Attending an event at Williams F1 is always an experience, however, it was even more exciting this time round!

We were delighted to be co-sponsors of the Leaders in Sport Performance event, there was attendees from top sporting clubs and organisations from all sorts of sporting disciplines. We had a stand at the event in the networking area, which gave us the opportunity to further educate delegates about Totum Sport.  We had 5 delegates at the event, John Kelleher, Director, Ian Campbell, Business Development Manager, Nutritionist, Marie Farag and  Glenn McRory, Ambassador.

This blog post follows our nutritionist, Marie Farag, on her day at the event.

It was a long drive down to the event, our head UK office is based in Sunderland in the North East of the country, with the event taking place just south of Oxford. We started the journey on mid-day Monday and arrived in Wantage on Monday Evening.

After some much needed rest we began Networking with familiar and new faces as the event kicked off on Tuesday morning, we then made our way to the first seminar.

GB Women’s Hockey Coach, Danny Kerry and Sacracens Psychology and Personal Development coach, David Jones were talking about ‘psychological safety’ developing both the athlete and the person.

They focused on how players feel about asking questions in front of people. The discussion was insightful, they assess the environment and this can affect how the player answer. They also spoke about how the fear of losing can sometimes be beneficial and make them push themselves.

We then broke into roundtables, the topic of conversation centred around safety, after the news of Loris Karius’ concussion in the Champions League final this was a very relevant talk. The table spoke about how there is a fine balance needed regarding safety and a line needs to be drawn between challenges and player safety.

We  moved onto the second seminar that discussed data driven world and the 21st century approach to training and recovery, this seminar was delivered by Jakob Andreasen, Chief Performance & Operations Engineer at  Williams F1. He discussed how they define a long term strategy that is data driven and have business discussions based on this data. He also explained how they combine different data and then cross link to come up with one output. They test everything to make sure they’re informed at all times, this ensures that what they’re doing is correct. Psychologically was then discussed, it was said that it is important to balance out strength, stamina and concentration against weight.

Dr Saleem Abdulrauf , neurosurgeon from St. Louis then gave a presentation on the difference in how they use data in medicine. He showed a fantastic video of him doing brain surgery on two patients whilst they were awake and how one of them was playing the guitar during it. 

Saleem is someone that has challenged the status quo in neurosurgical training. He believes medicine is too traditionalist and lacks dynamism, hence the number of lessons that can be yielded from sport. With this in mind, he’s driven a change of approach. In the past, to be a certified neurosurgeon you needed to be an expert in every field of neurosurgery. The reality is that no one was an expert in every role.

We then broke into round tables and discussed how different sports are using data and what are the challenges of data. In football it was widely accepted that they use data on an individual basis, so tracking kilometers a player ran in a game to their  average position on the field of play. In Cricket however, most of the data was geared towards opposition analysis. A challenge was how sometimes data isn’t always used effectively after so much time collecting and analysing.

Following a spot of lunch, Gemma Fisher, Head of Health and Human Performance gave a seminar on Creating a Holistic Approach to Performance.

Gemma’s role within Formula One is unique. Williams were one of the first teams to focus on the human performance of the entire team rather than just the drivers. Gemma said that the holistic view to performance in what Williams do evolves around strategy, the drivers and the pit crew. They knew all there was to know about the car and the drivers, but not much, if nothing at all about the 22 guys performing the pit stop. They’re even widening the net to look at performance in the corporate arms of team as well.

his approach has obviously worked. Williams have the world record pit stop at 1.92 seconds. If you haven’t seen it click here.

When the team first started to the focus on this aspect of performance, pit stops were five seconds. Under Gemma’s stewardship, they have used the testing parameters used on the drivers with the pit crew by utilising biometric monitoring and using this as a way of understanding the perfect pit stop.

We ended the day touring the fantastic Williams F1 museum where we expanded our knowledge on the Williams team and Formula 1.