to them – “They were fizzing with energy and talking in terms I didn’t understand such as ‘She’s such a D!’… When I asked them to explain, they said ‘Talk to Phil!’ so that’s why I’m calling you.”



Sean’s account of his visit brought the story of Kerri, April and Marcio up to date. It’s good to see that he found them now fully gelling as a unit and fired up, ready to go.

See the article at…

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A Dynamic Duo

I met Kerri and April, and their coach Marcio Sicoli, during training at Manhattan Beach in February 2016. The key to them firing as a truly high performing team was in understanding and valuing the personality and behavioral differences between the two of them. Coach Marcio had recognised this as a potential issue during training.

Competing together amounts to less than 0.1% of their time together; 99.9% of the time together is in training, traveling, planning, media work and just plain living alongside each other, and it’s here where a lack of mutual understanding and appreciation could have created problems, because they are so different…


Phil Ferrar, People Academy, August 2016