Tuesday 15th January 2013 – NY Knicks Masterclass
The inaugural Leaders in Performance masterclass took place on Tuesday the 15th January 2013 at Saatchi and Saatchi’s London office with the NY Knicks delivering a fascinating insight into team performance principles at a USA sports franchise.

The Leaders masterclass concept is an opportunity for senior people in sports performance to come together in an exclusive gathering to discuss best practice with their peers. The inaugural session welcomed the Management Team of the New York Knicks with a fascinating presentation from their VP of Basketball Operations, Jamie Matthews and an interactive discussion with two of their performance experts, Dave Hancock and Andy Barr.

Joining them were some of the key people shaping performance at leading organisations such as the Premier League, Chelsea, Manchester City, England Rugby, FC Twente, British Olympic Association, Lawn Tennis Association, Arsenal and Fulham amongst others.

Thursday 21st February 2013 – MilanLab Masterclass
AC Milan’s ground-breaking medical facility, MilanLab, held the second Leaders in Performance masterclass on Thursday 21st February 2013 at The Royal Gardens Hotel in Kensington, London. Jean-Pierre Meersseman, founder of the fabled research centre, which is renowned for its injury prevention methods and ‘player well-being’, brought advanced science to the football field, during the exclusive masterclass, which promises an invitation-only, intimate gathering of top level executives.

The in-depth session focussed on the history and growth of MilanLab from its first days in operation to a world-class sports science and medicine facility developed at Milan’s grounds over the last 10 years. Jean-Pierre provided a detailed account of the structural, mental and biochemical performance tests that were carried out with AC Milan’s senior and youth teams to impact performance, predict injuries, recruit successfully, identify top talent and effectively manage player personnel.

Along with providing exclusive insight into the processes involved, the MilanLab founder known for reviving and prolonging players’ careers, revealed Milan’s impressive number of held records on all aspects of performance in the past decade and the techniques that helped make them world and European champions. Meersseman revealed the challenges of testing world-class players every 15 days and the difficulty of analysing such quantities of collected data to really impact performance and vanquish injuries. The rigorous approach, coined the ‘sensory perception’ was described as the key quality in football.

The masterclass concept offers an in-depth exploration of important aspects within elite sport. With detailed presentations from leading industry figures and comprehensive group discussions, they are designed to focus on individual disciplines and yield deeper insights for top experts across the sports industry and beyond. The masterclass concept provides an ideal opportunity for senior executives to come together, in a setting of between 15 – 20 participants.

Thursday 7th March 2013 – McLaren F1 Masterclass
McLaren is known worldwide for setting the benchmark for technological excellence and high performance culture. This Leaders in Performance Masterclass was hosted at their stunning facility, the McLaren Technology Centre, to give attendees a first-hand experience of the environment that fosters innovation and high performance at one of Formula 1’s most successful teams.

Led by Geoff McGrath, the Managing Director of McLaren Applied Technologies, the session focussed on the culture and how it is embedded across a team of 600 people, from the pit lane mechanics to the engineers and the drivers.

Also outlined were the key areas in which the team gain competitive advantage on the track, including their cycle of innovation, which develops a new part of the car every 20 minutes, and the structures in place to enable rapid and successful decision making.

Of great interest to the group was the team’s capacity for gathering intelligence. The scale and complexity of data collection was revealed, where over 2bn data points are processed every race weekend, and McLaren’s investment in analytical processes to generate actionable information to affect race performance.

In attendance at the McLaren F1 Masterclass were top performance practitioners from Manchester United FC, English Institute of Sport, Saracens Rugby, Chelsea FC, UK Sport, Norwegian Centre of Football Excellence and the Monte Carlo Tennis Academy.

Monday 18th March 2013 – Cricket South Africa Masterclass

The Cricket South Africa Masterclass session was held at their Johannesburg HQ in South Africa, led by Paddy Upton, High Performance Director of Cricket SA and Head Coach of the Rajasthan Royals IPL Team, a trusted practitioner for some of the world’s leading players and athletes.

The South African Cricket Team are the number one ranked Test cricket team in the world and have produced some of the finest cricket players of the modern era, including Graeme Smith (youngest International test captain), Jacques Kallis (regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders ever) and Dale Steyn (current number one ranked Test bowler in the world) to name but a few.

With the cultural differences that face the modern game, the discussion focused on how the psychological & cultural elements are integral to the success of elite athletes, teams and even coaches. Cricket South Africa are leading the way in the winning aspects of the mental game and focussing on the next steps of human performance.

In attendance where some of the most prestigious teams & practitioners in the game – South African Olympic Committee, Springbok – 7s, Cricket South Africa, Rowing South Africa, Hockey South Africa, Stellenbosch University and many more.