On this week’s Pacey Performance Podcast, Rob speaks to performance science consultant Jo Clubb about how she went from starting out in her dream job as an intern at Chelsea FC in the Premier League, to eventually working in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres and the NFL with Buffalo Bills. Jo’s journey also includes what it was like being one of the first women to get a full-time job as a sports scientist in the Premier League, and how far cognitive diversity has actually come in the intervening years.
Jo also discusses what she calls her ‘sliding doors’ moment – when she got the opportunity to move to the US and work in ice hockey followed by American football. Through this, we talk about how opportunities can arise via the power of networking in a close-knit industry, and what younger people in the industry can do to grow their profile. As someone who has worked at the top level in different sports, we also find out what has worked (and what hasn’t) for Jo in such differing environments.
A running theme throughout this episode is how training and sports science isn’t always about the techniques, drills and exercises a coach introduces to a new team, but how a cultural fit can make the difference through connecting with athletes on a personal level. Through her own website and as a contributor to Sports Discovery, a resource dedicated to knowledge sharing of sports professionals, there can’t be many more in the industry with this level of expertise in collaboration and emotional intelligence.
- Being an intern at Chelsea FC
- The differences between coaching academy players and the first team
- How sacrificing winning can actually benefit an athlete
- Why Chelsea were ahead of their time in developing youth team players
- The growth of cognitive diversity in coaching and how it benefits sports teams
- Why networking in the sports science industry isn’t a dirty word
- What Jo’s next challenge is, and how she deals with a change in identity
- Lessons about what works (and haven’t worked!) in differing sports
- The people who make up the heart of a sports club
- The importance of emotional intelligence in creating a cultural fit as a sports scientist
- Managing expectations as a newcomer in a team or as a consultant
- Subjective monitoring and why it forms a huge part of Jo’s load monitoring practice
Jo can be found on Twitter @JoClubbSportSci
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